Stuck and stored emotions in our body, especially in our hips:
Our hips don’t lie, especially not when it comes to unresolved trauma and emotions. Energetically and physically, our hips hold onto a lot. These muscles have the potential and tendency to store unprocessed emotions such as grief, loss, sadness, and pain. In return, this can greatly impact our hormone health, period health, and overall well-being. When it comes to our overall health and happiness, we must look at ourselves through a physical, emotional, and spiritual lens. We love to use various natural ways of bringing the body and mind back into harmony, especially using herbal medicine.
This phenomenon all starts to make sense if you look at it from both an energetic and biological perspective. Think about how our bodies react when a stressful situation comes up. When we experience emotional stress, we have the tendency to clench the muscles around our legs and hips. This is a biological reaction, priming our bodies for a fight or flight response. However, our bodies cannot tell the difference between stress coming from an emotional trigger or a physical one, so, our natural response to stress is to use our hips in order to take flight, fight, or bend forward raising our knees up into a fetal position in order to protect our core from danger. To learn more about how stress negatively impacts our hormones and menstrual cycles, we highly recommend listening to our podcast episodes here.
In a physical way, when we experience stress, we tense our muscles and create muscular tension which shortens them, causing an inability for the muscles to return back to their relaxed state. Likewise, when we do this we trap emotional or cognitive tension as well, which gets stuck in our hips.
This tension gets created and trapped when we undergo either one big traumatic event, or accumulates over time when we experience smaller less traumatic but still emotionally heavy events laden with feelings such as sadness, anger, loss, and grief.
So, to recap, when these emotions come up we experience a bout of both emotional and physical stress, we tense up our muscles, and these emotions end up getting trapped and stored within our hips.
How to release the tension of stored emotions in the body:
Thus, in order to free these trapped emotions and process the stagnant feelings, it is important to stretch the hip muscles. Stretching these muscles releases tension and allows the emotions to be released as well. This is where having a regular yoga practice comes in. Poses that create opening in the hips and hip flexors can cause an emotional response in most people, as they settle into poses and emotions start to become dislodged. A lot of times people will find themselves crying or feeling really uncomfortable emotionally in these poses because they are releasing so much stored trauma and discomfort.
Therefore, hip openers are challenging poses for people to work through. The key to getting through them is to BREATHE. Our breath is an innate transformative tool that we always have in our back pocket to help us get through tough times and regulate our nervous systems. Breathing through these poses will allow you to find ease along with the discomfort and bring some flow into your body to help gather these emotions and send them on their way gently.
Hip opening poses to release stored tension, emotions, and trauma:
In pigeon pose you will cross your leg through the midline of your body and place your ankle near your opposite wrist. Then you will drop your back knee down, slowly hinge at the hips and bring your torso over your knee until you feel a stretch in your hips. Hold this pose on each side for 1-3 minutes to allow for a deep opening and release.
In this pose you will bring your leg to the outside of your shoulder, finding yourself in a wide lunge with your arms on the inside of your knee. From here your can stay up on your hands, or drop down onto your forearms depending on how deep your body wants to melt into this pose. This is an intense pose to rest here anywhere from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes and breathe deeply through this pose.
Place both feet in front of you with soles of your feet touching. From here draw your feels into your pubic bone then grab your feet or ankles and slowly hinge at the hips until you are in a comfortable stretch and release. Breathe deeply into this pose for 1-3 minutes.
When you are moving through these poses remember to be gentle with yourself as you dig up buried trauma and emotions. Releasing all this tension has the potential to bring up a lot. Consider ways to work through these emotions such as bringing your journal to the edge of your mat or calling up a close friend or family member after your practice. Support yourself in the ways you know will feel like a BIG hug, and know that purely showing up and embarking on a path towards processing these emotions is a huge accomplishment in itself.
To continue to support your hormone and period health, continue to read our blog posts, listen to our podcasts, and check out our organic herbal remedies for liver health and detoxification, gut health, hormone health, and more!