What do your hips have to say about your trauma?

A super fit and athletic young woman of African ethnicity is pigeon pose while she is doing yoga exercises.

There isn’t one size fits all for complex PTSD recovery. It is essential to consider the connection between the body, mind, and soul to maximize success. I find out about the connection between my tight hips and my unexpressed overwhelming emotions while recovering from my childbirth, among other traumas.

On the biological level

The brain is connected to the hips via the nervous system. Your hips flexors are part of the largest joint in your body located on each side of your pelvis. They help bear your weight, stabilize your core and help you with the general mobility of your upper leg. They play a significant role in your health. Nestled above them are the kidneys responsible for filtering toxins in our bodies. On top of the kidneys is where we can find the adrenal glands, which control the fight, flight or freeze response mechanism. These glands are in charge of deciding what to do in the face of perceived danger. When going under any kind of mental or emotional stress, such as the ones you undergo in a traumatic situation, the natural reaction of the hips flexors is to tighten up.

On the emotional level

Our hips are emotionally charged. The reason is we tend to store buried emotions and our deepest vulnerabilities, such as past experience, fear and traumas. All this energy finds itself in our cells, floating deep within specific parts of our bodies. These traumas stay stagnant energy and sabotage our bodies and spirit. A neuroscientist named Candace Pert said in 1985, “Your body is your subconscious mind.”Many scientists agree that hips are potential storage vessels of certain emotions. During the tremendous stress of trauma, your hips will act as a bowl, catching up the residue of your pain, holding on to them until you decide to release them.


Anxiety is a common symptom of PTSD. It is unable to enjoy the present moment because your mind is too busy reliving the past while fearing the future. You may experiment with pain at the back of the pelvis; this could indicate something in the past to let go of. Pain at the front of your hips may be an indication of your fear of the future. Your body does have a memory and talks to you all the time. The problem is that not many of us know how to listen. Do you find yourself during a deep hip opener clenching or holding on because you simply can’t fully open up to the posture? If so, you may need to work on your ability to let go and let it flow in your life.

On the soul level

Your hips are located in the sacral chakra according to the East Indian spiritual belief. Your sexuality, desire, and general pleasure are linked to this energetic center. It is also known to be the host of your creativity and procreation. This chakra helps you connect with your emotions and the ones of others. Negative vibration of unexpressed feelings, desire and sexual repression will jeopardize the healthy balance of this energy field. When this happens, you’ll experiment with emotional instability and reduction in general pleasure. This will manifest itself as tight or contracted hips.

After a traumatic event, what we tend to lose, among many other things are, the ability to enjoy the things we used to love. Then the connection to ourselves, others, and the world around us, sex drive and creativity. All those things are related to the sacral chakras. It is not uncommon during a yoga class for some practitioners to find themself in tears during the hip opener pose known as the pigeon. It is usually a good cry, followed by a feeling of relief. This pose’s primary purpose is to unlock our deepest fears, traumas, anxiety lingering in our bodies and release that undesirable stagnation.

What to do next?

Shakira said it best, your hips can not lie! Suppose you have no medical condition such as a hip fracture or arthritis as a cause of your pain and lack of flexibility in your hips. In that case, it might be worthy of exploring this route. Your unresolved trauma could be the reason you experiment with tightness in this area. Finding a mental health specialist or therapist who’s trauma-informed and knowledgeable in holistic healing can be a great start to unlock your hips mobility. Including gentle hips openers, yoga poses, or chiropractor’s exercises in your routine will also benefit. So, next time you hear some groovy music, don’t stay seated. Get up and sway your beautiful hips and start living again.

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