The Powerful Connection Between Your Hips and Your Emotions


Let's talk about how your hips and your emotions are connected. Your hips can hold onto feelings you might not even realize. When you're stressed or upset, your hip muscles tighten up, just like when you clench your jaw. This tension can trap not only physical stress but also old emotions.

Yoga can help with this. Hip stretches in yoga can bring up old feelings, and it's okay if you get a bit emotional during them. While working on your hip muscles can be challenging, if you keep at it and remember to breathe, you'll start feeling more relaxed and less stressed. So, your hips and emotions are linked in surprising ways, and yoga can help you release that tension.

Getting to know your hips

Let's get to know your hips a bit better. Your hips are on the sides of your pelvis and have an important job in your body. They help you walk, bear weight, and keep your core stable. If your hips are tight, it can lead to pain and trouble with everyday activities like walking or standing. Tight hips can also affect how you stand and move your head and neck.

One key player in this hip story is the iliopsoas, a deep muscle in your inner hip. It's crucial for core support and connects your upper and lower body, linking your breath and diaphragm to your legs. It's not just important physically; it can have emotional effects too. If your psoas muscle is tight or not working well, it can cause various types of pain and affect your spine's stability and posture. It may even influence things like your creative and reproductive organs. So, understanding your hips is not just about physical comfort; it can also have emotional significance.

Stress and the body

Deep within your psoas muscle, there's a surprising connection to your kidneys, which cleanse toxins, and your adrenal glands, responsible for the fight, flight, or freeze response. This connection sheds light on how emotions are intertwined with our physical body. When you feel danger or emotional stress, your psoas muscle tightens up. Even when the stress is gone, this tension can stay, often in your hip area, causing problems like headaches and lower back pain. In more severe cases, after a traumatic experience, the hip tension becomes a place to hold gut pain and fear, making your body curl up and hide. So, understanding the link between stress and your body, especially the hips, reveals how your emotions can impact your physical well-being.

How emotions get stored

Neuroscience helps us understand how emotions can be stored in our bodies. In 1985, a neuroscientist named Candace Pert found that tiny proteins called neuropeptides activate circuits linked to our emotions. She said that "your body is your subconscious mind," meaning our physical body can change based on what we feel. Emotions are like electrochemical signals that travel through our body, and they're stored in both our body and mind. This can affect how our brain works and whether cells have a positive or negative impact on our body. According to Pert's work and recent research, it seems that every cell has a kind of consciousness, storing memories and emotions. Some studies even suggest that cells have a "nano brain" and are very sensitive, reacting to different signals and fields. This means that cells in all living things might have some form of awareness. So, how emotions get stored is a fascinating mix of biology and our feelings.

The link between the emotions and the hips

Research is helping us understand how our emotions are connected to our bodies.

Specific emotions are linked to certain body areas, and this connection is consistent across cultures and genders.

East Asian medicine associates emotions with specific organs, using "somatic" language, while Western medicine uses "neural" language.

The psoas muscle, connected to the fight or flight response, can trap stress.

The hip region is tied to the sacral chakra, affecting creative energy, sexuality, and emotional handling.

A blocked sacral chakra can lead to emotional fluctuations and reduced pleasure.

Tight hips might keep unexpressed sacral energy trapped. This reveals the link between emotions and hips, impacting both physical and emotional well-being.

Ways to release old emotions in the hips

You can free yourself from fear, trauma, and stress linked to tight hips in simple ways, such as:

Somatic exercises-Somatic exercises help link your mind and body. They involve being aware of your body's signals during intentional exercises. Examples of somatic exercises are rolfing, shaking, Body-Mind Centering, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, and Laban Movement Analysis.

Martha Eddy, who specializes in Dynamic Embodiment, emphasizes the importance of movement in releasing stored emotions. By tuning into your body's cues, you can identify areas where stress or imbalances are stored.

Eddy also points out that movement can activate the lymphatic system, aiding the movement of white blood cells throughout your body. These exercises provide a simple way to improve your mind-body connection, release stored emotions, and boost your overall well-being.

Yoga, stretching, and mind-body practices- Yoga is a great way to relieve hip tension and get your entire body moving. It includes practices like sun salutations, pelvic stretches, and hip flexor stretches. Sun salutations involve flowing poses and coordinated breathing, which help your spine and hip flexors. For those dealing with psoas pain, pelvic stretches like the ground bridge with pelvic tilt can be therapeutic. You can also include hip flexor stretches and exercises in your daily routine, such as lunges and seated butterfly stretches. Other practices that help release tension and enhance the mind-body connection are qi gong, tai chi, aikido, dance, and Pilates. These activities offer a holistic approach to improving your physical and emotional well-being.

Massage the arch of the foot- Martha Eddy notes an interesting link between the arch of your foot and the psoas muscle in reflexology. You can gauge the condition of your psoas by looking at the arch of your foot. If the arch is collapsed when you massage your foot, it might indicate an overstretched psoas. Conversely, if the arch is very tight, it could suggest a tight psoas. Eddy recommends working on the lateral arch of the foot in reflexology to address issues in the lower back and hip area. By applying pressure to the arch of the foot, where the psoas and adrenal glands spots are situated, you can help release tension in your hips. This provides a unique and simple way to understand and address hip-related issues.

Listening to your body- Somatic experiencing is a therapy focusing on the mind-body connection. It helps you recognize and come to terms with bodily sensations. By addressing physical pain and symptoms, you can uncover their psychological origins.

This process involves feeling, sensing, and then taking action. Martha Eddy explains that you can either embrace, work with, or negotiate with these sensations to bring about changes. Regardless of the cause, it will reveal itself at its deepest level. Somatic experiencing offers a straightforward way to understand and address the connections between your body and emotions.


Understanding the strong link between our hips and emotions is important, especially if you experience stress and anxiety. By recognizing how stress and anxiety manifest in your body, you can work on releasing that built-up tension. The hips are a key area for storing emotional stress due to their connection to the psoas muscle, adrenal glands, and the sacral chakra. So, during your yoga practice, when you do hip-opening poses, it's not just about stretching; it's a way to address and release emotional stress stored in this area. This connection emphasizes the importance of caring for both your physical and emotional well-being.

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