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Hips Don't Lie: Releasing Trauma & Emotion Stored in the Hips

While Shakira may have been referring to her hip-shaking dancing, these lyrics hold an entirely different meaning in somatic healing. The hips truly don't lie, and when releasing the physical tension held in our hips we may be surprised to feel deep emotions arise. When it comes to lasting inner healing, addressing the trauma and emotion we may be storing in our hips is a great place to start.


The hips do so much for us physically. This ball and socket joint connects our lower extremities to our axial skeleton and supports us in standing, walking, dancing and more! There are at least twenty-one muscles that cross the hip, providing movement and stability functions. If you've born children, your hips have expanded and shifted so baby could pass through the pelvis during delivery. Our hips are an amazing part of our physical body, but that's not their only value. Let's explore how the hips are actively involved in our emotional experience.


woman stretching her hips in a lunge stretch at home

I once attended a phenomenal yoga class where we were guided through a series of deep hip stretches. As I settled into a pigeon pose for a longer length of time than normal, I was surprised to notice memories popping into my head that I hadn't thought about in years surrounding the emotional trauma of our daughter's childbirth. I remembered feeling powerless and unsafe, feelings that had been blocked out in my own mind's desire to protect itself. I recalled feeling my own needs and feelings minimized with the energy of fear surrounding me. As I sunk deeper into the stretch I felt the release of these emotions that had been suppressed for so long. My hip joint itself felt free in an uplifting way and my entire body, mind, and spirit felt lighter. I felt tears suddenly run down my cheek, dropping to the mat below me. Afterward I hugged my instructor with gratitude, thanking her and sharing a bit about my experience.


The hips are often referred to in the holistic wellness community as the "emotional junk drawer" of the body. This is because traumatic experiences and strong emotions that have not been released and healed are often stored here. There is one muscle group in particular suspected to be a major reason for this, the iliopsoas. The psoas muscle is the deepest support of our core and connects the uppwer and lower body. Whenever you're under mental or emotional stress, your psoas tightens. Even after a threat has passed this tension is still found within the hip and pelvic area unless released. If you've experienced headaches or low back pain, emotional tension within the psoas muscle and hip joints may be a contributing factor.


From an energetic standpoint, the hip joint area is home to the sacral chakra. It physically includes the sexual and reproductive organs, bladder, kidneys, pelvis, low back, and of course... the hips. The sacral chakra is the energy center that governs our creativity, emotional expression, and sexuality. These can feel to be vulnerable aspects of our existence that are all too frequently dishonored by others. Releasing physical tension from the hip joint helps to rebalance your sacral chakra and release those trapped emotions


This means feeling safe and free to express your emotions openly with the awareness that they matter. Feeling at home in our body and confident about expressing and enjoying your sexual needs being met. Feeling creatively inspired, knowing there are endless opportunities available to you. And of course, getting rid of that pesky hip and low back tightness and pain.


If you're ready to release the physical, emotional, and mental tension being held in your hips, join us locally for a special somatic therapy class supporting exactly that by registering here. If you're not local, no worries. Reach out here and enjoy the same benefits virtually.


Let's free those hips of tension, emotional stress, and pain!


Love & Healing,

Ashley Kay











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I'm a writer, energy healer, and plant-obsessed meditating mama on a mission of guiding women to Heal & Rise! For more about my story...

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