Yoga Stretches for the Hip Flexors

Sitting down is the most common posture when you are awake. Whether sitting in a car, at a desk or on a couch, people sit a lot. When you are sitting, your hips are flexed. To combat the effects of tight hip flexors from having your hips flexed often, certain yoga poses seek to lengthen the hip flexor muscles. The primary hip flexor is the iliopsoas, which combines two muscle groups including the iliacus and the psoas major and psoas minor.

Bound Angle Pose

Bound angle pose is a simple exercise to open and stretch the hips and groin. It is sometimes called cobblers pose because of the way that cobblers sat when working on shoes. Although you are sitting down to do bound angle pose, the hips are opened outward to stretch the inner thighs and groin muscles. To do bound angle pose, sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Bend your knees and place your feet next to each other on the floor. Let your knees fall toward the floor and touch the soles of your feet together. Sit up tall and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Without losing the straightness of your spine, walk your hands forward and bend your upper body toward the floor. Come onto your forearms if you can. Ideally, your forehead will touch the floor with your arms extended in front of you, but only go as far as you can while keeping your buttocks on the floor.

Warrior I

Warrior I is the first pose in the Warrior series. Warrior I is particularly helpful for stretching tight hip flexors, according to Yoga Journal. To do Warrior I, stand up straight with your feet at the top of a yoga mat. Then, step your left foot back toward the bottom of your mat. Turn your left foot to a 45-degree angle, but keep your right foot facing forward. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle and straighten your left leg. Turn your hips to face forward. Reach your arms overhead and touch your palms together. Look at your hands and gently arch your lower back. Repeat on the other side.

One-Legged Pigeon

One-legged pigeon is a beginner’s version of the pigeon pose. The one-legged pigeon stretches one hip and side of your groin at a time. To do pigeon pose, place your right leg at the top of your yoga mat with your knee bent. Have your hip open so the outside of your right foot and knee are on the floor. Extend your left leg straight behind you with the top of your foot resting on the mat. Place your hands on the floor next to your hips with your arms straight. Try to sit up straight and look forward. Your hips should be level. Repeat on the other side after the desired length of time in the pose.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since graduating cum laude from Syracuse University in 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor.