Everybody Deserves Happy Hips!

Being a gal who has overused her hips enough to have three orthopedic surgeries on them by the age of 28, I am ALL about taking the time to open up and stretch these bad boys!  The hip joint is a very tricky spot where all sorts of nerves run through and where we can subconsciously hold onto our internal emotions.  Intense, right?  Yes, they are!  So they deserve some extra attention and some extra love!
Here are my favorite tips and stretches for some happy hips! (did I mention my maiden name is Hipp?  Go figure!)
*Some of these include the use of toys!
1.  Pigeon 
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana!  Yes, that’s a mouthful (that’s what she said)…  but it really does the job!  This pose is so beneficial, as long as it’s done correctly.
A couple key points once you get into this pose:
-With the leg that is bent, keep your foot flexed to protect your knee.
-Keep your spine lengthened and long!
-Equal weight into both hips.
Yoga Journal has a great breakdown of this pose for further details, modifications, and contradictions.
2.  Break out the foam roller!
Roll over your hip and IT band with the foam roller.  Such a great way to stretch things out!  Our IT bands are easily neglected and need some extra love.
3. It’s worth it: Go Get a Massage! 
Yes, it costs some cash.  But if you can find someone who specializes in deep tissue and/or sports massage, they can work out all that nasty gunk that is tightening up your hips!  Many times when we’re feeling pain in our hips, booty, or lower back, it can be due to overuse and tightness.  So this is a very needed way of breaking that down and out!
4. Don’t be Shy, Open up Your Hip Flexors!  
The muscles that help bring our knees to our chest tend to be on the tight side (e.g. from sitting, driving, running, cycling, etc.).  This is one of the many reasons why it’s so spectacular for you to practice all your crescent lunges and warrior poses in yoga.
*Want an extra stretch for your hip flexors?  Next time you’re in a crescent lunge, lower your back knee down to the mat.  You’ll feel that extra delicious stretch!

All About Jaime: Jaime is a yogi, pilates instructor, adventurer, Olympic athlete and all around amazingly sweet person all wrapped up in one.  She is a self-described “Athlete At Heart. Yogi By Practice. Traveler By Nature.” and that is, precisely, Jaime.