Release Through Hip Openers
B. Cywinski

Release Through Hip Openers

If you spend majority of your workday in a seated position, hunched over a computer, you have most likely experienced some sort of back pain. Or, maybe your days are hectic causing stress that may be presented through back pain. Regardless of your lifestyle, it is safe to assume that your back noise is somehow associated with tight hips.

When the hips are tight, range of motion is limited increasing the effort needed for the spine to function properly. As the spine overcompensates for the lack of hip mobility we experience back pain. Increasing the flexibility in the hips will allow for a more even weight distribution and help with the efficiency of spine usage.

Our hip performance is also an indicator to our social interaction. Emotionally the hips are considered the center of our sexuality and individuality, both of which impact our ability to relate well with others. Although you may not be able to verify this in a science journal, any one who has regularly practiced a hip opener series will attest to the fact that relationships improve. Remember that the most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. At a time when self- doubt, low self esteem, and a critical inner voice dominate our narrative, it is essential that we activate all encouragement to self love.

Personally, I include a hip opener sequence in every class I teach. The physical and emotional benefits are just too important to deny. I have identified a few of my favorites in a sequence that you may want to practice weekly or at least, whenever you are not feeling your strongest.

Bound Angle Pose – Begin in Baddha Konasana as you start your Ujjayi breathing (5 min)
Supine Pigeon (hold for 5 -10 breathes on each side)
*Downward Dog Split Variation (5 – 10 on each side, bonus Wild Thing Pose)
Wide Legged Forward Bend (hold for 5 – 10 breaths)
Yogi Squat (hold for 5 -10 breaths)
Happy Baby (hold for 5 – 10 breaths)
Savasana (as desired)

*This is one of these poses I have found so it justifies a callout. Start in Downward Dog, inhale heel to the ceiling, exhale bend knee flex foot and open hip. Be sure to keep your heel pointed to the ceiling and your toes to the floor on the inhale. Ensure shoulders remain squared during the exhale, as you maintain the credibility of your downward dog.