Yoga for Hips: 8 Poses to Improve Flexibility and Strength

Yoga for Hips: 8 Poses to Improve Flexibility and Strength

Are you struggling to move your hips with ease, or are you often told about your "tight hips"? Hip tightness or discomfort is a common conversation topic among yoga enthusiasts. 

It's believed that our hips harbor emotions, which may explain why certain yoga positions, like the pigeon pose, can sometimes prompt an emotional response.

For many people doing yoga, having flexible hips seems like a dream. Being able to easily do poses like the full splits or cow face pose usually means someone is super flexible, which isn't the case for everyone. But if you've thought your hips are too stiff for yoga, it's time to change your mind. 

Yoga has lots of poses that can help make your hips stronger, more flexible, and move better. Plus, using yoga accessories like meditation cushions and yoga belts can make these poses easier and more comfy, giving you a helping hand in your yoga practice. Want to know about yoga poses that are good for tight hips? Keep reading to discover more!

Do "Tight" Hips Really Cause By Tight Muscles?

Often, we blame tight muscles for our hip limitations, but the shape of our bones plays a significant role. Our skeletal structures vary; for instance, women typically have shorter, wider sacrums and larger pelvic bones than men, which are adaptations for childbirth that allow for greater hip openness. Understanding these anatomical differences is crucial, as they can influence our ability to perform certain yoga poses comfortably.

Eight Essential Yoga Poses For Easing Hip Tension

To ease hip tension, practicing yoga can be extremely helpful. Here, I've gathered eight essential yoga poses that can help with this.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Also known as the "fiery posture," the Chair Pose is a dynamic way to cultivate warmth in the hip area. It's a staple in the Suryanamaskar B sequence and is renowned for strengthening the glutes, thighs, knees, ankles, and core. For those looking to challenge themselves, gradually lowering into a deeper squat can increase strength. 

To Perform This Pose:

  • Start with your feet together or slightly apart, depending on what feels best for your body.
  • Extend your arms upward, aligning them with your ears.
  • Bend your knees as if you're sitting back in an imaginary chair.
  • Maintain this position for five breaths before standing up again.

Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior 2 is a pose that enhances hip flexibility and strength. It's versatile, allowing for various adaptations. This stance is particularly effective in building strength across the hips. 

Execution Steps Include:

  • With a wide stance on the yoga mat, point your right foot forward.
  • Bend your right knee without extending it past your toes. Keep your knee aligned to avoid strain.
  • Activate your glutes by pressing your knee slightly outwards.
  • Extend your arms to the sides, keeping them level with your shoulders, and gaze forward.
  • Hold this position, focusing on the stretch and strength in your hips.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana) - Hip Flexor Stretch

Ideal for those spending much time seated, the Low Lunge targets the hip flexors effectively. It's a simple pose that can alleviate lower back discomfort. 

Here's How To Do It:

  • From a kneeling position, step one foot forward, ensuring your knee is directly above your ankle.
  • Rest your hands on your front knee.
  • Engage your core by tucking your chin and tailbone.
  • Deepen the stretch by slightly pushing your hips forward.
  • Hold for five breaths and switch sides.

Gate Pose (Parighasana)

Following a Low Lunge, the Gate Pose can further alleviate tightness in the inner thighs and hips. 

The Steps Are:

  • Kneel and extend one leg out to the side.
  • Lean into a side stretch, sliding one hand down the extended leg.
  • Reach the other arm overhead, creating a line from your fingers to your toes.
  • Maintain the pose for five breaths before switching sides.

Yogi Squat (Malasana)

Though challenging for those with tight hips, the Yogi Squat is highly beneficial. It's a versatile pose that can be modified using props for easier access. 

To Practice:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and lower into a squat, going only as far as comfortable.
  • If any pain arises, ease up to a pain-free position.
  • Bend your knees less and support yourself by placing your forearms on your thighs.
  • Alternatively, use two yoga blocks under your heels for additional support.
  • Bring your hands together in front of you.
  • Aim to hold this pose for five breaths. Gradually return to standing.

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

This pose is excellent for stretching the hips, lower back, and thighs. It's easily adaptable to suit various flexibility levels. 

To Do It:

  • Sit with the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall to the sides.
  • Lean forward to deepen the stretch.
  • Hold for five breaths, then release.

Eye of the Needle

A perfect pose for releasing glute and hip tension, the Eye of the Needle requires attention to detail for maximum benefit:

To Practice This:

  • Lie back with knees bent.
  • Cross one ankle over the opposite knee and flex the foot.
  • Without using hands, push the knee away to engage the hips.
  • For a deeper stretch, gently pull the opposite thigh towards you.
  • Hold and then switch sides.

Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

If you have ever observed babies, you must have noticed that they sit in a particular way quite often. This sitting position is a gentle stretch for the hip muscles that makes you feel relaxed and happy. It's a simple and passive pose that can be compared to the yoga pose Malasana, and it's great for stretching and relaxing the hip muscles.

To Practice This:

  • Lying back, lift your bent knees.
  • Grab your feet and pull gently, aiming to bring your knees closer to the ground.
  • Rocking side to side can enhance the stretch.
  • Maintain a happy baby pose for five breaths, then relax.


Incorporating these eight yoga poses into your routine can offer profound benefits for those struggling with hip tightness. From the strengthening embrace of the Chair Pose to the gentle stretch of the Happy Baby Pose, each movement is designed to enhance flexibility, strength, and mobility in the hips. By practicing these poses regularly, you can alleviate discomfort, improve your range of motion, and enrich your overall yoga practice. Remember, yoga is a journey of self-discovery and healing, so approach each pose with patience and mindfulness.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Practice Yoga To Relieve Hip Tightness?

Consistency is key. Practicing yoga 3-4 times a week can significantly help in relieving hip tightness. However, even a daily gentle practice can offer benefits.

How Long Does It Take To See Improvements In Hip Flexibility With Yoga?

Improvements can be noticed as early as a few weeks into regular practice. However, the extent of improvement varies from person to person based on frequency of practice, body type, and existing conditions.