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My Hips don't lie

The human body is pretty amazing - and the hip joint is a marvel of biological engineering. It grants us the ability to move, balance, and explore the depths of yoga poses. The hip join connects the femur (thigh bone) to the pelvis, allowing for a wide range of motion. As the hip joint is a ball and socket joint, it moves in 360 degrees of rotation and its flexibility is determined by the surrounding muscles, including the hip flexors, abductors, adductors, and external rotators.

Strengthening and stretching these muscles can lead to improved mobility and reduced risk of injuries. However, in our day to day life, many of these muscles go underutilized as we lead a very sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for most of the day leads to to tight and weak hip muscles. Which is why moving and opening our hips during our yoga practice is so important!

In addition to the physical benefits of accessing the hip joint, through yoga, we can also tap into the emotional and energetic benefits too. In the ancient yogic texts, the hips are often referred to as the "storage unit" for negative emotions and stress. Through yoga, we can unlock this area, releasing tension both physically and emotionally. Hip openers serve as a great way to release and let go of things we are holding on to that no longer serve us. They are also grounding poses, require us to practice with mindfulness, and ultimately draw our focus inward.

Here are a few of my favorite hip opener/strengthening poses:

  1. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): This pose opens the front of the hips (hip flexors and quadriceps) and groins.

  2. Goddess pose (Utkata Konasana): This poses stretches your hips and groin while strengthening your quadriceps and inner thighs.

  3. Garland Pose (Malasana): An excellent facilitator of good pelvic floor health, this pose also both opens and strengthens the hips and groin.

  4. Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana): This deep outer hip opener also stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, and groins while promoting a sense of grounding and release.

  5. Reclined Cow Face Pose (Supta Gomukhasana): A less challenging version of the complex seated pose. It’s a deep hip opener which combines flexion, external rotation, and adduction of the hips. The reclined version is less intense which allows for more relaxation into the pose.

As with any yoga pose - be gentle, listen to your body, and never force. I wish you all a happy and fulfilling yoga practice ahead.

May your hips be open and your spirits lifted!

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