Where do you hold your negativity and stress? Some people hold stress in their shoulders and neck – this was really common for me when I was a student. Long hours hunched over the books and poor posture are not the best combination.
Would you be surprised if I told you lots of stress is held in the hips? According to an article in Yoga Journal, we hold stress and negative emotions like fear, guilt, and sadness in our pelvis. The pelvis is like a “junk drawer” of emotions; it’s the place that feeling and experiences go to when we don’t know where else to put them. Stretching and opening this area allows prana to flow.
For a woman, a healthy pelvis is vital for healthy menstruation and childbirth. Hip opening poses can help ease the pain and discomfort that comes with menstruation and tonify the muscles of the pelvis. Restorative poses that maintain the health of the pelvic floor and hip muscles can make it easier to recover from childbirth and labor.
These are my favorite hip opening yoga poses for women:
Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
I love moving into this pose from downward dog. It’s a very easy transition and holding it for five long breaths always feels so good. A low lunge is felt deep in the front of the thigh and into your groin. Learn this pose.
Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
Cow Face Pose involves folding your legs over one another in a seated position. My favorite variation involves folding forward and resting your head near your knees. You’ll feel the stretch in your lower back and hips. Be sure to stretch both sides. Learn this pose.
Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle is a simple pose in which you bring the heels of your feet together while seated. I always feel this deep in my hip flexors. Challenge yourself to sit in this pose for 3-5 minutes for a really deep stretch. Learn this pose.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Bound Angle is so relaxing. This is a restorative pose for the inner and outer thighs; it also stretches the groin. Stay in this pose for at least 5 minutes for a deep stretch. Learn this pose.
Your turn: what is your favorite yoga pose? Where do you hold your stress?