Do you feel like you’re constantly on edge or have lots of pent up emotions that should be released? Whether you err on the side of depression or anxiety, most yogis can attest to the fact that the body stores up our excess emotion. Occasionally, it needs a little help to release the emotional tension, and yoga can help to do just that.
Many negative emotions and experiences can be stored in the hip area, according to yogis who experienced emotional relief for themselves. If you need some help letting go of things, put on a stretchy pair of yoga leggings and try some of these hip openers during your practice.
You can feel strong and secure as you stand confidently in the Warrior II pose while also opening up the hips. Your hips will become more flexible and more apt to release any tension that has been stored there. The intense gaze, or drishti, that is encouraged with the Warrior II also aids in boosting confidence.
From a standing mountain pose, turn to face the long side of your mat. With arms extended to the sides at shoulder height, feet should be directly under the ankles. Turn the forward foot out and the back foot slightly in, bending deep into the front knee. The knee should remain over the ankle and the gaze should be straight ahead.
Do you prefer to recline and practice some hip openers? The Happy Baby pose requires yogis to lie on their back, bringing the knees into the chest. Grab the pinky-toe side of the foot and extend the feet upward. Roll side to side, massaging the lower back and enjoying the gentle stretch for the hips.
This pose is a gentle point for beginners to hip openers who know they have some stored-up tension and negativity in their lives.
The Pigeon pose is an ultimate test for both your hip flexibility and for your emotions. The more severe stretch can lead to more emotional breakthrough than some of the gentler hip openers. If you’re prepared and physically capable of doing this pose, it’s an excellent addition to your finishing postures.
From the downward facing dog, lift up one leg, bending the knee and bringing it forward to the front of the mat. The knee should be in line with the wrist, with the ankle reaching across toward the opposite wrist. Keep hips square to the front of the mat as you lower down. If possible, lean forward and rest the head on the mat while you enjoy this posture.
The Cow Face pose offers one of the most intense hip openers in a yoga practice. You may have to work up to this pose in order to get into the fullest version, so take your time. Enter into it gently, respecting your body.
From a seated position, bend one leg so that the knee is pointed directly in front of you. Bend the other knee and stack it on top, taking care to ensure that the knees are right on top of each other. Grab the feet with the hands and sit up nice and tall. You may not be able to do much more, but you can lean forward over the knees if the hips will allow it.
Make the most of your yoga practice physically and emotionally by opening up the hips. You can dispel negativity and work on letting go of old wounds that the body has stored up over time with some of these poses.