Yoga and Your Hips, Part III


These are, hands down, my 15 favorite hip opening yoga poses.

Creating a balanced, effective hip-opening sequence is simple if you know how the hip muscles are laid out. When you don’t have for a map for their hips, you’re at a higher risk for overstretching your hamstrings and external rotators compared to your hip flexors and adductors. Teachers make this mistake in their sequencing regularly and, as a result, hamstring insertion injuries are one of the most prevalent injuries in modern yoga.

If you haven’t read them already, start with Yoga and Your Hips, Part I and Part II . The model of the “5 Muscular Compartments of Your Hips” in Parts I & II is the same approach that I take when I teach anatomy live and online. (And If you want to learn even more about yoga anatomy and yoga sequencing, you can join me in my yoga anatomy course or yoga sequencing course.)

The sequence here contains my three of favorite postures for each compartment of your hip. I practice this sequence several times a week and I still love the feeling of space and mobility it gives me. I hope it helps you feel good in your body, too!

15 Hip Opening Yoga Poses




Hip Compartment #1: Hip Flexors




Pose 1: Anjaneyasana
Keep your back thigh vertical here. Why? Because keeping your back thigh vertical and stacking your pelvis and spine directly over your thigh helps stretch your quadriceps and hip flexors.




Pose 2: Anjaneyasana
Lower your hips forward and down to isolate and stretch your hip flexors, especially your rectus femoris.




Pose 3: Anjaneyasana
Leaning into the side bend from Anjaneyasana helps stretch your obliques and quadratus lumborum along with your hip flexors.




Hip Compartment #2: Adductors




Pose 1: Malasana
Malasana provides a thorough, inner leg stretch while also flexing the knees and hips deeply.




Pose 2: Prasarita Padottanasana with bent knee
Bending one knee and pressing your forearm against your thigh allows you to create a deep, sustained stretch on the entire adductor group.




Pose 3: Bound Side Angle
The action of binding in this posture provides you with a shoulder opener in addition to the adductor stretch.




Hip Compartment #3: Hamstrings




Pose 1: Parsvottanasana
This foundational standing pose allows you to focus on stretching one set of hamstrings at a time. This may be more effective for students with tight hamstrings than stretching both sets of hamstrings at time like you do in Uttanasana.




Pose 2: Prasarita Padottanasana
In addition to stretching your hamstrings, this pose also stretches your adductors.




Pose 3: Standing Split / Warrior III Hybrid
While similar to Parsvottanasana, this one-legged standing posture provides a deep, isolated hamstring stretch.




Hip Compartment #4: External Rotators




Pose 1: Pigeon Pose
This bittersweet posture uses the weight of your entire body to stretch your external rotators.




Pose 2: Ankle-to-Knee
Placing one ankle on the opposite inner knee externally rotates your thighs even more deeply than Pigeon Pose.




Pose 3: Reclined Pigeon
Clasping your leg and reclining in Pigeon Pose stretches your glutes, external rotators, and abductors.




Hip Compartment #5: Abductors




Pose 1: Reclined Gomukhasana
Reclining in Gomukhasana allows your entire body to relax and settle, while providing you with a deep abductor stretch.




Pose 2: Gomukhasana
This classic seated posture provides efficient leverage for opening your abductors.




Pose 3: Gomukhasana with sidebend
Including a sidebend in this posture gives you a deep abductor stretch while also releasing tension in your obliques and quadratus lumborum.




15 Hip Opening Yoga Poses | Jason Crandell Yoga Method





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  1. Hi! I am interested in 30 minute hip opener sequences!


  2. This is a such a neat post thanks a lot, I loved the pictures too, Andrea

    • Thanks, Andrea!

  3. You guys are hands down my favourite go-to online yogis for intelligent anatomical advice and sequencing. Living in deepest darkest rural France I can feel cut off from great teachers so you really do shine a light. One day I will get to one of your trainings in London. Until then, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your hard work and dedication to making yoga teachers the best possible conduit for the miracle that is yoga. Namaste xxx

    • Thanks, Kate! This is exactly the type of content that we want to provide, so we couldn’t be happier that you resonate with it!

  4. Thanks for presenting intelligent sequences that are approachable to most students. Your ‘nuts and bolts’ style of teaching presents wonderful means to work on various parts of the body.
    Namaste, Lynne

  5. I really like the Yoga pose sequence from you both, wish some days both of you can make class for Yoga Training in Indonesia.
    My favorite sequence is Arms Balance , love it an I always teach it in my Yoga class.
    Thank you for sharing

    • Hello and thanks for your comment! You never know…once our daughter gets a bit older we might come to Indonesia! All best, Andrea

    • You’re welcome, Alia!

  6. Omg this helped me so much!! I am a hiker and my hips have been giving me problems thank you Bless you!!

    • I’m so glad this was helpful, Donna. Thanks for practicing with me!

  7. I’ve been watching your videos for over 7 years starting with Yoga Journal and now on Yogaglo. I recommend your videos to everyone I can. My question is about hip replacement. I had my right hip replaced almost 10 years ago, I’m 64, very, very active with biking, hiking, climbing & backpacking. My orthopedic surgeon is not supportive of yoga but I love it and try to practice at least 3 times/week. How do I protect my hip or where can I find accurate information on poses that are harmful vs beneficial? Thank you.

  8. Thank you soo much for a great sequence. My students absolutely loved it.

    • You’re welcome, Preksha!

  9. Thank you so much for your incredibly helpful articles. Come to North Carolina to lead a workshop!


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