The first time you hear your yoga teacher say, “we store all of our emotional baggage in our hips, “ you probably had no idea what he/she was referring to. In yoga, we refer to our hips as the body’s ‘junk drawer.’ When you’re overwhelmed with emotions and you don’t know what to do with all those feels, you’re brain transfers the stress over to your hips for storage.
I remember attending a hip opening workshop in India and almost bursting into tears (I’m too tough to actually cry in public), only to find out that feeling was completely normal. I was holding on to a lot of emotional baggage—surprise, surprise. My body was basically experiencing an emotional release. Contrary to what I thought, the flood of tears (that never made it past my eye lids) were not due to the fact that I had spent the last decade of my life working behind a desk; but rather because I was an emotional hoarder and the stress was building in my body’s largest joint.
Healthy hips will support your weight and allow you to move without pain, but they also hold on to financial worries, family issues and relationship problems, causing the hips to become tight and less mobile. From a yoga perspective, we are taught that the pelvis is home to Svadhisthana—our second chakra, which is linked to emotions and the unconscious. So in that sense, it's no wonder the correlation between the two is so strong.
How can you let go of your past emotional states? Here are six yoga poses that can open your hips and restore balance in your emotional state:
- Child’s pose
- Thread the needle
- Low runner’s lunge
- Double pigeon
- Half pigeon
- Lizard pose
Bring attention to your hips and actively work on releasing all that baggage to rid yourself of anxiety, fear or even depression.
- Donna Dupuis