Free Hip Opening Class Saturday 7/19!
Does hearing that a scheduled yoga class will be focused on hips make you happy…or miserable?
I’ve had my share of achy hips. Too much soccer has left my hip flexors aching enough to wake me up at night. So I’ve made an effort to keep a focus on my hips...stretching them out a little bit every night. It’s gone a long way to keep my hips fairly open, and the aching-- for the most part—is a thing of the past.
I’ve read somewhere recently in a medical article, the statement “the state of your hips represent the state of your life.” Reflecting on this, there seems to be a bit of truth in that for me. What about you? Our hips are said to store strong emotions, though I haven’t found any definitive answer on why this is the case.
One theory is that the large, powerful muscles in this region are very active in the flight or fight response. Even though we're no longer running away from predators, these muscles still react to stress of all kinds by tightening and holding chronic tension. So when we release these muscles it can relate to letting go of deep-seated memories of fear, grief and anger.
Another theory is that the hips connect our upper and lower bodies - parts that are greatly disjoined in the computer age, as we spend 8+ hours a day sitting at a desk, commuting, etc. This physical shift is said to be mirrored in the stagnation of emotions. With yoga, when we begin to re-connect the upper and lower bodies, emotions begin to flow.
I don’t know if either of these theories is accurate, but they both make some sense to me. What I do know is that our hips are hard workers. They stabilize us in our daily life. Open hips provide greater range of motion, more fluidity to your movements, and lower your risk of injury. This translates into a more active life—more walking, running, dancing, playing.
When a teacher announces “we are opening our hips today”, I hope you can will approach the mat with a sense of gentleness. Hip openings should not be forced! Let this strong, hard-working part of your body open using softness, acceptance, and breath.
Free class Saturday, July 19 at 4pm at Dragonfly Yoga & Wellness.
P.S. My favorite hip-opener is pigeon. What’s yours?