If you’ve experienced lower back pain and hip muscles that are uncomfortable that impede mobility, or you struggle to maintain good posture then tight hips might be at the root of your problem. Focusing on hip opening stretches through the practice of yoga can ease your pain and strengthen your body from the hips through the spine, bringing much needed relief.

The Problem With Tight Hips

A woman who has tight hips performs the Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Yoga Pose) to release them.

A lot of muscles are at work in the hips, in fact more than 20 muscles work together in that area to stabilize your pelvis and aid in your ability to easily sit, run, jump, pedal, walk, stand with good posture and more.

If you work a desk job or you are a regular cyclist or runner then you may have noticed tight hips after your workout or when standing from your desk. Sitting, cycling and running all constrict the hip muscles which will make them tight and uncomfortable over time.

Unfortunately when one muscle group of the body is limited it has a ripple affect and those tight hips can lead to other issues such as lower back pain, rounded shoulders. Implementing hip opening stretches can be a simple, relaxing and enjoyable solution to all that suffering.

How Yoga Stretches for Hips can Help

The good news is that¬† quitting your desk job or giving up running doesn’t have to be the answer to your hip tightness. Yoga stretches can decrease that tightness, increase your mobility through your hips and relieve the aches and pains you’re experiencing.

You’ll notice that your posture will improve and your exercise performance will improve as you incorporate yoga postures for the hips into your daily routine.

9 Great Hip Opening Stretches

1- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

Jen Bonny of Let's Practice Yoga performs the Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge Yoga Pose)

This is a great hip opening stretch that will increase flexibility. With your feet hip-distance apart step forward into a lunge with your right foot. Bring your back knee down to the mat, bringing your hips forward so you can feel the stretch in the back leg. Hold for 15-30 seconds and then repeat with your legs switching position.

2- Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)

A woman performs the Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Yoga Pose)

If your hips are too tight for this pose when you first try, don’t worry, you can work up to this pose. The lizard yoga pose starts similar to the Anjaneyasana by settling into a low lunge, one foot forward and one foot back. Bring the back leg to the mat and with your hands to the inside of your forward foot, slowly come down onto your forearms. Hold your weight through the heel of your forward foot. Hold for 15-30 seconds before switching legs.

3- Seated Pigeon

Jen Bonny of Let's Practice Yoga performs Seated Pigeon Yoga Pose

Sit on your mat with your knees bent in front and flat feet on the floor. Bring your right angle on top of your left thigh, balancing with your hands behind your body, fingertips facing away from your body. Press your hips toward your heel and feel the stretch through your outer hip. Focus on keeping your back tall and your chest open. Hold for 15-30 seconds of deep breaths, then repeat on the other side.

4- Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)

A woman performs the Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Yoga Pose)

While sitting put your legs in front of you in a V-shape. Rotate your thighs so that your knees point to the ceiling with your feet flexed, toes up. Lean forward, walking your hands between your legs as far as you can comfortably go. Breathe and hold for 30 seconds.

5- Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby)

A woman performs the Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Yoga Pose)

Laying on your back, bend your knees towards your chest while your feet go up toward the sky. Hook your elbows to the inside of your knees and reach your hands to hold on to the outside of your feet. Press your feet into your hands while simultaneously pulling down on your feet with your hands. Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds.

6- Butterfly Stretch

Jen Bonny of Let's Practice Yoga performs the Butterfly Stretch Yoga pose

Butterfly stretch is gentle for beginners and it’s easy to increase the stretch as your hips become more flexible. Start by sitting on the floor with a long spine, both knees bent so the soles of your feet come together. Hold your hands around your feet, bringing your torso over your legs. To increase the stretch you can extend your hands long in front of you and hold for 30 seconds.

7- Malasana (Yogi Squat)

Jen Bonny of Let's Practice Yoga performs the Malasana (Yogi Squat)

This pose starts from a standing position, toes turned out about 45 degrees. Bring your hands to a prayer position at your chest as you squat down as low as you can go. Press your elbows against your inner knees as you hold your squat. Hold for 30 seconds.

8- Frog Pose

A woman performs the Frog Yoga Pose

This is an intense level of hip opening stretches. If you’re ready to see a deeper stretch and you have no ankle or knee injuries then this is a good pose to try. Get down on all fours, palms on the floor and knees on your mat. Slowly widen your knees apart until you feel a comfortable stretch along your inner thigh. Your calf and side of your foot should be touching the floor with your ankles in line with your knees. Lower to your forearms and hold the position for 30 seconds. For a gentler start to this pose try doing it one leg at a time.

9- Hero Pose

A woman performs the Hero Yoga pose

This is a gentle hip opening stretch. Kneel on your mat and place a yoga block between your feet. Bring your inner knees together, sliding your feet apart so they are slightly wider than your hips, tops the feet pushing into the mat. Sit down on the yoga block while resting your hands on your thighs. When you are ready for an intermediate version you can remove the yoga block. Hold for 30 seconds.

Need More Help With Hip Opening Stretches?

If you’ve never done much yoga before it can feel intimidating to start and know if you are doing the poses correctly. Unfortunately practicing the yoga pose wrong can put undue stress on your joints and do harm rather than help.

If you’re looking for guided instruction and an experienced yoga mentor to help with your tight hips, posture problems and back pain then you can sign up for my Beginner Yoga Course online here. And if you’re a 50 or older woman like I am you’ll especially enjoy my 30 premium yoga videos in the beginner course. I’m an expert yoga instructor, grandmother, and loves to help other women like you attain better balance, flexibility, strength and physical health through yoga. Join my course here. Let’s practice yoga together at your pace to help you become stronger, more relaxed, and healthier today!