Today I have chosen to write about hip opening. Yoga acknowledges the ability to hold emotional tension in various areas of the body, the hips especially are associated with emotional burden. Often referred to by yoga instructors as the ‘junk drawer’ of the body, our hips are considered a storage depot for our emotions, which we do not wish to confront and so tuck away into the deepest confines of our being. So how and why, physiologically do we store negative emotion there?
From birth, the sympathetic nervous system response can stimulate a strong contraction of the hip flexors, which offers protection incase the infant was to fall. As we age this grows more sophisticated in its ‘fight, flight or freeze’ response. So often in our modern lives we find ourselves in a state of flight or flight where our hip muscles are always charged up ready to run, pounce or freeze, but we rarely use this stored up energy in the mundane stresses of work or life. As a result tightness in the hips accumulates as we hold on to chronic tension.
So if you focus on asanas that are designed to release the muscles in the hips, this will gradually result in the release of memories of fear, grief, anger, etc. Some of us have naturally open hips, especially woman who have given birth, men on the other hand have much narrower, closed hips, so you might find yourself gritting your teeth waiting desperately for the posture to end but if you breath into it and relax, over time your hips will start to open and negative energy will begin to shift. You will find that you will start to love hip openers as they offer you a really satisfying and powerful benefits both physically but more importantly emotionally.