Why you have to work on hips

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A whole new practice focused on hips.

We just launched our Anatomē Hot Flow Hips class with Dr. Soledad to complement our Anatomē Hot Flow Backbends class as well as our full Elementals and Bikram programme. Some members have asked what to expect, so here is the low down.


What do the hips do?

The hips act as a support system for the whole body and assist the pelvis in carrying the weight of the upper body. They also give us stability for walking and sitting. If you experience lower back pain, the hips bear the brunt of it. Likewise, if you have knee pain, often the problem originates in the hips. Once the hip issue is corrected, the knee pain subsides. It is very common for a tremendous amount of tension to be held in the muscles and tissues surrounding the pelvis. Embracing a regular hip balancing practice is a great way to release this tension.


What do we mean by opening the hips?

When we refer to opening the hips, we really are talking about freeing the pelvis. And the pelvis can only be free if the glutes, adductors and hamstrings are open. The pelvis supports the spine so if you want an elongated the spine in general (good seated posture) or in seated meditation poses like Lotus, you need to open the hips which implies opening the gluts, adductors and hamstrings.


What is the aim of a hips focused hot yoga class?

It’s the common misconception that we only want to focus on opening the hips when in fact we want to balance the hip joint which includes creating equal strength and flexibility in the hip joint. If we only focus on opening hips, you may overstretch your hamstrings and external rotators compared to your hip flexors and adductors.  As such, our Anatome Hot Flow Hips class will balance work of external and internal rotation, hip flexors, adductors, gluts, abductors, hamstrings and the spine. Even the opening of the feet and relaxation of the jaw can positively affect hips.


Finally, it is believed that the hips act as an energy storage for negative emotions. Yoga teachers will tell you of students who have had major emotional releases in classes that worked deep into the hips. One student started to hyperventilate in a hip opening class as she released feelings associated with being assaulted some years prior. So if you feel weepy or an emotional release, it’s perfectly normal and means you are having an authentic yoga practice of self-inquiry.


Can you give me a summary of the main benefits from a hips focused Hot Flow?

  1. decreased back pain
  2. improved range of motion and circulation
  3. emotional release of negative feelings
  4. opened gluts, adductors, abductors, hamstrings
  5. balanced strength and flexibility in the hip socket as well as external and internal rotation
  6. the jaw connection – one study has shown an interesting connection between the jaw and the hips. After tension of the temporomandibular joint was released, the range of motion of the hip significantly increased.
  7. ability to sit comfortably in meditation poses/regular sitting
  8. ability to elongate spine
“A mindful yoga sequence focused on the hips will improve the rest of your practice by bringing alignment and stability to your posture and removing blocked energy.” 
– Dr. Soledad, SOMA Hot Yoga Coach

SOMA’s Anatomē Hot Flow Hips is offered on Wednesdays at 7:15am and 10:30am.

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