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5 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses for Beginners

1 week ago | Yoga and You
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Tight hips are one of the most common conditions these days for many of us. We sit in chairs for long hours and we generally do not sit in hip opening positions like a squat very often. Tight hips can lead to a whole host of issues like lower back pain, misalignments in the spine, and can even lead to injury.

You need to open the front, back and sides of your hips to really get a good stretch. Here are 5 best asanas you should do regularly to open your hips.

ANJANEYASANA | Crescent Pose
Anjaneya is another name for Hanuman. Hanuman’s mother was named Anjani, and Anjaneya means son of Anjani. In English, this pose is called the Crescent Pose.

How to:
Start in the downward facing dog posture. Bring your right leg all the way to the outside of your right palm. Place your left knee on the mat with your toes pointing out. Now, come up into a low lunge and look up.

Why to:
It stretches the hip flexors, releases tension in the rear of the hips, improves balance, strengthens supporting muscles for the knees and builds mental focus.

UTTHAN PRISTHASANA | Lizard Pose
Lizard pose can be an intense hip opener and can create some intense sensation. In Sanskrit, Utthan means to stretch out, Pristha means the back and asana means a pose.

Steps:
Begin in Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). On an exhale, step your right foot forward to the outside (pinky finger) edge of your right hand. Lower your left knee down onto the ground. Slowly, stretch your left leg back and raise your knee up. If comfortable, lower down onto both forearms. Keep the chin lifted and the chest open.

Why to:
Lizard Pose is a great stretch for the hip flexors, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps. It helps to improve the flexibility of your hip ligaments and strengthen the muscles in your legs.

RAJAKAPOTASANA | King Pigeon Pose
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or One-Legged King Pigeon Pose is an asana that is performed in the seated position. It is a backbend that causes the chest to puff up, therefore making the practitioner resemble a pigeon.

How to:
Start off on your fours. Slide your right knee forward, and place it between your hands. Stretch your left leg backward. Press your palm on your butt and push your thigh muscle down towards the ground. Place your palms on either side of your right leg, push your palms and drop your neck. Arch back. Bring your leg up, bending at the knee. Place your foot on your head.

Why to:
It helps to stretch the entire lower body. It massages the abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion. It relieves back problems and strengthens the back. It also improves the functioning of the urinary and reproductive systems.


BADDHA KONASANA | Butterfly Pose
Baddha konasana gives the appearance of a butterfly flapping its wings, hence its name.

How to:
Beginning by sitting with a straight back, bring the soles of your feet together and interlock your fingers onto your toes. Now, start flapping your legs while breathing normally. To intensify the pose, bring your feet closer to your pelvis.

Why to:
It stretches the muscles of the legs; is therapeutic for flat feet, high blood pressure, infertility, and asthma. Consistent practice of this pose until late into pregnancy help ease childbirth.


JANU SIRSASANA | Head to Knee Pose
Janu Sirsasana pose is said to be a part of the Ashtanga yoga and is also practiced as a seated yoga pose. It can also be used as a relaxation pose when practicing difficult sitting, twisting asanas.

How to:
Sit on the floor with an erect spine. Fold your right leg and place your sole of the right leg on the inner part of the left thigh. Raise your hands upwards. Bend forward and place your head on left knee. Try to hold your toe of left foot with both hands.

Why to:
It strengthens and Stretches the shoulders, spine, groins, and hamstrings, stimulates the liver and kidneys. Improves the digestion system, relieves stress, anxiety, fatigue, headache, menstr