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Healthy Hip Openers

We all know our legs are a vital functional body part. Our legs are the base and foundation of movement!

But what happens when our thigh muscles are tight or stiff? We just don’t feel like moving, which makes us lethargic too.

Sometimes, we may also find it challenging to sit for long hours on the floor with crossed legs because our hips or thighs might be tight. Let’s learn this magical and most natural cure to leg problems, known as the hip opener asanas. These simple asanas can be done each morning to help us stretch the upper leg region, making them more flexible.



Rocking the Baby:

Many times, we see mothers playfully rocking their baby back and forth, left and right, in a consistent, sway-full motion. This idea has been brought to the yoga world as an extremely effective asana to open up the hips. Not only is it fun and playful, but also very relieving.

Start by sitting in dandasana. Inhale and slowly bend your right knee, horizontally. Grab your right foot with both hands, raising it towards the chest.

Slowly as you exhale, wrap your left arm underneath the ankle of the right foot and wrap your right elbow and arm around the knee. Clasp your hands together.

Keep your spine erect at all times and slowly as you inhale, rock your leg back so that the right knee comes near your right shoulder. Then, exhale and rock your leg forwards towards the left shoulder.

Repeat this rocking motion about 15-20 times on both sides, in the same way
you would rock a baby to sleep.

Half Padmasana Stretch:

The second technique is called the Half Padmasana Stretch, which helps loosen up those inner hip muscles. Padmasana is an important asana for meditation and yogic practices. Let us understand how to practice a variation of it, which also opens up the inner thighs.

Get into this asana by first siting in dandasana. Take a deep breath in, bend your
right knee and then place your right foot on the left thigh. Exhale and hold the
foot with your left hand and the right knee with your right hand. Try to keep the knee on the floor.

Inhale and raise your knee up towards your chest and on an exhalation push the knee back on to the ground. By doing this up and down movement you are stretching and relieving your inner hips.

Tip: keep the spine straight and gradually increase the intensity of the stretch for better results.

Circular Leg Movement:

The next yogic technique is a circular movement of the leg. This technique stretches out the full leg and allows you to sit for a longer period of time.

In this technique, you can once again start out by sitting in dandasana. Inhale and bend the right knee horizontally, bringing the leg close to your chest.

Exhale and hold your right toe firmly with your right hand. Inhale and straighten the right knee and stretch the leg out in front of you. Exhale and bring the leg to the side about 45 degrees. Inhale and on an exhalation bend the knee and bring the leg towards the chest again.

You will make a circular motion with your leg as you extend and contract the knee and entire leg. The more you stretch out your leg, the more you will feel that stretch in your inner thighs.

Rotate the leg in the circular movement, 5-10 times on each side.
Take a deep breath out, release your toe and leg and come back to dandasana.

Upavesasana:

Lastly, an asana that is extremely helpful in overall hip opening is Upavesasana, quite similar to Malasana. Upavesasana helps in activating the sacral and root chakra. This asana brings back the simplest way of using the hips and legs to squat on the floor, which should generally come naturally.

Start off by standing with your feet hip distance apart making sure your feet are pointed outwards and heels facing each other. Join your hands in the namaskara mudra in front of your chest. Take a deep breath in and with an exhalation squat down, all the way till the ground. As you squat, keep your heels firmly on the ground.
For a deeper stretch, press your elbows against the inner thighs and feel that stretch in your hips. Hold the position for 8-10 breaths. Inhale and release your arms and slowly come back to a standing position.

Tip: remember to keep your back straight and heels planted on the ground to experience the wholesome benefits of this asana

Practice these hip openers asanas daily and experience many benefits like energy level shifts, reduced body pain, release of negative emotions, and regulation of the digestive system. The benefits are countless so lets get started!

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