Most people have a love-hate relationship with them.
I love them!
The pelvis is a complicated piece of engineering, with bone, muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia helping both stabilise the body and allow for motion. Several muscles, the iliacus and psoas major, make up the group everyone commonly refers to as hip flexors. These are big muscles, and tend to be tight, as most of us tend to sit too much; at our desks, in front of the television, and in our cars. We rarely let our hips explore a full range of movement, and more often than not, lower back pain often stems from tight hips and buttocks muscles.
Whilst modern scientific research is still trying to figure out the impact of emotions on the body, one study tried to portray how we experience emotions in the body. The bodily experience of emotion is nearly instantaneous, and our hips are like a bowl, catching and holding the residue of a trauma or prolonged period of stress.
What has become apparent to me, after teaching yoga for nearly 30 years now, is that tightness in hips are not just physical. The hips are the seat of our emotions, and more is written about this these days.
- Tight hips can mean that we fear living up to our own expectations and those laid out by others.
- The hips are located at the second chakra, and when the second chakra is blocked, it hinders our ability to let go and let it flow. During deep hip openers, there could be a tendency to hold on because you simply cannot fully open up to the Pose.
- One of the most important relationships you will have, is the one you have with yourself. Tight hips may indicate an inability to fully love yourself.
If you’ve been following my writing over the years, you will know that I am all about taking yoga “off the mat”, and if you adopt the view of yoga “on the mat” as a metaphor for life, then you can use some of these tips to help you cope with the emotional roller coaster of life.
So, when your hips, and life, gets tight …
Learn to sit with the discomfort; it will pass.
And, breathe deeply, especially breathing into the source of discomfort in your body.