This pose stretches the hip adductors (inner thigh muscles). These muscles are primarily for balance and alignment. They pull the hip in toward the midline of the body. Strengthening and toning these muscles promotes balance and alignment and also prevents injuries.
To get into this pose, place your feet wider than shoulder width apart with your feet at a 45 degree angle out from the body. If you have your feet pointing straight infront of you, this will put too much stress on the knee. You want to have the knees in a comfortable position and be able to keep your entire foot on the floor. Lower into a deep squat position.
Next, bring your hands into a prayer position and place your elbows inside your knees. Keep your torso straight and use your elbows to push your knees outward.
This stretch is both amazing and challenging. It opens the hips and literally looks like frog legs. Because this is a more difficult hip stretch, caution is advised in entering and exiting the stretch. To get into frog pose, you will first need a yoga mat. Start in table pose on all fours. One at a time move a knee to the side, in line with the hip. When you have both knees out away from the center, check the angle of the bend in your knee. Adjust the angle to 90 degrees. Then come down on your forearms.
To adjust the difficulty of this stretch you can widen your knees. You can hold this position for one minute and work up to holding it for longer times. To exit this pose, crawl your arms forward until you are laying on the ground, then bring your knees in. This will avoid putting unnecessary strain on your groin muscles.
Improve Digestive System
Relieve Anxiety and Stress
Strengthen Hips, Back, Knees, and Ankles
Reduce Fat from Belly, Hips, and Abdomen
Enhance Kidney and Liver Function
Treatment for Menstrual Cramps
Ulcers, specifically Peptic Ulcers
Abdomen Post-Op (even if it has been several years, caution is advised
If you have ever read Louise Hay or studied the yoga postures, you probably came across the idea that we hold emotions and belief patterns in different areas of the body. It is believed that specific areas of tension mean certain things. I believe this is true in a very generalized sense. Every person’s story is a bit different, but on the whole human emotions occur on a similar spectrum. In this blog we are going to review the spectrum of emotions that can get caught in the hips.
Louise Hay is a huge person in understanding the metaphysical connections to the body. In her book “You can Heal your Life” she goes through the entire body to show you both the possible causes and the affirmations to heal certain emotional states. She believed that Illness however mild or severe is an indicator of your emotional state, caused by your thoughts and focus.
For Louise the Hip is about carrying the body in perfect balance. They are the major thrust in moving forward. If you have hip pain you may have a fear of going forward with major decisions or feel like you have nothing to move forward to.
I am in perfect balance. I move forward in life with ease and with joy at every age.
What do affirmations really do?
Affirmations are a way to reprogram your mind. Whatever you focus on in life will grow. These phrases focus your mind to allow the feeling of “being in perfect balance” to grow in your life.
As a hypothetical example, if you wake up every morning with hip pain and also think “There’s really no point in getting up because nothing I do ever matters.” That is going to impede your desire to move forward. If you take the time to meditate on the above phrase and ask these questions: Is it true? Is it necessary? Is it kind? Does this improve the silence? If you answered no to any of these questions, it’s time to take control of your inner voice and focus it into a new direction. You probably wouldn’t say something like that to your friend so why would you say it to yourself?
You can take control of your thoughts and your outlook on life by focusing on positive phrases.
Our Spiritual Nutrition
One of my favorite quick reference metaphysical online resources is “Our Spiritual Nutrition”. It a comprehensive collection of psychological connections and metaphysical explanations for aches, pains, diseases, and mental health disorders. The only downside to this site is the lack of positive affirmations as remedies to the dis-ease, but if you take a few extra moments when reading you can create your own positive affirmations.
Here’s what Our Spiritual Nutrition Says about the hips:
Represent our comfort (or lack thereof) with letting go of the past Issues that can arise: Arthritis – Inability to move forward for fear of leaving someone or something behind. Unable or unwilling to release an out-dated belief system. Can be a fear of being left behind (abandonment) or of becoming useless Broken – Anger that one is being forced to change because of changes that occurred that were beyond one’s control. Victim attitude. Bursitis – Anger and distress about the constant changes that life brings
The Spiritual Meaning of Hip Pain
Fear of making major decisions.
Feel as though you have nothing to look forward to.
Feeling a lack of physical and/or emotional support.
Resistance to current experiences.
Fear of moving forward in life, career, relationship.
Fear of the future.
Fear of change.
Inability to let go of the past.
Feeling unable to stand alone.
Anger at parents.
Concerns about your life purpose.
Fear of intimacy.
Holding on to past hurt.
Withdrawing energy from a person or relationship.
Feeling as though you are on shaky ground.
Wanting to move away from a person or situation.
Carrying too much emotional weight for others.
Finding it hard to be independent.
Conflict between moving forward and holding on.
It’s a good time to stop what you’re doing, pause, take an inventory of your life, and slow down before making any major decisions. Reevaluate the pace of your daily life.
Right hip: What you express, give out, and assert. Pain in this hip could be an unresolved issue regarding one of these topics.
Left hip: Represents the mother, family, nurturing. Pain in this area could be unresolved issues regarding these topics.
