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hip opener yoga postures

“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You’re only as young as your spine is flexible.” ~Bob Harpe

I have always suffered from something called Lordosis of the Spine or swayback. As a child my mother took me to her chiropractor who recommended that I do abdominal exercises to strengthen my core and hopefully correct the problem. I have found over the years that while core strengthening exercises do help, the issue for me has more to do with excessively tight hip flexor muscles. The hip flexors are attached to the pelvic floor and, when tight, tip the pelvis and pull the entire body out of proper alignment. If

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I am not consistent with hip opening exercises I develop pain in my hips, pelvis, lower back, rhomboid area, neck and sometimes jaw. Needless to say, hip opening exercises are a staple in my Organic Yoga practice. They are my yoga bread and butter.

The posture I find most beneficial overall is also one of the most basic. The lunge hip opener has tremendous effect on the hip flexors and works up into the abdominal are as well. I alternate from the position shown below – right leg forward, in this case – back into a hamstring stretch of the right leg. This is one of the single most important poses in my routine.

Hip opening exercises are not limited to the hip flexor. There are many exercises which help loosen the hips and, by association, the pelvis and lower back. Relief from minor pain and discomfort in these areas can be immediate after doing these exercises while long term issues will require more attention.

Hip openers can benefit the digestive system by loosening the muscles surrounding the digestive system and improving energy and blood flow to the area.

The hip area tends to hold stress and anxiety. Hip opening poses help alleviate that and improve emotional well-being. Take your time with these exercises and feel the full effect of releasing tension from your hips and pelvis.

For an extensive library of hip opening exercises I recommend checking out these at hip opening postures at Yoga Journal.

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8 Responses to “hip opener yoga postures”

  1. Allie says:

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I found you right after writing my own post about my difficulties with lordosis.

    http://healthybalance-healthylife.com/wellhellothanksgivingbreak/

    I have lordosis as well and I’m trying to correct it with out the help of professionals by doing lots of ab exercises. I could also have tight hip flexor muscles, though, so I will try these. It couldn’t hurt!

    What ab exercises do you do to help with your posture?

  2. denice johnson says:

    Hi Allie, thanks for commenting. The ab exercises I do are in these two videos:

    http://littlelightmagazine.com/recommendation-yoga-today/
    http://littlelightmagazine.com/featured-video-8-minute-abs/

    In order for these exercises to have a lasting impact on my Lordosis I have to do them with tremendous consistency. If I take more than a couple of days off my pelvis tips and everything goes haywire again. These two videos are by far the best I have ever done and have had the best effect on my swayback. For me, though, I’ve also got to be doing the hip openers – my hips are tight in ever direction and they’ve been worse since having kids.

    Hope this helps and thanks for visiting little light :)

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alixandra West, Yoga Specialist. Yoga Specialist said: hip opener yoga poses and lordosis of the spine | little light: Tight hip flexors can contribute to the developm… http://bit.ly/bn4Hxe [...]

  4. Allie says:

    Just watched the videos and I’m off to the gym to incorporate them into my strength training routine.

    Thanks so much!

  5. denice johnson says:

    You’re welcome :)

  6. I just wanted to let you know how much the information you gave me has already helped! I feel my abs are stronger and I was surprised yesterday looking at a picture of myself that you can’t even tell I have a sway back! I’ve been doing them almost every day and agree with you that that’s the key.

    I can’t thank you enough!

  7. denice johnson says:

    I am so glad to hear that it’s working for you. I’ve struggled with swayback my whole life and the ab exercises I shared with you are definitely the ones that have had the most dramatic and lasting impact. It is such an amazing thing when you can look at your profile in the mirror and not see swayback and a protruding midsection. I am very happy for you! Thanks for coming back to let me know how things are going!

  8. Brittany W says:

    I’ve had lordosis issues forever too!! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Mine started as a small fracture in my lower back when I was a child causing the lordosis to be more extreme and painful until the fracture healed. Now, as a young and very active adult, it hurts everyday and I haven’t been able to find a good way to make it feel better. I try standing with good posture, but it doesn’t seem to do much for the lower back. I’m so excited to try your suggestions!!

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