These yoga hip stretches will improve your range of motion, core strength and overall flexibility in no time! The hip opening yoga poses (asanas) on this top ten list also enhances your mood & alleviates stress.
As children, we were naturally flexible and we could bend and stretch in any direction…
But as we get older, we become increasingly immobile during the day. Most adults have become chronic sitters – driving, watching tv, sitting at your desk at work…
These mundane tasks and activities we do day-after-day shortens our hip flexors.
Shortened hip flexors result in tight hips and once you get tight hips, discomfort is soon inevitable…as tight hips limits your range of motion and contributes to low back pain, and bad posture.
If you have tight hips – you lose your natural range of motion, which makes you more prone to physical injury, as a result – you’ll experience back and knee problems much more frequently…
And you’ll also accumulate a lot of negative energy.
According to the tenets of yoga, tights hips is where negative energy, such as sadness and fear, build up…therefore, tight hips negatively affect your mental and emotional states.
These top 10 yoga hip stretches will heal both your physical and emotional states by moving prana (positive energy) through your hips.
By literally taking just 10 to 15 minutes a day to do these hip opening yoga moves, the openness and natural balance in your hips will be restored within a short month.
The yoga hip stretches listed below will loosen your hips…resulting in improved mobility, spinal flexibility and even an improved mental, and emotional state of mind.
Let’s get started with our list of yoga hip stretches that’ll increase your core strength, stamina and athletic agility in no time!
Half Happy Baby Pose – (Ananda Balasana)
The half happy baby pose (Ananda Balasana) is one of the best yoga hip stretches for beginners.
This gentle hip opening yoga pose primarily targets the inner thighs.
It’s also one of the most basic yoga moves for novices, the sequence is as follows:
- Begin by lying flat on your back and part your knees wider than your torso.
- Pull your right knee towards your chest, while leaving the other leg straight and extended.
- Then grasp the outer sole of your right foot and press your right knee down towards the floor as far as you can.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds, while gently rocking your right leg from side to side.
- Repeat with the left leg.
Note: You should deepen the stretch with each deep breath.
The frog pose is our 9th best hip opening yoga move.
This is one of the more intense yoga hip stretches that target the inner thighs.
Only try this pose if your ankles and knees are free from injury. The sequence is as follows:
- Begin on all fours on your mat and turn your feet out to either side.
- Place a towel under your right knee and allow it to slide away from your body as far as it can.
- Keep the inside of each calf and foot in contact with the floor, then lower your hips and chest towards the mat as low as you can.
- Place your forearms and palms flat against the floor and allow your head to rest on your hands.
- Then allow your hips to sink towards the floor until you feel a deep comfortable stretch in your inner thighs and groin area.
- Make sure to keep your ankles in line with your knees and hold the pose for 60 seconds while taking deep breaths.
Note: Always deepen the stretch with each deep breath you take.
Seated Wide-Legged Forward Bend – (Upavistha Konasana)
This is one of the more moderate yoga hip stretches on this list.
The seated wide-legged forward bend is our 8th best hip opening yoga pose.
It really tests your flexibility and it has two variations.
This hip opening yoga sequence is as follows:
- Begin seated on your mat with your legs extended straight in front of you.
- Then, slowly open your legs as wide as possible (you should feel some comfortable tension)
- Keep your toes and knees pointed upwards, while pressing your legs flat onto the floor.
- Now, extend your arms in front of your legs by placing your forearms and palms flat onto the floor, while keeping your spine straight.
- Hold the pose for 60 seconds, while taking in deep breaths.
OPTIONAL VARIATION: While placing your forearms and palms flat onto the floor – lower your head and chest towards the floor as low as possible.
Deep Squat – Modified Garland Pose – (Malasana)
We reached the 7th spot on our top ten list…
Next-up in our line-up of yoga hip stretches…is the deep squat.
This hip opening yoga move is the most gentle pose for beginners.
The deep squat is also known as the modified garland pose and its sequence is as follows:
- Begin standing upright with your feet placed apart as wide as your mat.
- Unlock your knees and sink your torso down into your hips as low as possible, coming to a rest in a deep squat.
- Lean slightly forward and bring your palms together into a prayer position.
- Draw your palms towards your heart, then gently press your elbows out against your inner thighs and push them apart as wide as possible.
