Your issues are in your tissues! And a lot of those issues are stored in the hips, the group of muscles that help us stand upright, tense when we feel a number of emotions, and are held closed all day as we sit. Stretching your hips will be felt throughout your entire body as you open and elongate these important muscles and area of your body. My favourite way to really get deep into your muscle tissue is through yin yoga as it allows your body time to truly open and get into the fascia (deep tissue) that we don’t touch in your typical yoga class. Practice yin yoga for hips with me in a class or pick and choose which poses work for you to use day to day.
Yin Yoga Sequence for Hips
Join me for a full class of yin yoga hip openers that will have you feeling relaxed and your whole body open. If you love practicing with me, don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube!
Yin Poses for Hips
No time to practice today or want some ideas to do quickly or in your own sequences? Try doing one of a few of these yin yoga poses for hips when you’re feeling tight!
Reclined Butterfly Pose
A great yin pose to begin in, reclined butterfly begins by opening the hips in a gentle way, especially with the assistance of props. It’s ideal even for a quick opener, as it allows the legs to naturally fall open and the weight of the legs alone does wonders for moving the legs and hips in the opposite direction of how most normally have their hips in a sitting position.
Begin by bringing the soles of your feet together, and move your feet further away from your groin for a more relaxed variation. Option to place a bolster or rolled blanket at the bottom of your spine vertically to lean back on for a chest opener. Allow your legs to feel heavy and your hips to let go. Option to place blocks under your knees at any height to support the weight of your legs if your hips are finding it too intense. Hold for 30 deep breaths or longer.
Deer pose is a great option for those who want something different from swan (pigeon) pose and a pose that is more relaxed.
Place your right shin parallel to the top of your mat and your left shin parallel to the side of the mat, both legs in a 90-degree shape. Allow your left hip and glute to feel heavy. You have the option to stay here if you’re feeling it already or to lean forward on your fingertips/hands, elbows, or to lay completely on the ground or a bolster. You always have the option to place a block under your head as well. Hold for 30 deep breaths or longer and then repeat on the other side.
Dragon pose begins to get deep into the hips, specifically the hips flexors. Using the weight of your body, dragon pose allows you to melt your hips to the ground, working in the opposite direction of how we usually sit. Heat often builds in this pose and emotions tend to come up, which are totally normal. Breathe through it!
From your hands and knees step your right foot forward on the outside of your right hand. Walk your right foot forward or your left knee back to come into a low lunge with your hands on the mat. Option to pad your back left knee with a blanket or by folding over your mat. It may feel good to turn your right toes off of the mat or edge your right foot out to the right to give more space in your hips.
Allow your hips to melt towards the mat. Option to keep your hands on the mat, to come down to your elbows, place your hands or elbows on blocks or a bolster, or to lay on a bolster. Hold for 20-30 deep breaths then switch sides slowly.
Perhaps the most intense hip opening yin yoga pose for many, hero pose tackles opening the entire front body at the same time while also in a backbend! There are a ton of options of variations for this pose to make it more comfy.
Begin by sitting on your heels, with the option to sit on a block or the end of a bolster/rolled-up blanket. Or moves your heels out from under your bum so that you come to sit on the mat. Do what feels best for your ankles and knees. Start by walking your hands back. Just leaning back may feel like enough for you, if so, stay here or place blocks or a bolster under your hands. Or continue to come closer to the mat by placing your elbows on the mat, a bolster, or blocks. You may move even closer to the mat by coming to lay down on the bolster you’re sitting on or onto the mat itself. Hold for 20-30 deep breaths and come up very slowly and mindfully.
If none of these variations feel good in your body, come to lay on your side, head propped however you like. Reach back with your top arm for the ankle of your top leg and gently pull your ankle towards your bum. Hold for 20 deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Yes, even child’s pose is great for your hips! This relaxing pose helps work into your hip flexion aka closing your hips. If you have tight hips this pose may feel like work but you have options too!
Begin by sitting on your heels. Widen your knees to the edges of your mat and walk your body forward as your bum stays on your heels. You can come to lay on a bolster, rolled blanket, or directly on the mat. If your hips lift as you move forward, place a bolster or a rolled blanket between your calves and the back of your thighs for support. Allow your arms to relax and your upper body to feel heavy. Hold for 30-40 deep breaths or however long feels good.