Hips Don’t Lie: Releasing Old Emotions Through Hip Openers

  • Megan McInturff
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Love ’em or hate ’em, hip openers are soooo good for you, physically, mentally and energetically. Most people love them because their hips are so tight and they need that release; and then again, most people dislike them for the same reason. So why are the hips filled with so much tension?

Think of what you do when you are threatened or experience a sudden jolt. Our response to physical threat is to draw our knees to our chest and curl up into a fetal pose for protection. If we hear devastating news that brings us to tears, the response is to retreat to fetal pose to weep and guard ourselves. The action of drawing the knees in, no matter how dramatic, starts at the hips. The muscles are tightly clenched but never fully released. This lingering grasp of the hips not only traps muscular tension, but emotional tension too. It is the same action of clenching your fist when angry or grinding the jaw when stressed. Whether it is one traumatic event, or multiple small events, the feelings of fear, anxiety and sadness are stored at the hips until we bring them to the surface and allow a release. The longer you suppress emotion, the tighter the grasp.

Some may refer to these emotions as being “stuck” or “trapped” in the body. No matter how you say it, stretching the hip muscles will cause a release and allow emotion to escape.

Are you ready to confront your unresolved emotions? The body and mind are connected, so take it one step at a time. Acknowledge the emotion or experience you are working through and allow yourself to let go. When moving into hip opening postures, be cautious and go slow. You may need time and a consistent practice of hip opening sequences to experience release. So, be patient and gentle with yourself. The surfaced emotion may feel like a weight has been lifted, and you may feel that sense of relief accompanied with saying “Ahhhh.” But don’t be surprised if the emotion is released through tears. Be present through the experience and trust that it is leading you to your highest potential and true self.

In this way, practicing hip openers is a way to cleanse the body and welcome renewal.