- Hold the pose for 60 seconds, while taking in deep breaths.
Note: Keep your spine as straight as possible throughout the whole movement.
Half Chair Ankle to Knee
The half-chair ankle to knee pose is an excellent addition to our list of yoga hip stretches.
This hip opening yoga move has a moderate intensity level, but it requires good balance to execute.
The sequence for this yoga pose is as follows:
- Begin standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and parallel.
- Bend your knees and shift your weight towards your right foot as you cross your left ankle over your right knee. Lift your arms over your head to help with your balance.
- Then sink your hips down as if you were about to sit on a chair.
- Sink your hips down as low as you can without toppling over.
- Hold the pose for 10 – 30 seconds.
- Repeat the pose with the other leg.
Note: Keep your spine as straight as possible throughout the entire movement.
Warrior II Pose
This hip opening yoga pose has an intensity level of gentle.
The warrior II pose takes the 5th spot on our countdown of the best yoga hip stretches.
Its asana sequence is as follows:
- From downward dog position – step your right foot forward between your hands, while spinning your left heel flat-down. Also slightly angle your left foot out.
- Spread your arms out to either side of your body, they should be parallel to one another with the palms facing down.
- Look out over your leading right arm in front of you and bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle, while keeping it in-line with your right ankle.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Note: Always keep the entire back-foot flatly planted on the floor.
Lizard Pose – (Utthan Pristhasana)
This is one of the best yoga hip stretches for anyone looking to widen their walking strides.
The lizard pose is a well-known hip opening yoga pose and it has a moderate intensity level.
Its sequence is as follows:
- From Downward dog position – bring your left leg forward towards the outside of your left arm – your left foot should be placed next to the outside of your left hand.
- Next – extend your right leg out behind you as far as possible and slightly lower your right knee to the floor.
- Sink down into your hips, bend both arms, then lower your forearms flat on the floor, on the inside of your left leg.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then do the same for the other side.
Note: Keep your head and chest raised during the pose.
Low Lunge with Back Knee Down – Crescent Lunge Variation – (Anjaneyasana)
The low lunge with back knee down, is our 3rd most popular hip opening yoga pose.
This crescent lunge variation is one of the best yoga hip stretches that target the hip flexors.
It has a moderate intensity level and follows the sequence below:
- From downward dog – bring your left foot forward between your arms.
- Lower your right leg to the floor – your right knee and shin should be completely flat on the floor.
- Straighten out your back and place your hands on your left thigh.
- Lean slightly back as you bend your knee at a 60 degree angle – keeping it directly over your toes.
- Hold the pose for 60 seconds, then repeat the sequence on the opposite side.
Note: Press your hands forward into the leading knee as you slightly lean back.
Ankle to Knee – Modified Fire Log Pose – (Agnistambhasana)
This list of yoga hip stretches wouldn’t be complete without the ankle to knee pose.
This modified fire log pose is our 2nd most popular hip opening yoga move and it has a moderate intensity level.
It has the following sequence:
- Begin with sitting upright on your mat.
- Place your left foot on top of your right knee and slide your right foot directly underneath your left knee.
- Press your hips down and with the palms facing down, plant your forearms flat on the floor and your elbows should be touching your shins.
- Then lean your torso forward towards the floor as low as possible.
- Hold the pose for 60 seconds, then switch legs.
Note: keep your spine straight throughout the entire movement.
One Legged King Pigeon Pose – (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
The one legged king pigeon is our last hip opening move on our countdown.
Its one of the most popular yoga hip stretches that focuses on the glutes, outer thighs and hip flexors.
It has a moderate level of intensity and its sequence is as follows:
- From downward facing dog – sweep your left shin towards the front – your left knee towards your left wrist and your left ankle towards your right wrist.
- Allow your right leg to rest flat on the floor and the top of your right foot should be facing down.
- Keep your left shin horizontal in front of you, then sink down with the right hip as low as you can without causing too much pain.
- Now, crawl your hands forward to steady yourself as your lower your torso forward – with each deep breath, slowly lower your torso towards the floor until you are completely folded over with your forehead resting on the floor.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.
By incorporating these poses into your workout routine, you’ll experience a big difference in your mobility even during simple movements, as your increased flexibility becomes more noticeable.
And there you have it…the best yoga hip stretches that’ll improve your range of motion, core strength and overall flexibility in no time!
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