woman performing yoga

Yoga for Tight Hips – 10 Best Suggested Poses

Hip pain sucks… how can you increase mobility and reduce pain while doing yoga for tight hips?

When you are a child, life seems so easy, you rarely get pain and aches. You can become flexible pretty easily and moving around is simpler. As adults, you end up going to school, working and especially if you have an office job, sitting on your ass for 12-20 hours a day.

I don’t know for you, but Covid also didn’t help with daily mobility, the walk from the bathroom to the couch isn’t that far. Making a conscious effort daily to keep moving is not always easy, there is always another Netflix show to watch. Are you feeling some pain and tightness when you wake up or after a long day at work? Is your brain saying: “yup, we have to do something now”.

You aren’t too late. It’s never too late!

One of the most common reasons people join yoga would be either for flexibility or for back and hip pain. Which are related, but later on that. In this article, I will provide you with some easy movements to increase mobility and release tight hips. These are easy to include daily and some stretches you can even do in front of the TV.

skeleton sitting outside showing bad alignment of hips

Misconception about tight hips

When you sit every day, the posture you choose will be very important. If your back is rounded it will increase the tension in your shoulders, neck and hips.

Are you able to sit with a straight back without getting muscle fatigue? Will your back start to round up?

If you have answered yes to the questions above, keep reading, the yoga poses below will help you build muscles and release the tension in your legs, hips and back.

Biggest misconception

“I have knee issues. I can’t do yoga”

Often, knee problems can be related to tight hips and spines. Yoga can help release the muscles and reduce knee pain.

If being on your knees is hard, you can do a lot of movement that doesn’t require you to be on them. Also, using a blanket under your knees can release some of the pressure.

Why does tight hips happen?

It’s important to understand that your body is connected from head to toes. Back pain related to flexibility issues is not only a result of your back flexibility but the relation between your back, hips, pelvic girdle, legs and feet and more.

If you have not been injured, one of the main causes of thigh hips is due to a sedentary lifestyle. When you do not utilize your muscles to their potential, they become weaker and shorter. Your body is unable to support itself anymore.


If you find folding forward difficult or the idea of touching your toes seems impossible. Follow the steps below to release some tensions.

  1. Stand straight with your feet together and fold forward at the hips, reaching down as far as you can without pain.
  2. Take a ball (Lacrosse ball are perfect since they are harder and more solid than a tennis ball.)
  3. Roll the bottom of each foot for approx. 1-5 mins
  4. Stand straight with your feet together and fold forward at the hips. See when you fold again if you can reach a bit further.

10 Best Poses – Yoga for Tight Hips

The list below will provide you with the best 10 yoga poses for tight hips to do daily. These can be done after a warm-up or other exercises, but it is not required for your body to be warmed up. There are other benefits to yoga when your body is not warmed up yet.

Yin Yoga, for example, is always done without a warmup. Each pose will be held for between 1-10 mins. This form of Yoga will work around the joints and tendons versus the muscles in a standard yoga class.

If you want to learn more about what type of yoga class is right for you, don’t forget my other article below.

Caution: If you do decide to proceed with the exercise below without any warm-up, it is important to find your “edge”. You should never feel any pain, if you do back out of the pose and find an alternative that will allow you to do the movement.

Pose 1 : Cat / Cow with Hip Rotation

This series of movements will warm up your spine and the added rotation in your hips will loosen some muscles. While rotating, if you find some areas that are sore, hold the position for a few breaths and release. This will act as a pressure point.

Step by Step

  • Start on all four
  • For every inhale, you will round your spine up as high as you can, pushing through your hands.
  • For every exhale, you will curve your back and bring your head up.
  • After start to rotate your hips left and right, going forward and backward

Proceed for 5-10 times

Pose 2: Standing Forward Fold

This simple action will help to provide length in your spine and release some of the tension in your hamstrings and thighs.

Step by Step

  • Start in a standing position at the top of your mat
  • Slowly fold down
  • Bend your knees, so that your thighs and stomach are together
  • Grab the opposite elbows and let your head drop
  • Sway from side to side

Proceed for 1-5 mins

Pose 3: Low Lunge

This lunge will require less leg muscle than others, if you experience knee pains, simply put a folded blanket under your knees.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Releases tension in your hips.
  • Stretches your hamstrings, quads, and groin.
  • Strengthens your knees.
  • Helps build mental focus.

Step by Step

  • Start in a standing position at the top of your mat
  • Bring your left leg behind you (approx. 5 feet) and drop your left knee to the mat
  • Slowly start to move forward and back to work on your groin area
  • When you are comfortable you can either keep your hands on the floor or reach both hands overhead

Proceed for 1-5 mins and repeat for the other leg

Pose 4: Frog Pose

This simple action will help to provide length in your spine and release some of the tension in your hamstrings and thighs.

