Your hips are meant to be the most stable part of your body. And why shouldn’t they be? They are the weight-bearers, the forward-motion producers, the physical base of our most crucial organs and systems. Tight, stable hips are a a completely normal, brilliant adaption. As you look to love on your hips, realize that we are not contorting them a la Cirque du Soleil, but rather stretch the dense tissue compassionately for optimal mobility, free nerve signaling and recalibration. We want to bring them back into balance and reward them for their hard work. But how?
Research and personal experience currently tell me yin yoga is the best option for producing and retaining range of motion in this large joint. If you want to move freely for longer, you can pepper in a yin class or two a week. For faster results, pick two of your most potent poses, the one you personally feel inside your body are most beneficial, and breathe in the hold for three minutes each side four times a week. Below you’ll find a catalog of hip opening poses to choose from. Remember: you should not be in pain during these longer holds. Optimally, you’d find 60-70% sensation in the stretch and use bolsters and blocks to support any negative space. You should feel like you can let go into the pose and use zero effort. Yin helps remodel the connective tissue and needs consistent practice to find results. Find a predictable time of day to do this short practice. Results are slower in connective tissue than muscle, so be patient over the next few months as you gift yourself new hips.
Eccentric work in a power or vinyasa yoga class lengthens and strengthens muscle simultaneously. Visit your mat once a week focusing on wide, sturdy stances. In warrior two for example, your feet should stretch apart generously yet hug toward one another to activate your leg and hip muscles. The wide stance helps create space in the groin and hamstrings while externally rotating the front leg femur head in the hip socket. In crescent pose, you strengthen and lift your back leg to stretch your psoas (a main hip flexor) and actively pull your back foot forward without moving it to work the psoas at the same time.
Respect your unique anatomy. Your hips are modeled and utilized differently than the yogi next to you in class. In fact, your right and left sides are made and used differently too. Finally, bone changes occur as you age giving you different experiences and needs in different phases of life. If you stuff yourself into a pose or stretch that isn’t for you, you’ll end up hurting the hips instead of curating ease. I invite students to back off 10% if pain signals occur. Maybe you don’t do that particular pose or ask your teacher for a modification. Speak up for yourself, because those who do realize that yoga can meet any body where they’re at through slight adjustments and yoga tools.
Let go of stories. You cannot care for your body compassionately if you are living in a judgement that one side is your “bad side” or that you’re just “not flexible” or have “tight hips”. You were born with what you were born with, and your body has adapted to your demands of it over time. This is what you have to work with. You are not trying to make the Olympic gymnastics team, but rather make this physical vessel a wonderful one to inhabit. Acceptance, non-judgement and compassion are key.
Lastly, visit your hips often with discipline. My mentor always says, “frequency over duration”, and it’s true. Any meaningful change takes a disciplined practice. If you can master that, then here’s to you feeling good in your body for years to come.
Try out some of the hip opening poses below and let us know how what you think in the comments!
2023 Power Life Elevate, All Rights Reserved.
Built with 🤍 by Blink Wellness
2023 Power Life, All Rights Reserved.
Built with 🤍 by Blink Wellness
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Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life.
Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.
Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters.
Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.
We validate parking for THREE garages in the area!
Two Light garage located directly north of the studio. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.
Three Light garage at Main and Truman. Garage entrance on Truman. Please bring your ticket inside for a validation sticker.
Power & Light garage at 13th and Grand. Please ask for a parking pass at the studio front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)
If you find that you are running a couple minutes late due to parking, please call the studio to let the instructor know to wait for you before locking the doors.
We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:
Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.
Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).
Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.
Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!
The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!
This option is valid once per day per license plate.
There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.
Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max
Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.
All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.