If you work at an office, spend a lot of time in your and then sit in front of the telly in the evening there is a good chance your hips are like mine, tight and inflexible. I personally think it is important to release the tension from your body as letting go of physical tension can help release mental tension. One of yoga teachers often say “Open hips, Open heart” and this is a great thing to consider as holding on to resentment, guilt, self-hatred and other emotional issues can cause you to be mentally closed.
So what comes first, releasing the physical tension or the mental tension. Well I personally think you should tackle both issues at the same time. For the physical tension there are a lot of poses that will help to open up the hips with my persponal favourite being pigeon pose. I also love wide legged child pose when I need a break in a class and want to gently release the hips. To do this sit on your heels and widen the legs as far as you can, try and get your knees off the mat. Bend forward, bring your forehead to the floor, stretch your arms out in front of you and push back with your hands to connect you sit bones and your heels. Keep you elbows and forearms off the matt.
You are best to practise your hip openers at least twice a week but preferably everyday to see a real benefit. However be warned this can have a significant effect on your state of mind. I have had classes where we have done a lot of hip work and after that class I have felt very emotional and tearful. This can be disconcerting but is a great sign and shows that you have begun releasing your emotional tension.
It is also a great idea to look into the emotional tension in your life. You can do this in a number of ways including a short meditation everyday where you ask your subconsious to reveal what you need to know. Just write down what comes up, don’t judge just work with it. Also try doing daily affirmations, particularly while doing your hip openers. Try looking in the mirror and saying “Hip Hip Hooray – there is joy in everyday”. Say it ove and over and everyday until it becomes your belief. Over time you will see the dramatic effect on your life and remember it is a journey and love where you are on that journey.