Did you know there are over 20 muscles that cross the hip area? That’s a lot of muscles that get tight, and need stretched out, due to our very sedentary lifestyle/habits. But beyond just needing to stretch out all those muscles, why are hip openers so good for us? What are the benefits of the hip opening poses we do in a yoga class? Truthfully, there are many but here we will focus on five (5) major ones:
- Improve your range of motion/open up tight joints (when we loosen the muscles our body can move more freely and areas that were previously tight can move in new ways)
- Improves circulation in that area of the body (tight muscles can restrict blood flow in that area of the body, so it goes without saying that if we loosen the muscles, then our circulation will improve as well)
- Reduce the use/load on your spine (which results in better alignment and also helps to decrease back pain)
- Helps to open several of the chakras (this can result in increased creativity as well as the release of negative feelings and emotions)
- Releases stress (our muscles hold onto our stress so if you stretch out the muscles and get them to relax and release you also help get rid of the stress they were holding on to)
The majority of us have very tight hips, so a daily practice that includes at least a few hip openers is very important in order to help us alleviate the issues we may be experiencing in our bodies as a result of those tight hips. The hips do respond well to stretching, so if you stay consistent in your hip opening work, you will see positive results in a relatively short period of time.
So, whether you choose to do a general yoga practice which includes some hip openers or elect to enjoy a series of hip opening poses alone, there are many ways to incorporate hip openers into your life so you can reap the many benefits into your own life. So, let’s get on our mats and stretch out those hips! Namaste.