How are are hips and emotions linked? How can they be?
Some of you may hear your yoga instructors say how our hips are linked to our emotions….I often see puzzled faces when this is mentioned so I thought a little explanation may be good.
Our hip joints get a lot of attention in most Yoga and Pilates classes, either tightening and strengthening or releasing and letting go. In Yin Yoga, which I currently teach, it is all about the releasing and letting go.
To do both is essential for our body “since the more open and stable our hips are, the better our sense of balance and the smoother our transitions can be. Our hips are also directly related to nerve endings and energetic placement of your emotions.
Whether you are having a fantastic day, experiencing a frustrating situation, or a moment of stress — our emotional energy is sent out into our joints where tension then builds.
A large chunk of that emotional stress hits the hip joints, creating that sense of tightness. When we “open up” the hips, we recreate the space we need in the joint to release that energy so we can open up to whatever life hands us next. That’s why opening the hips happens so much in our practice, because we constantly need that release. We need those moments to recreate space, to pull our intentions in, and take a deep breath before we move into whatever is ahead in the next moment. Without this release, we will build up the tension which can lead to emotional confusion, difficulty thinking clearly, and physical problems (such as lack of flexibility and injury). With all of this said, it is also very important to be gentle with yourself when working with your hips.” Nancy Nelson
When in a Yin class, some people can find hip poses confrontational. I often see people surprised at what they may be sensing inside, it is easier to avoid such things, however think of what is on the other side if you take the time to face what is stored. The aim of Yin is to really listen to the sensations that you encounter physically and mentally. You have time in each pose to determine whether to go deeper or to back off. A point to always remember in Yin is that you should not be experiencing pain. Your hips will have many deep sensations, especially if they are tight and holding a lot of tension. However, if pain creeps in this needs to be listened to and it is best to move out of the pose.
It is very common for our hips to be misaligned due to everyday habitual movements and so we will all experience different sensations as we find each pose. Listen to where your body is at the time, take your mind out of it as it releases control and allow your body to take over. Your body will move freely with your breath while your role is to simply observe.
Enjoy the freedom and feeling that comes with a deep Yin session!