What Do Tight Hips Say About Your Emotional Health?
The Islander Magazine
My name is Debbie Lash, I am a LA trained yoga teacher and health coach. I’m passionate about helping people take control of their health in order to live their best life.
In our society, we tend to sit too much. Be it at our desk, in front of the TV, in our cars, or on planes & trains. We are a forward facing race and tight hips/hamstrings can take their toll. In fact, you know that nagging lower back pain you’ve been complaining about, well it may not be stemming from any back issue at all, because the source of the problem could actually be tight hip flexors. Unfortunately, tight hips normally means much less mobility in your body that can hinder simple daily activities like walking and climbing stairs. The good news is that it can be fairly easily fixed if you put in the work.
So what are your hip flexors?
If you are standing, the hip flexors are the muscles at the top of your thigh that lift your leg when you step up. If you are lying flat on your back, the hip flexors can either lift your leg or lift up your torso into a sit-up. The hip flexor muscles cross the front of the hips and create hip flexion, pulling the thigh and torso toward each other. But probably the most important is the iliopsoas. It is actually composed of two muscles, the iliacus and the ever-mysterious psoas, which lie deep in the back of the abdomen. Because the muscles are buried so deep, we can’t see or touch them, so it’s easy to understand why there is so much mystery about their location and action.
Most problems with the hip flexors don’t originate in a lack of strength but in a lack of flexibility. If the hip is constantly kept in a flexed position, like sitting, for hours every day, day after day, the hip flexors will shorten and shrink, limiting your ability to fully extend the hip.
Connection between your hips and emotions
The hips can be a bit of a storage container for old memories, traumas, and uncomfortable emotions like shame and negative relationships. Carrying around all these emotions compounds our day-to-day stress, further ages us, wreaks havoc on our body and health, and results in serious long-term consequences, such as excess weight, anxiety, and even physical pain.
From a Hindu or Tantric yoga perspective, the pelvis is the home of the second chakra, an energetic center believed by some to house creative energy and sexuality. It’s also linked to how you relate to your emotions and the emotions of others.
A blocked sacral chakra is said to lead to emotional instability as well as a reduction in pleasure. When the hips are tight and contracted, it’s possible that sacral energy not expressed remains stuck.
Releasing tension in the hips
Back in the day I wasn’t aware what it was to have tight hips. That was until I attended my first yoga class and the teacher put us in single pigeon and when my hips started screaming at me I had an aha moment,
The great news is that yoga really does help relieve tight hips. There are some fantastic hip opening poses that relieve aches and pains, increase the overall mobility in your whole hip area and work to prevent the dreaded old hip replacement, which sadly is now starting to effect people earlier in life.
Stretching the hip muscles causes a release allowing old trapped emotions to melt away. Many people experience tears in these poses, not tears of pain but a releasing of old emotions resurfacing. I always tell my students that this is a good thing; let if go, this is the yoga weaving its magic.
This is a yoga sequence to help stretch tight hips, be sure to do both sides of the body, holding the poses for 1 minute on each side and you could link the poses together with Sun Salutation A.
Lizard Pose Variation
Extended Side Angle Pose
Half Happy Baby, Half Super Baddha Konasana
Supine Pigeon Pose Twist
I have a yoga class on my YouTube Channel ‘Debbie Lash Yoga’ specifically designed to relieve tight hips and lower back pain. If you have any questions or would like to contact me, you can via the following ways:
Please come join one of my classes at Earth Yoga in Santa Catalina and Portals, I would love to meet you on your mat. You can find my schedule on my website above.