Looking for simple hip stretches that don’t require a lot of effort? Want hip stretches that you can relax and settle in for as long as you want? These hip stretches will help you stretch, unwind and relax and all you need is a floor, a wall, and some time! These are not just yoga poses for beginners. Oh no, my friend, even the most advanced yoga student who's been practicing for years can find so much satisfaction from these hip stretches.
Before we start, the benefits result in reduced stress, healthy movement, incorporating strength & stretch exercises, and your choice to move at the pace that’s appropriate for you.
So let’s dive in:
Lie down anywhere, bend your knees and place your feet parallel with one another. With your arms by your side, lift your hips away from the floor, hold & lower. A few great things are happening in this pose. First, Bridge is a glute strengthener, remember to engage your glutes when you lift your hips. Second, this pose is a beneficial shape to practice if you sit a lot during the day, or sleep on your side in a fetal pose. Counteracting the effects of hip flexion. Third, the support of the floor underneath you, helps you feel safe while practicing the pose which leads to Nervous System regulation and stress reduction.
Figure 4 Against the Wall
Lie down close to a wall and lift your legs up so your heels rest against the wall. Cross your right ankle over your left knee and start to slide your left foot down the wall until you feel a stretch in your right hip. Such a wonderful hip stretch, you just have to feel it to appreciate it. The benefits of this variation of the pose is threefold - you don’t have to reach for the back of your left thigh, you can adjust how much or little stretch you want by adjusting your left foot on the wall, and it's so supportive that you can lie here for as long as you like! Grab a book, watch tv, meditate… the options are yours.
Leg Stretch Against the Wall
Lie down on your back close to the wall, bend your left knee and slide your foot down. Keep your right leg straight so you focus on one leg at a time. If you don’t feel a stretch, scoot your bottom closer to the wall. Now, again, imagine how long you can chill and enjoy this pose.
Wall supported poses help you feel a sense of support and security. Knowing there’s a “prop” that’s always there, you don't have to hold onto it, and it won't move or slide away from you either!
Supine Hip Opener
Lie down, bend your knees and step your feet together to touch. Open your knees and let your outer thighs lower towards the floor. To feel more support you can place pillows under your thighs and let them rest open on the pillows. Benefits include a feeling of openness inside your thighs, practicing opening your hips from the center of your body, and a restful position which might be outside your norm.
Supine Side Stretch
Lie down with your legs straight. Walk both heels to the left, keep your hips where they are and scoot your shoulders to the left as well, then reach both arms overhead. Think about a crescent moon shape here. Notice what you feel on the right side of your body. Notice where you feel a stretch - outer thigh, outer hip, right waist, side of your ribs, or underneath your arm. The location of the stretch sensation is different for everyone, so just take note of what you feel and where. Now think about how often you stretch your sides during the day, and how beneficial it is for your body to lie in this shape and just chillax.
Try any or all of these anytime - in the morning to help ease into your day, during the workday as a means to disconnect from the world and relax, or before bed to help unwind & send stress away to help you sleep better at night. Hip stretches don't have to require a ton of energy, all you need is the intention and a little bit of permission to soften.
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Monica is a master yoga teacher in the areas of anatomy, biomechanics, injuries, recovery strategies & self massage. She believes yoga is a life practice and teaches students how to create a sustainable practice that can be utilized throughout all times of life. She teaches tips, tools, and practices that students use to enhance their practice whether they're injured, aging, or looking to improve their quality of life. Monica teaches yoga online in her membership The Alliance, coaches students and teachers & her Signature Course is Yoga Foundations - where students engage in small group learning & coaching on the numerous ways you can build a sustainable yoga practice.