Yoga for hip release

Often we notice tension in the body that seems to collect itself to the same areas all the time. If you have a desk job then you might notice that you consistently have pain in shoulders due to mainly lack of movement and bad posture. Another critical area this can happen is our hips. Often there is a saying that we have issues in our tissues and like Shakira sings that your hips don’t lie. If there is tension in the hips – you will feel it!

I would like to share with you my favourite poses from Yin Yoga practice to bring some juicy movement back to your hips. The sequence of 4 Yin Yoga postures that works with 4 quarters of the hips – the front, the back, the outside and the inside. Through the practice of relaxing and releasing, you will bring space back to the body where t is missing and will help to find a balance to the body where there is an imbalance.

Yin yoga is known as a calm style of yoga that follows 3 simple principles – playing with your edge in poses, keep stillness and holding shapes for a longer period of time.

Play with your edge – the shapes I write about below are to be felt in the specific target areas as I explain. As you move into the poses, you want to feel stimulation in that area, however, don’t move in too fast, too deep, instead play with your edge and slowly, slowly sink in deeper as the body finds space. As you find your edge, relax all muscles, all tension that is not necessary.

Keep stillness –  as you might have guessed it from the name, yin yoga is a quiet practice with not a lot of movement. As you are practising tune inwards and allow the outer body to come to stillness. Stillness will help you to feel the poses deeper through more subtle sensations. Notice your physical body, your mind, often emotions arise (especially when working with hips) and allow yourself to be the observer of all that there is.

Longer holds – Yin poses are held normally from 2-5, 6, 7 or sometimes even 10 minutes or longer. Longer hold allow the body to calmly relax and open, not pushing to go deeper, instead of sinking one there is space. Start with smaller amounts of time, after moving in deeper, know that any time you need to release, you have your own permission to do so.

Finally, the images below should not be a guide on how you will look in a pose! You should previously have a regular practice with a teacher to follow this sequence and you should take a modification of a pose that is suitable for you! I recommend to attend Yin yoga classes prior to practising the sequence, so you learn to modify according to your body and how you feel. All practice should be done at one’s own risk.

  1. Caterpillar – the back quarter of the hip


Sit legs long in front and relax your legs, hips, back, then fold forward and support your body with props, so you can sink down. If you feel very tight in the back of the legs, then roll up a blanket and put under knees.

Allow legs to relax and spine can round.

Be cautious of any injury you might have you want to release body not aggravate it.

Hold the pose from 2-6 minutes

2. Square – the outer quarter of the hip


Sit with legs crossed, shins creating a straight line parallel to the front of the mat. Loose square is with legs crossed, you can stay here or stack your heel and knee with other knee and heel like you see me doing on the picture.

If there are any gaps between legs, use props to fill the gaps.

Finally stay upright if you already feel stretch on the outer side of the hip or fold forward.

Hold the pose for 2-5 minutes.

Don’t forget to switch legs and do the second side.

3. Half Saddle – the front quarter of the hip


Sitting on one heel or between the heel if this feels ok and notice how this feels. If there’s pain in the knees, skip this one. If your ankles are complaining, try a blanket under them or skip. Lean back on your hands, creating a little arch to the lower back. Check in with how this feels in hips, ankles and lower back. This may be it for you today! If you can go further, come down onto your elbows. Support your back with as much height you need or stay with arms straight.

Releasing the pose as carefully as you entered, stay within.

Hold the pose for 2-5 minutes.

Don’t forget to switch legs and do the second side.

4. Dragonfly – the inner quarter of the hip

IMG-20181120-WA0003.jpgSit legs wide, relax legs and fold forward, any gaps between the ground and you fill up with props. Any strong discomfort in the back of the knees, adjust by bending knees, taking legs closer or lifting body up higher. Once you have found your edge, relax and find stillness.

If folding is not happening for you, try wall Dragonfly. Legs up the wall, with hips touching the wall and open legs wide.

Hold from 2-6 minutes.

Release the pose as carefully as you enter.


Sending you love and light from Bali.


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