5 Yoga Poses to Open Your Hips + Improve Flexibility
**DISCLAIMER** I am not a doctor, please consult with your physician if you've had any physical injuries.
🎶 Trey Moore // On the Run
Since starting my yoga practice I have been very focused on cultivating my specific practice off the mat, and on the mat with inversions and alignment. Those are just a few things that I find particular joy in while I practice, but I’ve finally decided to take the lunge (pun intended) into flexibility with hip openers.
Like most, my hips are very tight, and it is going to require some dedication and commitment on the mat to loosen them up. The body is interesting; you may be flexible in one part of your body, yet tight in another - people tend to excuse not doing yoga because of a lack of flexibility, but - you'd be surprised at what you can actually do... but I'll save that for another day.
A consistent overall yoga practice will improve your strength and flexibility, as well as improve your lifestyle.
I’ve put together 5 of my favorite hip openers for you to try at home.
Low crescent lunge
Coming down onto the mat, start in table top position, shoulders over wrists and hips over knees. Bring your right foot in between both hands. Press off the mat with your hands, resting both hands on your thigh. Resting deeply by lowering your hip, keeping your front knee aligned with your ankle.
Inhale as you swing your arms up and overhead, clasping your hands together. Dropping your hip to go deeper in this pose.
Low crescent lunge with side stretch
From low crescent lunge with arms overhead, keep your left arm raised as you slowly lower your right hand to your side. As you bend, your left hand will follow naturally.
Come back into low crescent lunge (our first pose). Remove hands from your thigh, and place both hands on the inside of your right foot. Raise your left knee off the ground.
For more: Come down onto your forearms (pictured), keeping your left knee raised.
For modification: lower your left knee.
Come back into low crescent lunge. Place your left hand on the mat. Keeping your left knee on the mat, lift your foot off the mat. Using your right hand, reach out and behind to grab your left foot.
For a deeper stretch: come down to your left forearm.
Starting in tabletop position, coming onto your hands and knees. Bring your right knee to the front of your mat, just slightly behind your right wrist. Keep your back leg straight, aligned with the side of your mat.
Lower your upper body towards the mat. Rest with a mudra. For this posture, I chose to include the hakini mudra. This finger position promotes cooperation between right and left brain hemispheres. This mudra also improves and deepens respiration. You may notice improved concentration and new mental powers by letting your gaze and thoughts rest on one object for a longer period of time, which is helpful during such an intense hip opener.
To perform hakini mudra, bring the palms in front of the body with each palm facing the other. Bring finger tips of both hands together by letting them touch lightly.
Affirmation while holding this pose and mudra: concentration is my strength.
Concentration is my strength.
Now repeat all 5 poses on the left side! Happy stretching!
More resources // Two of my favorite hip opening sequences:
7 Yoga Poses for Tight Hips by Janay of Yoga w/ Nay