Feeling tight in the hips? These 10 yoga flows are sure to help you get them supple and open.
I scoured YouTube for the best offerings that target the hips specifically. The following are well-loved classes that won’t steer you wrong.
Table of Contents
Brief hip anatomy
As a ball and socket joint, your hip is meant to have a wide range of motion.
The Rockette kick, a martial artist’s roundhouse kick, and a contortionist’s oversplits all owe their existence to the muscles surrounding — and ligaments supporting — the hip joint.
Whenever there is such a big range of possible movement, there is the potential for vulnerability.
It’s not uncommon to overdo it in the hips, creating irritation or strain in the hip flexors, outer hips, glutes, or inner thighs, for instance.
On the other end of the spectrum, it’s not uncommon that stiffness in the hips is a result a sedentary lifestyle or too-little movement. Like all body parts, the hips have got to move in order to keep their blood flow and suppleness.
It is also possible that the shape of someone’s joint inhibits their range of motion. This is a big reason why anatomy teachers like Leslie Kaminoff do not recommend lotus pose for every practitioner.
Thankfully, yoga is the perfect way to create health, comfort, and appropriate flexibility in the hips.
What’s going on when the hips are tight?
Typically, when a student complains of tight hips, they are referring to some tightness or irritation at the piriformis or the glute medius of the outer hip.
- Poses like pigeon go a long way to relieving tension and breaking up any fascial adhesions in this area.
In other cases, when a student complains of tight hips, they are referring to an inability to execute a pose like baddha konasana (soles of the feet together, knees wide) comfortably.
In this case, the abductors of the inner thighs, and sometimes the hamstrings, are inhibiting the opening of the legs.
- Stretching the inner legs will help, along with strengthening the outer hips.
Finally, the hip flexors of the front hip are also known to get tight.
- Poses like lunge will help in this case.
For our purposes today…
I’ve looked for classes that target primarily the outer hips (the most common complaint). But most of them will target other angles as well.
This article will offer:
- a brief intro to each teacher
- a brief description of the class
- the duration of the flow
- the difficulty level
Read on to find some love for your hips!
10 Best Yoga Flows for Hip Stretches on the Web
1. 20 Minute Yoga for Hips w/ Adriene Mischler
It’s impossible to search for yoga on YouTube without stumbling upon Yoga with Adriene. She and her production partner have produced high-quality weekly yoga videos for years.
Not surprisingly, Adriene offers a popular, feel-good hip opening yoga class.
This one is 20 minutes in length. Adriene’s offerings tend to be very accessible and beginner friendly, and this class is no exception.
2. 20-Minute Yoga Flow for Hips w/ Cat Meffan
Cat Meffan is another wonderful and generous powerhouse on YouTube. Her channel has over 400 videos — many designed with the intermediate yogi in mind.
In this 20-min yoga flow for hips, Cat offers a powerful and yet sweet and thorough approach to stretching the hips.
3. 10 Min Yoga to Release Hips w/ Joëlle
Those without much time to spare will appreciate Germany-based Joëlle’s 10-minute yoga for hips offering.
This is a voiced over yoga class that moves along very gently and slowly.
Beginners will likely find it approachable, but some practitioners may find it lacking the heat and consequent hip opening they are looking for.
4. Hip-Opening Yoga Flow w/ Kylan Fischer
This one has so many views I couldn’t ignore it. Alo Moves is very good at finding Instagram talent and then bolstering their yoga offerings with high-quality production and promotion.
This video’s like-to-view ratio is about half of Adriene Mischler’s — so that’s something to consider.
I would personally rather follow along with the likes of Cat Meffan who comes across to me as much more real, grounded, and experienced — but these things are subjective of course!
Nonetheless, the instruction is clear, the poses will feel great, and if you like a sweet, high-pitched voice, then you might enjoy this one. (I tend to like earthier voices — isn’t it weird how much someone’s voice impacts our preferences??)
It’s 24 minutes long, starting simply and morphing into a challenge.
5. 30 Minute Vinyasa Flow for Tight Hips w/ Sandra Viaja
Here’s a chance to open your hips with the pixie Sandra Viaja.
This is a gently moving session that wastes no time targeting your hips. One commenter mentioned that it was effective enough to stir up some emotion.
One note is that Sandra seems to go pretty gentle on the outer hips, opting instead to focus more deeply on inner thighs and hip flexors. Those craving a deep pigeon-style stretch will be left out of this one. But lizard (lunge) lovers will be in luck.
6. 50 Min Hip Opening Yoga Flow w/ Leigha Butler
If you’ve got about an hour to spare, you might enjoy this hip opening yoga flow taught by yours truly.
You’ll manage to build heat during this flow, a factor that tends to help the hips to open more completely.
You’ll find those deep pigeons and even double pigeons you might be craving — along with other juicy hip opening treats.
I know I’m biased, but a read through the comments might convince you that this class has the power to open both your hips and your emotional body.
7. 60 Min Hip Opening Yoga Flow w/ Alessandra Oram
This thorough and sweet hour-long flow with Alessandra Oram is sure to offer you the hip stretches you crave.
Alessandra builds the appropriate heat and focuses on your outer hips.
Her approach is mellow, but she won’t skimp on giving you depth. If you have the time, this is a great one to follow along with.
8. 20 Minute Strong Hip Opening Flow w/ Patrick Beach
If you’re looking for strength and heat to go along with your hip stretches, then Patrick Beach delivers — and in such a short amount of time: just 20 minutes.
One note is that Patrick’s approach to hip openers in this video is just as much about lizards and squats as it is about satisfying pigeon poses (which he does offer at the end). So if you’re craving inner thigh and hip flexor stretching, along with some outer hip love, then this is a good one for you.
9. 15 Min Deep Stretch for Hips w/ Kassandra
Kassandra has her YouTube game on lock with more than a million subscribers and 800 videos to choose from.
This 15-minute class is just one of her many hip-opening yoga flows.
This class proceeds slowly and deliberately and give you all of the stretches and angles you crave when you’re needing to address tight hips.
10. 20 Minute Hip Love Flow w/ Allie Van Fossen
Allie Van Fossen gets credit in my book for the best title and description for a hip opening yoga class with enticements like “so damn sweet” and “perfect.”
The extreme close-ups are a little much for this viewer, but some will appreciate that, to be sure.
The class, as promised, is a sweet one — done primarily down low on the mat. Allie will guide your through hip stretches for all angles of the hips from inner to outer.
30 Minute Yoga Flow for Hips w/ Leigha Butler
After compiling all of these videos, I realized that a truly effective yoga flow for the hips would have the following qualities:
- not too long, not too short
- builds heat
- not too slow, not too fast
- targets primarily outer hips
- incorporates other angles of the hips too
If you’re looking for some happiness in the outer hips, I believe you’ll enjoy this practice.
Yoga is such a salve for tight hips! (And open hips can mean a happy body.)
I hope you get the hip opening sunshine you’re looking for, dear yogi.