What does it mean to “square your hips” in yoga? Follow these tips, and find out why it matters so much.
“Square your hips” and “stack your hips over each other” are things that you are often asked to do during a yoga class. Usually, people either have no idea what it means, or they understand but find it difficult to do. We break down the process and explain its importance.
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How to know if your hips are aligned
These commands sound easy, but it can be hard to shift your hips in opposite directions. When you’re asked to align them, it is because your legs are going in different directions, so do not be fooled if your thighs and butt do not look like they are in a straight line.
To check if your hips are in a line, you can just look at them. Even if other parts of your body are not symmetrical, your waist and pelvic area are a good indicator.
If the pose does not allow you to turn and take a look, place your hands on each side of your hip. This can be helpful in some poses, but if you are doing a split, the sides of your hips will be pulled in different directions.
In that case, place your fingers on your hips and your palms on your tailbone. When you shift your hips forward and backwards, you should be able to feel the movement in your tailbone. Make sure that it is facing forward evenly to confirm that your hips are squared.
Why squaring your hips helps in yoga
It might not seem like it does much besides adding to your discomfort in a pose, but aligning your hips works wonders in increasing balance and muscle engagement. With your hips in a single line, you will be able to use your butt and back muscles more efficiently.
Sitting straighter and stronger will help to keep your body firm and in a tight line to stay balanced and active throughout the pose. Not only will this advance your practice, it will also help to prevent injury.
Benefits of getting used to this movement
This isn’t just good for yoga, though. Many people tend to have a bad stance as tucking in the tailbone is not commonly mentioned. By aligning your hips, you will be able to stand with a straighter spine to improve posture and reduce backaches.
(Also read: Fix Your Poor Posture In The Office)