When emotional stress begins to manifest as tightness in your body—and it usually shows up as tension in the hips—try these yoga poses for relief.
There’s a common saying in yoga, “we carry our issues in our tissues.” And those issues usually manifest as tightness in the hips and shoulders.
You’ve probably noticed that when you feel overwhelmed or stressed, your body is more constricted, similar to your mind. Emotional stress does manifest in the body, and you can release it through regular meditation.
Yoga poses can compliment your meditation practice and help support releasing tension in the body. Practice these five hip openers prior to your meditation for some relief.
Supta Baddhakonasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
Extend your arms into a T-shape or overhead. Make sure the back of your head is resting on the mat and you can find some comfort in this pose. Stay for about three minutes, breathing deeply. Notice if you’re holding onto any tension, especially around the hips or buttocks and allow yourself to surrender into this posture.
Parsva Balasana (Thread the Needle Pose)
If your head starts to lift off the mat, release the left leg and keep the left foot on the floor. Start to arch the lower back a bit to feel more sensation in the outer right hip. Stay for about 10 to 15 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist)
Hug your right knee in towards your chest and cross it over your left leg. Notice if you’re rounding your lower back. Keep lengthening your spine.
Keep the left leg extended, or you can bend the left leg and place it underneath the right. Make sure both sit bones are still on the mat. If not, keep the left leg extended.
On your inhale, reach your left arm up towards the sky, extending through your waist. Exhale and wrap your left arm around your right knee as you place your right fingertips down behind your sacrum. Use your core strength to maintain stability in the pelvis rather than leaning onto your right hand. Try to stay on your fingertips and keep less weight there. With each inhale, have the intention to lengthen your spine, and with each exhale, have the intention to deepen the twist. Keep your chin right on top of your sternum to avoid overextending the cervical spine. Stay for about five deep cycles of breath and repeat on the other side.
Upavista Konasana (Seated with Legs Extended)
Shift your body weight right on top of your sit bones. If your lower back is rounding, place a block or towel underneath you. Tilt your pelvis slightly forward and lengthen your spine. If you’re sitting on a block or towel, stay there with your spine upright. If you are sitting right on the mat and need some more sensation in your inner thighs, walk your hands forward and move into a forward fold. Take your time when deepening into a posture. Move with your breath and allow your muscles to relax. Stay for about 10 to 20 breaths.