The demands we put on our bodies everyday can lead to tight hips and hamstrings. Everything from sitting at a desk too long to a strenuous workout can cause your muscles to become tight. A Hip Opening sequence restores the hips to their natural position, provides relief and comes with many additional benefits.

When your hips are tight, your lower back has to work overtime to make up for the lack of mobility. This can cause a range of issues including low back pain, bad form in exercise and poor posture. In addition to the physical issues with tight hips, we also hold quite a bit of tension and negative emotion in the hips. Spend just a few minutes each day opening the hips and you’ll not only have improved mobility, you will feel better emotionally.

This sequence is designed as a variation of the sun salutation. You can either incorporate the sequence into your warm up, or use this as a short practice. For a warm up, flow through each posture, only holding each pose for a few short breaths. If you want a deeper practice, hold each pose for at least five deep breaths before moving onto the next pose, and finish with your favorite deep hip opener.

Just a few simple changes to your sun salute can invigorate your practice and leave you feeling fantastic!

1. Start off with two to three Sun Salutation A’s before adding in the additional hip opening postures.

2. Stand tall in Mountain and lift your arms up overhead. Fold forward towards the mat.  Bend your right knee as you gently twist and stretch your left hand towards the ceiling. Hold this posture for two to three breaths before switching to the opposite side.


3. Come back to a neutral forward fold before taking the vinyasa of your choice.


4. Come to downward facing dog and take five deep healing breaths before moving into three-legged dog.  Lift the right leg high and allow the hips to open as you drop the right foot towards the left side of your mat.


5. Look through the hands as your bring your right foot forward and open up to Warrior II. Hold Warrior II for several breaths before moving back to downward facing dog. Lift the right leg high once more and bring the right knee behind the right wrist and settle into pigeon pose. Lift back into downward facing dog and then complete the sequence on the opposite side.




5. Finish with the hip opening posture of your choice before resting in Savasana


This article was a collaboration between Danielle Sack & Teanna Gentry. Photo credit: Sukha Design & Photography.

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