Top 10 Yoga Exercises for Hip Pain

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Yoga is an excellent form of exercise to reduce hip pain. Yoga has many poses or "asanas" that stretch and open the hips. These 10 poses range from basic to intermediate level of difficulty and are possible for almost everyone to do. You can try these at home daily or whenever you are in pain.

Four people do forward bends on mats in yoga class.
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There are many seated yoga poses to open and stretch the hips to relieve pain. To perform Pigeon, cross your right leg in front of you and extend your left leg straight back. Your right knee and ankle will be on the floor. Hold yourself upright with your hands pressed into the mat. Your right hand will be just outside the right knee and your left hand will be above the left ankle. Try to keep your hips even and sink them down toward the floor. After five breaths, switch sides. Supine Pigeon is similar to the earlier variation but lying on your back. Cross your right leg over your left thigh below the knee. Reach behind the left leg and pull gently into the chest. Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed on the mat. Hold for five breaths and switch legs.

A woman holds pigeon pose.
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For Tortoise, extend your legs straight in front of you and open them as wide as is comfortable. Reach for your toes, ankles or shins and bend forward from the waist trying to touch your chest to the floor. Maintain a straight spine and look down.

A woman does tortoise pose on a mat.
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Bound Angle is one of the simplest yoga poses. Sit up tall and bring your heels together. Allow your knees to fall toward the floor. This is similar to a butterfly stretch. Grab your ankles and pull yourself upright.

To perform Balancing Bound Angle, get in the bound angle pose, grab your toes and lift your legs into the air. Bend your elbows. Balance on your "sit bones" and keep the bottoms of your feet touching. Look straight ahead. Hold for five breaths if you can. Always breathe in and out through the nose.

A young woman sits in bound angle pose on an urban patio.
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Try to hold these standing poses for five breaths each. Some will require more balance than others. You can always use a wall or a chair if you need to for balance.

For Wide Leg Forward Bend, stand with your feet greater than shoulder-width apart. Point your toes straight forward. Bend at the waist with a straight spine and walk your hands down your legs. Grab your shins, ankles or big toes if you can. Relax your neck and point your elbows to the ceiling. Come up slowly to avoid dizziness.

Two women do wide leg forward bend together at a studio.
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For Prayer Squat, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and your toes turned out. Squat all the way down so your buttocks are below your knees but not touching the floor. Your goal is to keep your heels on the floor, but if they raise slightly it is OK. Bring your hands in front of your heart in prayer position with your palms together. Push your hips open with your elbows and raise your chin slightly.

To do Garland from Prayer Squat pose, reach behind your back and clasp your hands. Your triceps and elbows will be in front of your knees as you reach around your hips. Lift your chin.

A yoga class does prayer squat.
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The hips can also be stretched while lying down. To perform Joyful Baby, lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Grab your toes and extend your legs straight into the air. Knees can be bent, but try to press your heels to the ceiling. Hold for five to seven breaths. Transition into Goddess pose by bringing the bottoms of your feet together with knees bent.

A baby naturally does Joyful Baby pose.
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