View ALL articles

Hips Don’t Lie!

Dear Yoga Student,

Everyone I know in the yoga world is totally
obsessed with opening up their hips.

I’ve got one friend who sits in full lotus at
the movie theater and doesn’t release
his legs until the credits role.

Sound crazy?

Yes, it is. But I understand ’cause my hips
used to be so locked-up that it HURT just to
sit on the floor.

I distinctly remember being at a nutrition
lecture in 2002, sitting school-style on the
floor for about 30-minutes straight, and both
my legs went completely numb…

… and I was dripping with sweet because
that was a huge hip stretch for me – just
sitting on my arse!

So while there’s no reason to get obsessed
over tight hips, I’m all for doing whatever
it takes to be comfortable in the body you
live in.

For massive flexibility gains, I teach passive
stretches in a series I call Gravity Yoga.
Particularly for tight hips, there are a couple
standing postures that work wonders.

SECRET HIP OPENER #1: Warrior I Posture

This pose is taught in almost every yoga class, but
usually you just cruise through it. I like to use a
clock and hold it steady for 3-5 minutes per side
(Iyengar flashbacks, anyone?). Try it and your hips
will get incredibly soft and limber.

SECRET HIP OPENER #2: Crescent Lunge

Same idea, but take your back heal off the ground.
I like to alternate static holds between Warrior I
and Crescent Lunge until my hips are REALLY loose,
and then I’ll do some classic hip openers like a
butterfly or king pigeon.

Your hips are massive joints with gobs of connective
tissue that you need to train, stretch, and release.
So be patient!

PLEASE NOTE: in both these postures, keep you front
ankle in-line with (or in front of) your front knee for
safety. That’s all for today…

Stay bendy,

Yoga Inversion Swing for Backbends

p.s. What’s your favorite hip stretch? Post your comments
down below…

Want to Read More Yoga Articles?

  1. Kimi wrote
    at 5:23 pm - 21st December 2008 Permalink

    Great tips, thanks!

  2. KUBA wrote
    at 11:27 am - 8th May 2010 Permalink

    I have question about your Yogabody handbook. Your plan include five days diffrent muscle target area, so only one a week hamstrings- it ist’t better to do hamstring every day and when I reach target, change for a hips. What do You suggest?

  3. Lucas wrote
    at 11:32 am - 8th May 2010 Permalink

    @Kuba – thanks for writing. Yes, that is one strategy. If hamstrings are your only goal area to work on, then yes. Flexibility is very systemic and inter-connected, so if you’re looking to improve full body flexibility, it’s best to work holistically. Hope that helps! -LR

  4. Big yo wrote
    at 11:14 pm - 8th August 2010 Permalink

    Is Lotus Style the same with the Warrior I posture? Because I’ve been doing it when I’m meditating.

  5. Wella wrote
    at 9:11 am - 13th August 2010 Permalink

    I’m guilty being so obsessed open up my tight hips. I’ve been in yoga class for just 2 months, and its really frustrating sometimes that when I do the yoga posses then my hips would hurt. Its a good thing that I have learned from your tips. Thanks!