There Are 3 Kinds of Hip Flexibility, and This Yoga Flow Hits Them All To Reduce Physical *and* Emotional Tension

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Yoga teachers are fond of saying that the hips hold a lot of pent-up emotions—and right about now, you may be more in your feelings than usual. While stretching your body can't solve all the world's problems, it can help you squeeze in a little self care when times are tough. So on this week's episode of Trainer of the Month,  yoga instructor and Mirror trainer Pilin Anice leads you through a flow to help you get deep into your hips from every angle.

Your hips are comprised of two ball-and-socket type joints (one on each side), and there are three ways that they can move: Back and forth (flex and extend), out to the side and in toward the pelvis (abduct and adduct), and in rotation as your toes point in various directions. In this 17-minute session, you'll work your flexibility in each of these directions to release tension all over.

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At the top of the class, Anice calls the sequence a "fun, playful flow," and that's pretty much the best way to describe the movements you'll be doing today. You'll start by warming up the body with gentle variations on cat-cow pose and mini-sun salutations before the class fully lives up to its name: "Hip hip hooray."

Once it's time to really get into the hip-opening goodness, Anice will instruct you to move into lizard pose (utthan pristhasana) and wiggle your hips around to move into that flexion and extension of the joint. Then, you'll challenge your abduction and adduction abilities by coming into a cat-cow pose and drawing great big circles with your knees, one at a time. And finally, you'll move into goddess pose, or utkata konasana, with your toes pointed out to challenge your rotational hip flexibility.

But hey, even if you pay zero attention to what kind of flexibility you're fostering in a given moment, this hip-centric flow will still feel amazing. So don't overthink things too much (there's plenty of time for that when you're not on your yoga mat). For now, grab any props you love and let Anice take it from there.

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