Several muscles in your hips act as flexors, the muscles that help pull your thigh toward your trunk, help you bend at your waist and help pull your knee upward. According to yoga instructor Julie Gudmestad in an article for "Yoga Journal," tight hip flexors can cause a compromised pelvic position, leading to lower-back discomfort and pain. You can perform specific yoga poses to stretch your hip flexors, which may help alleviate these troublesome symptoms.
Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Step your right foot about 3 1/2 feet in front of your left foot, coming into a lunge position. Keep your right toes pointing forward. Rotate your left foot out to bring it perpendicular to your right foot. Square your hips forward. Place your hands on your pelvis and tilt your pelvis up, keeping your tailbone pointing down. Raise your arms straight up above your head. Lower your hips to bring your right knee perpendicular to the floor. Do not allow your knee to extend past your foot. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds, then release and repeat on the opposite side.
Bound Angle Pose
Sit on the floor in a cross-legged position, then uncross your legs and bring the soles of your feet together. Extend your spine tall, maintaining the natural arch in your lower back. Relax your head, neck and shoulders. Hold your feet with your hands, using your elbows to gently press your knees down. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. Release your hands and fold forward from your hip hinge, slowly walking your fingers forward until you feel a moderate stretch in your hips. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then release.
Standing Thigh Stretch
Stand with your feet together and your arms by your sides. Align your head and neck with your spine. Relax your shoulders. Shift your weight to rest on your right foot. Balance on your right foot and bend your left knee, bringing the left foot toward your buttocks. Reach around with your left hand to press your foot closer to your buttocks. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, then release and repeat on your right foot. If you have difficulty maintaining balance in this pose, use a chair or another sturdy surface for support.
Reclining Hero Pose
Kneel on the floor with your knees together, feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides. If you suffer from knee or shin pain, place a folded blanket under your shins and knees for support. Slowly lower your buttocks down to rest between your heels. Exhale and lower your body back, first supporting your weight on your elbows, then continuing to lower your back down to the floor. Expand your chest and shoulders. Tilt your pelvis up toward the ceiling. Rest your arms by your sides. Stay in this pose for up to one minute, then return to a kneeling position.
Ashley Miller is a licensed social worker, psychotherapist, certified Reiki practitioner, yoga enthusiast and aromatherapist. She has also worked as an employee assistance program counselor and a substance-abuse professional. Miller holds a Master of Social Work and has extensive training in mental health diagnosis, as well as child and adolescent psychotherapy. She also has a bachelor's degree in music.