If you sit at a desk all day for work or you are constantly doing heavy lifting, your hips can get a little "angry" with you. You know the feeling: tight, painful to move and not easy to get to your feet once you have sat down for a while. If your doctor has already ruled out diseases in the body such as arthritis and gout, and has given you the okay to do some light exercises to make your hips less painful, you may want to try yoga. Here are some yoga moves that will help your hips feel less painful and more flexible.

Seated Twist

This is a pose that helps stretch your shoulders and back as well as your glutes and hip flexors. Sitting on the floor, tuck one leg under you as though you are going to sit cross-legged. Take your opposite leg, bend it upward at the knee and tuck the foot over onto the other side of your body, placing your heel of this leg and foot right next to the bent knee on the floor. While hugging the upwards-bent knee to your chest, twist your torso back while continuing to pull the upward knee into your chest. You should definitely feel some pull in your thigh, hip and buttock of the top leg.

Pigeon Pose (or Runner's Stretch)

Get into push-up position. Instead of resting on high with your palms touching the ground, come down until your elbows meet the floor and your forearms, palms and elbows create a platform. Keep your body suspended up off the floor, with your toes digging into the ground. Next, shift your weight over to one side, take one leg and bring it up, tucking your foot and shin under you and perpendicular to the rest of your body. This leg should bend at the knee such that your knee almost touches your chest.

Lean into the stretch by shifting a little of your weight over to the bent leg side and dropping the weight down a little. You will definitely feel this in the hip of the bent leg. Repeat on the opposite side so that both hips get a good stretch.

Downward Dog

A very well-known pose, "downward dog" helps you stretch the really long muscles that connect from your lower back to the backs of your upper thighs just under your buttocks. Reaching down to place your hands on the floor, bend as much as you can from your hips (not from your waist). Walk your hands out on the ground away from your feet until your body forms a "V" from the side view.

Hold this position for as long as you can, feeling the stretch in your lower back, buttocks, thighs and even in your calves. If you can hold it longer than twenty seconds, stop at twenty seconds, especially if you are new to yoga. 

For more information, consider talking to the professionals at Olson's Martial Arts Academy.