Hip openers as a panacea for sadness

For a long time I’ve always admired those who have super open hips. Pigeon pose, fire log pose, baddha konasana, parsvokonasana are some of my unfavourite poses.

For a long time (read: first year of yoga), I only focused on stretching out my hamstrings, and I would not care about many other muscle groups. [On hindsight, this is quite silly!] This was till I once read that our hips are the main storage for a lot of our negative emotions. First, I was filled with skepticism, how can a specific muscle group store a specific type of emotion?!?!? Next I was filled bewilderment – is it even possible to have emotions being released in hip openers?

I read that “Our tight hips aren’t just a result of sitting at a desk, in a car, or on the sofa while watching television, they’re also a sign of emotional stress building in the body’s largest joint. The hips are the body’s stabilizers, but they also serve as storage units that house sad memories, financial fears, relationship woes, and family issues. By taking the time each and every day to focus ample attention on the hips, you’ll release anxiety, fear, depression, and sadness – See more at: http://naturallysavvy.com/care/what-are-your-tight-hips-telling-you#sthash.RHdT6FIi.dpuf”
Well, I desperately wanted to see if opening the hips could solve my problems. Fast forward to today, yes it has helped me with letting go!!
I read that the hip muscles are programmed to be easily activated for “fight, flight or freeze” response. When the body suffers a trauma, our instinctual reflex is to clench these deep muscles. The problem is, we don’t let go.
This makes a tonne of sense. When we experience negative emotions, we tend to have a “fight, flight, or freeze” response – and what do we do when we want to run away, our hip flexors get ready to help us run! Problem is, it is not the physical running away that we needed, we needed to run away emotionally. The tightening in the hips was not useful at all to help us  – and this exacerbates the problems that we face. With tight hips we feel uncomfortable, we experience back pains which make us even more irritable – and the list goes on…
Well, I hope that whatever is happening in your lives right now, you will turn to hip openers to help you cope. Love your body, and love yourself before everything else – and everything else will fall in place.
– Nathalie Rachel Fernandez (4/4)
5 November 2016