I am always connected to the infinite love and gratitude of the universe and no one can hurt me.
I honor it is not knowing the HOW but focusing on my desires.
I carry myself in perfect balance.
I am able to process, metabolize, and release all emotions.
I release any fear I have stored in my hips.
I release any anger I have stored in my hips.
I am free to move.
My hips are strong and healthy.
I allow myself to believe I deserve to heal.
I let go of the past with ease.
I am confident.
I am useful.
I am abundant.
You can create your own custom affirmations to heal whatever hip pain you may be experiencing. The easiest way to create an affirmation is to look at a phrase like “I fear change” and state the opposite starting with “I” or “I am”. For example: say “I allow change in my life” or “I adjust to change easily and effortlessly”
Do you have any questions about the psychological and metaphysical connection between thoughts and hip pain?
Did you come up with some amazing affirmations you want to share?
Pigeon Pose was the first hip stretch I ever learned about therefore it is here marking the first entry in the encyclopedia. I was drawn to this yoga posture because you were encouraged to take the position and hold it for a longer period of time. I really enjoy long stretch holds because they allow me to breath more deeply into the posture and relax my frame at my own pace. This allows me to come to a greater understanding of what it feels like when I hold tension in my body and conversely what it feels like when I release. Essentially this posture taught me how I “let go”.
We can store a lot of tension and trauma in the hips so be aware that you may have strong emotions that accompany this position or come after. This is totally normal, just allow the emotions to flow out of you. When you consistently practice releasing the tension and emotions from the hips it will become easier for you to both let go and keep your energy clear.
The Benefits of Pigeon Pose:
Stretching the Glutes, Groin, and Psoas muscles
Stimulate Internal Organs
Alleviate Sciatic Pain
Relieve Impinged Piriformis
Help with Urinary Disorders
Releases Stress, Anxiety, Fear & Trauma
Relieve Back Pain
Reduce Chances of Knee Injuries
Aids in Digestion
Builds the Mental Strength to Endure Uncomfortable Situations
Sacroiliac or Back Injury
Let’s Do It:
I like to get into Pigeon Pose from a downward dog. Be sure to practice with both sides. In these instructions I’ll just describe the right side. From a downward dog, swing the right leg through between your hands and then lower your whole body while laying your right leg in front of you. Line up your right knee with your right hand. To adjust the difficulty you can change the angle of your leg by moving the ankle closer or further from your torso. Once you have found a suitable position (not totally comfortable, but not too unbearable) you can bring your arms forward and relax every muscle in your body, letting gravity do the work of stretching the hip.
You can spend some time just hanging out in this pose. I like to listen to my favorite song, which is about 3 minutes long, to time how long I should hold the stretch.
If you are not able to get completely into this stretch, use a yoga block, pillow, blanket, or whatever you can to brace your body. You don’t have to be a yoga master to get the most from this stretch. The most important thing is to go at your own pace.
Other variations are ways to make this stretch deeper. You can move your right ankle further away from the torso, bend your left leg and grab ahold of your left foot, and even lift your body up and bend backwards. All of these are different ways to get more out of pigeon pose.
In the Thai Massage practice, I perform what I call a “reverse pigeon” pose with the client. Starting with the client face up, place your right knee outside of their left hip. Create a table for their legs with your left leg. Drape both of their legs over your left leg. Then figure 4 their left leg. Create a straight line from your right shoulder, elbow, and wrist through their knee and pointing to their left shoulder. (remember not to place your hand directly on the knee. I usually place my hand just below the knee on their thigh). Lean forward and let gravity do the work of the stretch. For more leverage, you can move your anchor knee (right) further away from their body. To bring variation to the stretch for them, you can adjust the position of their ankle with your left hand. (Do not apply downward or leaning pressure with the left hand).
Let me know how your pigeon pose journey is going. Do you have any questions or insights you’d like to share? Please comment below or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Encyclopedia of Hip Stretches is intended to be a comprehensive look at the mechanics of the Hips and how to stretch them at home. As more information becomes available, new blog posts will be released so please subscribe to the blog to stay up to date on the latest information.
Creating this section of the blog was inspired by a desire to assist clients at home during Covid-19 and popular demand for at home hip stretches by Thai Massage clients. That being said, I prefer this to be an interactive platform. I want to hear your reflections on trying the stretches out yourself. Let me know what worked, what didn’t work. Ask questions that come up along the way and I will answer them as best I can either in the comments or through a new blog post.
We will cover:
It’s important that you check with your medical doctor before engaging in any physical activities at home. Not all of the activities will be accessible for everyone due to medical conditions or physical limitations. Be an advocate for yourself in your practice and go at your own pace. I am not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medicines or activities. The information gathered here is from research and hands-on experience with clients.
The most important thing to remember any time you are working with your body is to bring consciousness into the movements. Bring your awareness to what is happening inside your body. Describe the feelings in your mind to gain a deeper awareness of what it feels like to inhabit your body. Learn what your limitations are. Bring your breath into the art. Inhale positive energy, exhale negative energy. On the exhale lengthen and deepen your stretches. You will get out of the practice what you put into it.