Blog Mental Health Therapy Somatic Exercises Somatic Stretches for Hips: Releasing Stored Emotions in Your Hips

Somatic Stretches for Hips: Releasing Stored Emotions in Your Hips

We often hear the phrase “the hips don’t lie”, which may sometimes be true, but there is even more to the story. The truth is, the hips actually hide and store many suppressed and repressed emotions. There is a direct link between the hips and emotional well-being (1). That being said, focusing on hip stretches and hip-openers can actually release pent-up stored emotions that have been hiding away for years.

Exploring the mind-body connection is the first step to understanding how our emotions can impact our bodies, specifically the hips. The mind-body connection refers to a two-way relationship where the mind influences the body and the body influences the mind (2). This is where somatic exercises come in. Somatic exercises are gentle movements that help people connect with their bodies and improve their mind-body awareness. The exercise focuses more on how you feel than meeting a specific fitness goal and encourages you to move with full-body awareness.

The purpose of somatic stretches for hips is to focus on the stored emotions you’re carrying in your hips and release them in a relaxing, purposeful way. They can help you release stored emotional tension (3).

What Are Somatic Hip Exercises?

Somatic hip exercises are a type of somatic movement that focuses on how you feel in your hips. Somatic movement can help connect your emotions to your physical feelings and benefit both your body and mind when performed regularly. Somatic hip exercises are a great way f to release stored emotions and feel better physically and mentally (4).

The goal of somatic stretches for the hips is to work as a therapy to release trauma, stress, and built-up emotions that are stored in your hip flexors. It’s based on the idea that unresolved trauma and chronic stress physically manifest in the body and lead to physical tension, emotional imbalances, and a disconnect from your own body. Through somatic therapy, individuals can release stored emotional energy and regain a sense of control and safety by bridging the gap between mind and body (5).

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Somatic Exercises for Hips: Unlock Hip Health with Somatic Exercises for Flexibility and Mobility

These are quick and easy exercises that anyone can do and they can be very beneficial if you’re dealing with hip pain or tightness and suppressed emotions that have been building for years. Hip exercises can easily be done while lying on the floor and rotating your hips in a slow, methodical way while mindfully noticing how these movements make you feel. Keep reading to find out more about specific somatic exercises for hip flexors and how to do somatic stretches for hips at home.

What Emotions Are Held in the Hips?

Hips often store years of built-up emotions, trauma, and stress. Stress hormones are released when our fight-or-flight response is triggered by a threat, either real or perceived. When we’re constantly in a fight-or-flight state due to everyday life stressors, the psoas muscle becomes chronically tense. Over time, this tension becomes the new normal for our nervous system, resulting in chronic tightness in the hips (6)

These everyday stressors can lead to a variety of intense emotions, such as fear, resentment, frustration, anger, guilt, sadness, shame, worry, resentment, and anxiety. These emotions can remain stuck in the hips, particularly the psoas muscle, if they’re not felt, experienced, or expressed (7). It’s important to perform somatic exercises regularly to release trauma and other built-up emotions that are held in our bodies.

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The Introduction to Somatic Memory and Efficient Ways to Heal It

That is why hip openers can play a really important role in facilitating the release of lingering emotions. In fact, the hips are even sometimes referred to as the body’s “emotional drawer”. The metaphor illustrates the fact that our hips often store lingering, unprocessed emotions that need to be acknowledged and released.

Running a never-ending rat race, shoving trauma further and further away, falling into self-harming thought patterns, living life that’s eclipsed by constant anxiety and fear – this is what an average person goes through every day. Not addressing it will only pull you deeper into a downward spiral. BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app will help you gain a new perspective on life and help you regain that long-lost internal balance!

How Emotions Get Stored in Our Hips

Emotions that have been suppressed are buried in the hips. We bury them to avoid feeling them. As we face frequent stressors triggering flight-or-fight, we clench or tense our bodies to control our emotions. 

As a result, stress hormones are released, and the psoas muscle tightens. When buried emotions accumulate over time, they can manifest as physical symptoms around the hips (remember, this is our emotional drawer). When we experience ongoing stress from daily life, this can keep the psoas muscle in a chronic state of tension, which leads to hip tightness. 

This persistent contraction signals the brain that we’re in danger, prompting the release of more stress hormones. Such physical tension can manifest as acute or chronic pain in the hips, lower back, and pelvis and can even lead to headaches and migraines (8).

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Somatic Meditation: Definition, Benefits, and How To

The emotions that accompany this tension become trapped when they’re not felt, acknowledged, expressed, and eventually processed, particularly in the psoas muscle. Somatic stretches for hips help release these emotions (9).

somatic stretches for hips  

How to Release Trauma from Your Hips

In order to effectively release trauma and stress in our hips, we can practice opening somatic exercises. Engaging in somatic stretches for the hips to release stress can also help with the expression and release of physical and emotional tension and suppressed emotions. Fortunately, there are several easy ways to release the trauma and stress that are associated with tight hips.

These somatic exercises don’t take a lot of time – only approximately 5–15 minutes of stretching in the morning or at night before bed to relieve some of the tension. You can perform these movements on the floor or in bed.

The exercises include:

  • Somatic exercises and movement
  • Yoga
  • Gentle stretching
  • Mind-body practices
  • Massages
  • Somatic experiencing therapy

Read more: Somatic Healing Techniques: A Holistic Approach to Physical and Emotional Recovery

Are Somatic Exercises Legit?

