Nama Say Wednesday: The Hips

Hip openers are literally sinking into trouble. They help us to peel back layers that we have consciously and subconsciously placed upon our physical and emotional bodies and sometimes we just don’t want any part of it.

How often have you been in pigeon and wanted to punch your teacher in the face for saying “one more breath” when she really means five and all you can think about is how much you hate her and the amount of pain you’re in?

Or suddenly a memory of your ex-lover comes shining into your face and every single emotion you felt over the course of your break-up comes streaming back into consciousness.

The second chakra, svadisthana, is located in our sacred organs (reproductive system, as well as our spleen and kidneys). The physical location can be found 2-3 inches below your navel… and it’s where we host a number of emotions: trust and distrust, past and current relationships, creation of children and new ideas, creativity and so much more. It’s one of the places we tend to feel the most vulnerable and when we open the hips it can often be like opening the unwanted can of worms.

svadisthana, chakra, orange, mandala
Svadisthana, the hip chakra

However, once everything is released, everything generally feels a little bit lighter.

When I first started practicing years ago, I didn’t immediately recognize anger as an emotion. I would sink into my half pigeon and silently curse my teachers all the while thinking “this pose isn’t emotional.” Due to the nature of some of my past relationships, it’s exactly how I was and should be feeling, but I didn’t recognize it at first. Hip openers are tricky because they don’t tell you what they want. Instead they allow you the opportunity to feel these intense emotions and dig deep to understand where the anger, sadness, joy and fear are coming from.

If you let them, hip openers will allow you to LET GO.

It’s so much easier said than done, but I do have a few tips!!!

  1. Concentrate on the color orange while in any hip opener. Orange is the color of svadisthana and will help ease you deeper into your muscles and allow whatever is troubling you to release.
  2. This is the space of fluidity and water may ease your mind as well. Start to feel the fluidity of your breath, the blood in your body and the creativity pulsing through your veins.
  3. Try to sit with everything that comes up. As all of my teachers say at the shala: “Inhale the good shit and exhale the BULLSHIT.” As an emotion arrives:┬áhonor it, thank it and then let it go!!! It serves no more purpose here and is very likely some old beliefs you no longer need.
  4. Forgive yourself.

The next time you find yourself in a delicious frog or pigeon pose, allow for release of any kind. Crying is always a good thing in yoga and if you’re in a safe space with a loving and kind teacher, you’ll be able to completely release whatever is no longer serving your physical and emotional body.

Good luck yogis!! {And perhaps tonight is the night you beg your teacher for a hip opening class… you never know what layers you’ll be able to peel back if you don’t try}.

As always, if you have any questions please ask them in the comments below. I would be happy to discuss hips with you.

Lots of love!

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