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FITNESS Yoga for tight hips

Loosen up tight hips

Lee Kennedy

Tight hips are common complaint for many people, from runners to cyclists, deskbound office workers to triathletes.
The iliacus and the psoas muscles – sometimes known as the hip flexors – are often the culprits. Extending from the lower back, over the pelvis and to the legs, these tough tissues enable us to lift our legs when we’re lying on our back, or lift up our torso in a sit-up. If they get tight and shortened, we end up with tight hips.
The following two yoga poses (the Cobbler’s Pose or ‘Baddha konasana’ and a simple lunge) should be practised consecutively for ten minutes, six days a week – consistency is essential for results. Combine them with a regular weekly yoga class and you are positively working towards freeing up any tightness or tension in this area.

Cobbler’s Pose
  • Sitting on a yoga mat, extend both your legs out in front, then bend the knees, from the back of the knee, and bring the soles of the feet together and draw the feet as close to the base of the body as possible.
  • Fold forward and place the finger tips on the floor, then walk the fingertips forward until you can’t fold any further.
  • Relax everything – legs, back, neck, head and arms – and breath normally for one to two minutes, focusing on releasing and letting go in the hip flexors, inner thighs and groins.
  • Release the stretch and come to all fours.
Simple lunge
  • While on all fours, ensure the hands are roughly shoulder width apart and the knees about hip width apart
  • Step the right foot up in between the hands, keeping the left knee on the floor
  • Ease the right foot forward until the right ankle is underneath or just sitting in front of the right knee
  • Bring both hands onto the floor inside of the right leg, and if it’s comfortable, drop down onto the elbows
  • Relax everything – legs, back, neck, head and arms – and breath normally for 1-2 minutes.
  • Release that right foot back to all fours, and repeat on the other side
Lee Kennedy has a Yoga-teaching Diploma from the YTTC and an Iyengar-teaching Certificate from BKS Iyengar Yoga UK. For current local and private classes, phone 086 3906343.