While relatively little research has been conducted on the specific benefits of somatic movement approaches, people who do somatic exercises report that they find them to be beneficial. People who do them regularly usually find that they improve their posture, flexibility, range of motion, balance, and quality of their sleep. Several studies have shown flexibility and mobility to be essential components of fitness that reduce the risk of injury and promote healthy aging (10)

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Somatic Exercises for Women: Reclaim Your Body, Soothe Your Mind

In addition to these benefits, somatic exercises can help strengthen your muscles correctly. And of course, developing a better mind and body connection can be a healing experience for many people (11).

You can try somatic exercises for hips at home and see for yourself whether they actually work or not. Just remember to do them consistently for a few weeks for 5–15 minutes per day to feel the effects. If you have any questions or concerns, always consult your physician before you try any new exercise or workout.

What Is a Somatic Release?

Somatic release refers to the process of releasing stored tension and pain through various physical and therapeutic techniques (12). The concept is based on the idea that the body holds onto physical manifestations of emotional and psychological experiences, which can lead to chronic pain, tension, and other physical issues. Somatic release aims to free the body from these patterns and promote healing and well-being.

Somatic techniques can be beneficial for individuals who are dealing with trauma, tension, and stress-related conditions, and those who are seeking to improve their overall physical and emotional health (13).

This is why somatic exercises are so effective. If you’re wondering what the difference is between somatic exercises vs yoga, the key difference is that yoga is focused on achieving perfect alignment, while somatic movement encourages you to explore what you feel and use this to inform your movement. 

See also
Somatic Stress Release to Harmonize Your Being

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somatic stretches for hips  


  • Why do hip-openers make you cry?

The purpose of hip-opening poses is to release emotional tension and trauma that are stored in the hips, which can lead to tears. As the purpose of hip stretching is often to release pent-up emotions, stress, tension, and trauma, experiencing tears while performing these exercises is a normal part of releasing your emotions.

  • Where is childhood trauma stored in the body?

Some studies prove that our past trauma, specifically childhood trauma, can present itself in physical ailments for several years. This correlation is particularly prevalent if the trauma isn’t dealt with or is pushed under our feelings (14). These feelings and trauma often get stored in our body, and the hips, which are occasionally referred to as our emotional junk drawer, store most of our trauma.

  • Where is sadness stored in the body?

When we go through something extremely difficult or sad, this sadness most often gets stored in the chest. We may experience distinct physical sensations in our chests as a result of extreme sadness, including muscle tightening, pounding heartbeats, churning stomachs, and rapid breathing (15). As a result, when we experience something that is painfully sad or tragic, our chests often hurt deeply.

  • What chakra is associated with hip pain?

The hips support your body’s weight and enable a wide range of movements. They’re also closely linked to the sacral chakra, which is connected to emotions and creativity (16)

  • How can you release tight hips in bed?

To release tight hips, there are several somatic hip exercises in bed you can do to help release the tension. These include the hip flexor stretch, bridge pose, standing lunge stretch, and the Figure 4 stretch. 

  • How do you unlock your hips?

If your hips feel locked up and tight, there are a few simple stretches to help unlock them. During these stretches, make sure you breathe deeply through your nose and into your diaphragm and exhale completely. Try these simple stretches to unlock your hips: Hip Flexor Stretch with Pressed Dowel, Deep Squat with Full Breath, Pigeon to Chest Elevated Pigeon, and the Scorpion Stretch.

The Bottom Line

Somatic hip exercises for releasing trauma and emotions that are suppressed and repressed in our hips can be beneficial. We often bury our emotions to avoid feeling them, which leads to clenching or tensing our bodies in an effort to contain them. 

When we experience strong emotions in our everyday lives, suppressing them can convince the brain that certain emotions are unsafe, which is triggered by the fight-or-flight response. Stress hormones are released during this response, which causes the psoas muscle to tighten, and over time, accumulated buried emotions can manifest as physical sensations in and around the hips.

If you’re dealing with tightness in your hips, try some somatic exercises for the hips to release the tightness and release any stored trauma or emotions in your body. In addition, glute stretches can help release and improve flexibility.

These stretches work to release stored emotions, stress, and trauma in our bodies. These emotions are often stored and buried in the hips, so performing consistent somatic stretches for the hips can help release them. Start taking a few minutes per day to perform somatic stretches for the hips and see what a difference it makes for you.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Unlocking Emotional Well-Being: The Transformative Role of Your Hips (
  2. Mind-body connection: what is it and how to strengthen it (
  3. Somatic Stretching: How It Works, Benefits, and Starter Exercises (2024,
  4. Somatic Exercises: How It Works, Stretching, and Moves for Beginners (2024,
  5. Somatic Therapy Toolbox: Body-Based Exercises for Trauma and Stress | NYC & Pleasantville (
  6. Somatic Exercises for the Hips (
  7. Somatic Exercises for the Hips (
  8. Somatic Exercises for the Hips (
  9. The Powerful Connection Between Your Hips and Your Emotions (2021,
  10. Somatic Stretching: How It Works, Benefits, and Starter Exercises (2024, 
  11. Somatic Exercise 101: What Is It & What Are the Benefits? (
  12. Somatic release: small moves to relieve big tension (2022,
  13. Somatic Therapy: Understanding The Mind-Body Connection (2023,
  14. How Trauma Is Stored in the Body (2021,
  15. People very clearly “feel” strong emotions in various parts of their bodies (
  16. Why is Trauma Stored in the Hips? (2020,
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