Yoga Exercises for Hips, Hip Opening Yoga Poses Benefits
Importance of Hips in Yoga
Hips are the part of the body where the lower limbs attach themselves to the torso via the pelvis. Down deep into the visible muscular cheeks of the hips join the two major bones of the body –the femur and the pelvis- through a ball and socket joint, over this joint are wrapped layers of ligaments, and the muscle fibers criss crossing over them which provide stability , and strength to the hips. The hip joint is a ball ( the round head of the femur or thigh bone ) and socket joint ( the socket like depression formed at the point of fusion of the three bones of the pelvis ( ilium, ischium, and pubis ) called the acetabulum. The head of the femur can rotate in the socket of acetabulum. The main purpose of the hip joint is to provide stability , and bear the weight of the body from above. The acetabulum is circumscribed by a cartilaginous us ring like collar ( the presence of which increases the depth of the socket, acetabulum) called the acetabular labrum. This collar like structure helps hold the head of the femur more firmly into the acetabulum for stability. A layer of ligaments and muscles wrapped over each other further add to the sturdiness of the joint.
The hip joint is capable of flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, lateral rotation, and medial rotation. Interestingly the hips act as the junkyards of our emotions. As per yoga, the hips store the emotional baggage of the individual, and become tight in the process of doing so. The more the emotional baggage, tighter will be the hips. At physical level tight hips may result from sitting at a place for long periods of time, tight quadriceps, tight inner thighs, or tight hamstrings. Yoga believes that the front of the hip joint is where we face the future, tightness in this area of the hips, muscles which help flex the hips, means we are not comfortable thinking about the future., or are fearful of the future.
Whenever one face any trauma the negative energy from there is known to get trapped in the hips causing them to tighten up. Svadhishthana chakra, the second chakra is located within the hips, tightness in the hips also tells about the inability to let go. This chakra represents desire, pleasure.
Tight hips indicate a closed relationship with oneself, or an inability to completely open up. Tightness in the back of the hips indicate that the person is clinging to the past. Hip opening yoga poses help release these trapped energies which help us move forward. Strength in the hips stabilizes the lower body during twisting, throwing something, or pressing down on something. Any weakness in the hips can cause weakness in the core, and lower body. Yoga exercises f or hips make them strong which prevents the lower back for compensating for their function ( thus preventing lower back pain) in case the hips were weak. Stronger hips benefit by holding the legs in right alignment, this prevents extra stress on the related joints like the knee joint.
Yoga for Hip in Shape
Yoga asanas for tight hips work by lengthening the hip flexors and other muscles present in the front of the hip. Lengthening these muscles improves the range of motion of the hip joint as these are the muscles which are rendered short by constant inactivity, or sedentary life. Tight hip flexors pull the upper front rim of the pelvis forward (tilt it anteriorly) which deepens the lower back curve leading to the pain in this area. Another of the hips opening yoga benefits is that it improves the range of motion of the hip joint which helps take off the pressure from the knee joint while one is required to rotate the leg outwards. In case one attempts to rotate the leg against tight hips the stress is transferred to the knee joint. Yoga for back pain also stresses upon the importance of increasing the flexibility of the muscles around the hips.
Yoga for toned hips also benefit by helping to avoid osteoporosis of the hip bones. The pressure these bones are subjected to while one attempt the targeted yoga poses stimulate the production of bone cells. Hip abductors are the muscles which we use whenever we move the leg away from the body’s midline, like while stepping out of a vehicle, or jumping sideways. Exercising the adductors improves one’s balance. Yoga asanas for hip flexors add strength to actions like kicking, bending, and running. One of the very important muscle which plays a significant role in flexion of the hip, but is not a hip muscles per se is the psoas muscle. This muscle has its origin in the lumber spine from where it weaves through the muscles of the pelvis, hips and then finally attaches to the femur, or the thigh bone, one strand each of this muscle originates on either lateral sides of the lumber spine and end up on each of the femurs. Yoga for hip reduction benefit by strengthening , and stretching the psoas muscle. This prevents pain in the lower back as a weak psoas muscle means lesser support to the lower back.
Yoga for opening, toning, and reducing Hips
Tone the hips
Stretches and tones