  • Improves hip mobility and may ease back pain
  • May alleviate low back tightness, ease sciatica pain, and strengthen the back

Step by Step

  • Begin on all fours
  • Slowly, start to open your knees on both sides equally
  • Your feet can be either at a 90 degree angle from your ankle or moving towards the back of your hips.
  • Rest on your hands or forearms. You can lie down on a cushion for comfort, resting your chest and head on it.
  • When done, place your hands under your shoulders and gently bring your knees toward the center.

Proceed for 1-10 mins

Pose 5: Pigeon or Reclined Pigeon

These two options will work on your hips, groin and leg muscles.

Step by Step for Reclined Pigeon

  • Being in a lying down position
  • Bring both knees towards your chest
  • Cross your right ankle over your left knee
  • Flex your right foot up (toes pointing towards the ceiling)
  • Cross your hands around your left thigh and bring your thigh as close as possible

Proceed for 1-10 mins and repeat on the other side

Step by Step for Pigeon and Sleeping Pigeon

  • Being in a tabletop position or all four
  • Bring the right foot on the mat behind the left wrist
  • Drop your shin to the mat and adjust it to find a comfortable position
  • If your shin is not parallel, release your feet
  • Extend the left leg back on the mat, resting your left foot down
  • Come up on your fingertips, your forearms, or drop your chest to the mat for sleeping pigeon
  • When completed, come up onto your forearms and start to slide your right foot back to return to a tabletop position

Proceed for 1-10 mins and repeat on the other side

Pose 6: Fire Log

This pose can easily be performed while watching TV. Added bonus! The first time I did this pose I couldn’t believe how tight my hips were. Go slowly and see where you are today.

  • Opens and stretches the hips.
  • Stretches the groins and buttocks gently.
  • Strengthens legs and calves.

Step by Step

  • Start sitting on the floor with your leg cross
  • Slowly place your right shin parallel to your mat, ensuring you are still sitting on both sit bones on the floor
  • Take your left foot and place it over your right knee
  • Take a pillow or a block and place it under your left knee
  • Slowly start to lower your left knee until it reaches either your block, pillow or your right ankle
  • If you are comfortable, fold you chest forward towards the mat

Hold for 1-10 mins each side

Pose 7: Lizard Pose

This stretch has multiple levels of difficulty from what you need, but all levels will work on opening your hips, quads, ankles and hamstrings. I recommend this pose if you run or bike!

Step by Step

  • In a tabletop position, bring your right foot on the outside of your right hand. Towards the edge of your mat.
  • You can either have your left knee on the mat or for added difficulty lift your left knee up.
  • Both hands will be on the inside of your right foot, when you are comfortable you can come down to your forearms.
  • Hold the pose for 1-5 mins
  • Repeat on the other side

Pose 8: Butterfly or Recline Butterfly

Another great pose to watch TV! After a long day, it is perfect to stretch your inner thighs, knees and hips.

Step by Step

  • Come in a seated position
  • Bring the sole of your feet together
  • If your knees are unable to be close to the ground, sit on a pillow or a block
  • Grab your toes and when you are comfortable start to fold your chest down towards your feet
  • Hold for 1 – 10 mins
  • Slowly come back up

Pose 9: Hero Pose

This position can easily be modified to meet you where you are today. It is important to approach this movement slowly and to never feel any pain, especially in your knees. If you aren’t comfortable with the full extent of this pose, please find a class specialized in yoga for tight hips.


  • Stretches the quads and ankles
  • Builds flexibility in your knees, ankles and thighs

Step by Step

  • Begin on your knees
  • Open both feet on each side to allow space for your hip to reach the floor
  • If you feel too much pressure, use a pillow or a block to sit on
  • If it is still too much pressure, do half hero pose, simply bring your right leg forward in front of you and keep your left knee bend.
  • When comfortable, you can slowly start to bring your forearms or back to the mat
  • Hold for 1 – 10 mins
  • Slowly come back up

Pose 10: Wide Legged Forward Fold

This simple pose can provide a lot of release after a long day. From releasing muscles in your back, opening hips and relieving pressure from your neck and shoulder.

Step by Step

  • Start in a standing position, open your legs larger than your shoulders approx. 5 feet.
  • Start to fold your hips
  • Keeping your legs straight, lower your shoulders down
  • Bringing the crown of your head towards the mat
  • Hold for 1 mins and slowly raise back up


If the position is either too hard on your leg or too much pressure on your head, simply to the same exercise sitting down on the floor.


Whether you are an athlete training for a triathlon or simply sitting at your desk all day, hip issues affect a lot of us. It doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help yourself.

By doing the above movement every day for 1-5 mins each, you will start to see an improvement. Your goal might not be to be able to do the split, but it doesn’t mean you have to suffer and feel tight for the rest of your life.

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