Click on the video below to learn more
Learn this super simple and quick trick to open into your hips using bound angle pose or Baddhakonasana. Make sure you have 2 blocks handy.
Hip opening poses have a very profound effect on all of us, physically and emotionally.
Physically, hips openers work on releasing the psoas muscles, which are known as our "stress" muscles. They are the muscles that are activated when our sympathetic nervous system is triggered resulting in our "fight or flight" response. Because of our super stressful lifestyles, the muscles are constantly engaged and we are never afforded the opportunity to relax them to calm the nervous system. Working with hip opening poses, such as Baddhakonasana gives us the perfect tool to start to let go of the tension in those muscles and take control of the damaging effects stress causes in the body.
Emotionally, opening into the hips helps to release past, unresolved energy related to certain relationships we hold in our lives. We store a lot of our emotions in our bodies, especially in our hips. Working with the breath and hip opening Yoga poses will help you to release and resolve those emotions.
This sequence of poses uses blocks to help you get a deeper opening into your hips.
Click the video above to start your journey opening into your hips.
The psoas is a deep-seated core muscle connecting the lumbar vertebrae to the femur. The psoas major is the biggest and strongest player in a group of muscles called the hip flexors: together they contract to pull the thigh and the torso toward each other. These are the muscles that jump into effect when our “Fight/Flight” Sympathetic Nervous system is activated. They help us to run away from a threat or curl up in a ball to protect our vital organs in an attack. Back in the day, these muscles were used to run from predators or when we were hunting our food. Nowadays, we don’t have those types of life-threatening situations BUT our bodies are constantly in “Fight/Flight” mode because of the amount of stress we are under. So, those psoas muscles are always engaged and always telling our bodies that we are under attack. Releasing the psoas muscles helps to tell the body that the threat has passed and gives the body permission to relax and let go.
We have a big tendency to round into our spines to protect our hearts. This comes from having a bad posture and working on our computers and phones all day. This is not a comfortable position for our bodies but we spend most of our time in this position. When we come into forward folds in our Yoga asana class, this tendency makes itself so well known. So, we encourage you in these types of poses to really lengthen your neck and keep your shoulders away from your ears. AS soon as you do that, you automatically self-correct your posture. The more your teacher tells you to do this the more aware of it you become, and hopefully, one day you’ll be sitting at your computer and your Yoga teacher’s voice will pop into your head telling you to relax your shoulders, lengthen your neck and unclench your jaw.
Why is Baddhaknoasana beneficial?
Baddhakonasana is a fantastic pose to work into your hips. It doesn’t require much strength so you can spend some time working into this pose. It’s also a very valuable pose to measure your own progress. Releasing into those super-tight hip flexors is very important to reduce the physical manifestations of stress in the body. Because we spend a lot of time sitting behind computers, stressing a lot, our psoas muscles are constantly engaged. This means that our bodies are constantly producing adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormone, which is not our natural state. This pose helps to relax those muscles, release stress and stop the production of those stress hormones.
What are the Psoas muscles?
Why do I need to open my hips?
To release those stress muscles and start to work on letting go of the pent up, unresolved emotions that sit there. Opening into your hips involves lengthening your hamstrings and bringing more space and movement into your hip girdle. It also helps release lower back pain and contributes to a better posture.