Yoga Poses to Relieve Sore, Stiff Hips

 

Hero’s Pose

yoga for stiff hips with Irena Miller. Virasana/Hero's pose www.irenamiller.com

BENEFIT:

Open front of hips, release tight thighs, open ankles, and release your tight back.

 

HOW IT'S DONE:

Props can make this pose accessible and fun to do! Have a blanket and yoga block nearby. If you don't have a block, a pillow or thick book can work!

 

Begin by kneeling. Keep your knees beneath your hips and widen your feet a little wider than your hips. Point the feet directly behind you. Imagine a line from the center of your heel to the second toe. You want that line to point directly back. Avoid sickling the feet here. Place your hands at the top of your calves and iron them back towards your feet, as you slowly lower your bottom towards the floor. Settle your bottom snugly between your heels and place your hands on your thighs. Scoop your tailbone and sit tall. Take 5 breaths.

 

If the tops of your feet and ankles are hurting, place a blanket beneath the top of the foot and ankle. If your bottom does not come down to the floor or you feel too much stretch on the knees and thighs, place your block beneath your bottom.

 

If you are doing well and your bottom is on the floor, place your hands behind you and slowly lean back. Over time you can lower to your elbows and eventually rest all the way down on the floor. This is a backbend, so your lower back should not touch the floor. As you extend your arms alongside your ears, move the sides of your ribs towards the floor, and lengthen from your tailbone out towards your knees.


 

Eye of Needle

yoga for tight hips with irena miller. eye of needle/sucridasana www.irenamiller.com

BENEFIT:

Open tight outer hips.

 

HOW IT'S DONE:

Lying on your back with your legs bent. Place your right ankle over your left thigh. Draw the legs as a unit towards your chest and hold on behind your left leg. Work you feet, spreading your toes, and reaching out through the ball of your feet. Resist your hands and press your left leg into your hands, even as you draw your legs in towards your chest. Take 5-10 breaths. Then switch sides.

 

 

Fire Log Pose

yoga for tight hips, piriformis syndrome, sciatica with irena miller fire log pose/agnistambhasana www.irenamiller.com

 

 

BENEFIT:

Opens tight outer hips, stretches piriformis, and groins.

 

Come to a seated position and stretch both legs forward. Turn your right leg out, bend it, and place the right ankle just above the left knee. Spread your right toes and actively extend through the inner edge of your foot. (Watch that you don’t sickle your foot. You don’t want to look down at your foot and see the sole. Instead your foot could make a perfect imprint on the wall to your side.)

 

Take a breath, and if your knees and hips feel okay, lean to your left a little, bend your left leg, and bring the foot beneath the right knee. (To Modify:  If your right knee is much higher than the hip and you are experiencing major discomfort, keep the left leg stretched straight. You can also modify, by drawing the left foot closer to your right hip, rather than keeping it beneath the right knee.)

 

Press your hands into the floor behind you, to help you lengthen from your belly out through the crown of your head, and continue to spread the toes on both feet. You can stay in this position or bring the hands to your feet.  Gently press your hands into the soles of your feet to help hug the thighs towards each other. Then actively lengthen from your hips out to your knees. And on an exhale, slowly fold forward.

 

Take 5-10 breaths. Then switch sides.


 

Cow Face pose - just the legs

yoga for stiff hips with irena miller. cow face pose/gomukhasana www.irenamiller.com

 

BENEFIT:

Stretch outer hips, thighs, and ankles.


 

HOW IT'S DONE:

Begin from a seated position with both legs extended straight in front of you. Turn your right leg out slightly and cross it over left thigh. So that your knees are somewhat stacked and the outer edge of your right foot is resting on the floor.

If that feels breathable, turn your left leg out slightly. Lean to the left and fold the left leg under the right.  

(To Modify:  You can always keep the bottom leg extended and only fold the top leg.)

Take 5-10 breaths. Then switch sides.

 

 

Half Twist pose

yoga for tight hips half twist pose/ardha matsyendrasana yoga with irena miller www.irenamiler.com

 

BENEFIT:

Increase flexibility in hips, boost energy, aid digestion, and relax tight shoulders.

 

HOW IT'S DONE:

Start seated and bend your left leg, lining the knee up so it points directly forward, your left foot next to your right hip. Cross your right leg over your left thigh and plant the four corners of the foot directly on the floor.

 

Plant your right hand behind your hip and press the fingers into the floor. Lengthen from the lower belly to the crown of the head and stretch your left arm high to the sky. On an exhale, twist from the left ribs, and bring your left elbow across the outer thigh. Your left fingertips point to the sky. Actively press the left arm and right leg against each other to help you deepen into the twist.

 

As you press your right fingers into the floor, bend your right arm an inch and broaden the upper back. Especially the right shoulder blade.

 

Turn to look over your right shoulder.

 

(To Modify:  If your back is rounding, sit on some height, like a thick folded blanket, or a yoga block.  You can also plant your foot in front of your shin, rather than across your thigh. And you can use your opposite hand across your outer thigh, rather than your elbow.)

 

Take 5-10 breaths. Then switch sides.


 

Bound angle

yoga for tight stiff hips baddha konasana/butterfly pose/bound angle pose yoga with irena miller www.irenamiller.com

BENEFIT:

Opens inner thighs, groins, and knees.

 

HOW IT'S DONE:

Seated, bend both legs, and bring the soles of the feet together. Press the fingers into the floor behind you and lengthen from the lower belly to the crown of the head. As you press the four corners of the feet together, momentarily press the pinky toe side of the foot down towards the mat, and lift your heels a ¼ of an inch off the floor. This is a little tip to rotate the inner thighs towards the floor, which will broaden and open the hips. Slowly lower the heels back down to the floor.

Then press your fingers down into the floor behind your hips, tone your lower belly, open the inner edges of the feet, and lengthen from your hips out to your knees.

(To Modify:  If you're back is rounding and your knees are higher than your hips, sit on some height. Fold a thick blanket to be about 2-3 inches high and sit on the edge of it.)

Take 5-10 breaths.

 

 

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Irena Miller teaches bite-sized yoga to curious, intuitive people who want to feel at peace in their body and in the world. Her LIVE online yoga classes offer real time feedback and specific guidance to playful students who wish to take their yoga practice deeper.