via Yoga Dork.
This is Part 1 of a 2-part hip-opening article. In Part 1, we examine the anatomy of tight hips and what it truly means to open them. In Part 2, we discuss some specific hip-opening alignment tips that most yogis are missing in their practice.
Let’s Forget About “Hip-Openers”
We talk a lot about hip openers in yoga, but hip-opening is actually more complex than we often realize. Pigeon pose and its variations are usually considered the main group of poses which “open our hips”, but surprisingly, most people unknowingly practice these poses in a way which bypasses the actual hip-opening they offer. The truth is that nearly all yoga poses are hip-openers, but we haven’t learned to think about them this way, and we therefore don’t align our joints to find this hip-opening potential that our bodies so desperately need.
Instead of thinking about the small group of poses we usually classify as “hip openers”, we should broaden our focus and learn to open our hips throughout our entire yoga practice.
We can all point to the general area of our body we have in mind when we talk about our “hips”. To be specific, though, we can say that the actual hip joint is located where your femur (thighbone) meets your pelvis (hip bone). And for the anatomy geeks in the room, let’s be technical and define the hip joint as the place where the head of the femur (the ball-like prominence at the top end of the bone) articulates with the acetabulum, a concave hemispherical socket located on the side of the pelvis. (Fun fact: did you know that “acetabulum” means “little vinegar cup” in Latin? And are you a new fan of anatomy trivia now?)
read the rest of this article at Let’s Forget About ‘Hip-Openers’ (PART 1).