Skip to main content

Working deeper into stiff and tight hips



Sequence description

Stiffness and restriction in the hips are very common and can be the source of many issues in the back and shoulders. This sequence takes you deeper into the hips to deeply target any stiffness or restriction.

We work into the hips using the wall for support, moving through a variety of standing and sitting poses. A useful sequence for anyone with lifestyle-related stiff hips, arthritis or minor injury.

Step by step sequence

Let’s take the hip opening poses a little further.

Lie back in Supta Baddhakonasana using a bolster for the back and a belt for the legs. Then come up for simple cross leg forwards, resting the forehead onto the bolster, and changing sides to release both hips evenly. Come up to standing for Uttanasana, feet as wide as your mat to feel the lift this gives to the inner legs.

Placing two blocks horizontally against the wall, step into Adho Mukha Svanasana with the heels up onto the blocks, balls of the feet on the floor. Feel the lift of the hips when practising this way. Bend the knees and rest forward in Virasana.

Now a few standing poses to come into the legs, some with the back foot to the wall and some with the front ball of the foot up the wall. Start with Trikonasana, placing the front foot up the wall and taking the top hand over the head to the wall, elbow bent. Now change to have the back foot to the wall to feel the different action this brings.

Follow with Ardha Chandrasana, using a block for your front hand and placing the back foot against the wall to create more balance and a stronger hip opening. Finish the standing poses with Parsvottonasana, front foot up the wall and using blocks for the hands as needed.

Now try Vrksasana, with the bent leg kneecap placed firmly against the wall to help stabilise and open the bent leg hip further. Turn the waist so that both sides of the chest face forward.

Now come down to the floor to continue with your hip work in sitting poses.

Start with Virasana, using a support under the buttocks as needed, and placing the arms in Parvatasana, taking the elbows toward eachother to straighten the arms fully.
Follow with Baddha Konasana, back to the wall, using a strap as needed to hold the ankles, keeping the spine erect.

Continue the sitting poses with UpavisthaKonasana, placing the feet against the wall and the hands behind you to lift the spine upwards as you open the inner thighs more.
Then to continue your hip session with floor support for the back, lie on your back for Supta Padangusthasana 2. Use a support just next to the hip of the outstretched leg if needed for extra support as you extend the leg out to the side.

Release the back by coming up for Virasana forward, resting the head to or towards the floor.

Finish your session with Savasana, and feel how the body has responded to this hip session, whilst you also quieten the breath and release any holding or hardness in the body.

View sequence

Supta Baddhakonasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Join your feet together, your heels pressed to your pelvis. Lie back over a bolster or other form of support. Relax and let your chest open. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Adho Mukha Sukhasana Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing downward as you fold forward over your legs to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Mountain Pose
Stand up tall and straight, place your feet close together, with your heels and big toes touching. Imagine as if you are standing with your back against the wall. Extend your whole body from the heels up through the crown of your head.
Standing Forward Bend
Starting in Tadasana, exhale and reach down towards your feet. Let your spine release downwards. You can bend your knees or place your hands on blocks if you lack the necessary flexibility.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your forehead on the floor or on a block.
Utthita Trikonasana
Extended Triangle Pose
Keep the toes and kneecap of your left leg pointed forward and, keeping your spine straight and long, stretch over your leg. Place your left hand on your ankle or on a block next to your foot. Look up towards your extended right arm.
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Extended Side Angle Pose
Bend your front leg and place your hand by of your foot as you stretch your other arm up and over your head. Pull your waist away from the floor, keep your back straight. Place a block under your hand if necessary.
Ardha Chandrasana
Half Moon Pose
Get rooted through your left foot, point your toes and kneecap forward. Then, place your left hand on the floor or a block in front of you as you stretch your other right leg back in line with your straight back. You can use the wall for support if you lack the balance. If possible, lift your right arm up.
Pyramid Pose
Place your feet one leg-length apart, your back foot angled out slightly. Keep your legs straight as you start to fold over your front leg, maintaining a concave spine for as far into the bend as possible.
Working deeper into stiff and tight hips
Tree Pose
Straighten your right leg and get rooted through your foot as you bend your left knee out to the side. Lift your arms up and draw your spine upward as you balance. Change sides.
Working deeper into stiff and tight hips
Hero Pose
Sit with your legs bent with your heels on either side of your buttocks. Keep your back straight, avoid sinking forward or back.
Parvatasana in Virasana
Mountain Pose in Hero Pose
Sit in Virasana, stretch your arms out in front of you, and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms outward and, keeping your shoulders down and ribs in neutral, extend your arms upward.
Staff Pose
Point your sit-bones down and extend your spine upwards through the crown of your head. Use support under your buttocks or bend knees if needed to get your back straight.
Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose
Bring your feet as close as possible to your pelvis and join them together. Straighten your back and let gravity pull your knees down toward the floor. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Upavistha Konasana
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Use support under buttocks if your inner groins roll backward. Kneecaps and all ten toes face the ceiling. Keep your hands by your by hips, fingers pointing forwards. Lengthen your spine. Once you have mastered these foundations, you can also bend forward while reaching your feet with your hands. Use a belt if necessary.
Supta Padangusthasana I
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Press your back body into the floor, point the kneecap and toes of your supine leg toward the ceiling, as you extend the other leg up over your hip. Use a belt if needed.
Supta Padangusthasana II
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Lie down on your back. Point kneecap and toes on your left leg upward, as you stretch your right leg out to the side. Use a belt if necessary. Change sides.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your forehead on the floor or on a block.
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.