There seems to be no relief around tight hips. We tell ourselves it's just a part of our physical experience as a woman, and we come to accept this as truth.
One of the main culprits, of course, is sitting – whether it's at work or driving – but on a more subtle level, also engaging in self-care practices like sitting down to savor slow meals, relaxing on the sofa, cycling or even meditating in lotus pose.
For me, the hips seem to always be at the top of persistently painful muscle groups. However, I need to first slow down enough to recognize that they are even tight. As a self-awareness practice, I start and end each day by resting on my back, hugging knees into chest and really feeling into my hips, noticing any discomfort that arises and being curious rather than judgmental.
I've always known that women store a LOT of emotion in the pelvis/hip area. In human design, my solar plexus is defined, I have two emotional waves and this very center is my Authority (or inner guidance system), so I am extra prone to emotional expression. And with my history of repressing emotions, I can see why the hips are taking on most of the burden.
Simply put, emotions manifest in our physical body.
But beyond the emotional correlation, did you also know that the hips represent decisions in life? Especially those that involve moving forward. This concept blows my mind.
The iconic Louise Hay said that “pain in the hips is a sign of being 'stuck,' unable to make a decision or see clearly what needs to be done next... Pain or discomfort advises you to slow down or stop, look around, buy a map, or ask someone for directions.”
Luckily, we already have a trusted internal guidance system that comes from the body's physical cues. This allows us to make decisions that are uniquely correct for us.
Think about it. Because the hips thrust the leg forward, we are literally taking a risk every time we step forward. So it makes sense that on a deeper level, contraction in that area will prevent forward momentum.
So what can we do? Becoming aware and accepting of this trigger is key since we often tend to ignore the body's messages. Next are the actual practices that counteract tight hips at a physical level. Deep tissue massage, stretching, foam rolling, rockin' out in the living room with headphones (my fav), hula-hooping, yin yoga and epsom salt baths are some ways to loosen up those lovely hips.
Realize that when you are doing deep hip-releasing practices, you may feel the stuck emotions move through you. It is completely normal to suddenly burst into tears, feel intense rage or briefly re-live a traumatic moment. Surrender and let it pass. You will feel much better.
Once we delve into the root cause and look at our emotional and decision-making patterns can we truly begin to heal on all levels.
Have you noticed a correlation between being stuck in life and stuck in your hips?