Some of us just are not all that talented at resting.
If you’re an active sort and have trouble keeping still, then being told to rest might feel like a punishment. Since the joints of the hips are so large, sometimes they require more rest than we want to give them. But they will keep asking. And often, it will show up in the form of a demand.
Practicing yoga for hip pain can help depending on what’s actually going on
And just because I really love stating the obvious (and I’m so damn good at it), yoga instructors are not doctors. They can’t tell you why your hip hurts. Only an x-ray and qualified medical professional can help you out with that. However, if you’re not ready to go that route, trying rest may be your best bet. See where that takes you. Not interested? Then go see a professional so you know what you’re dealing with.
Less is often more
I promise. It feels like those words are spilling out of my mouth on the regular as of late. The very deepest place you can go is not necessarily the most optimal for you. If you’re always reaching for the biggest and most extensive stretch, this may be where you need to begin. Try doing less, rest, backing off, and getting cozy with a more subtle stretch may be the yoga for hip pain prescription you really need.
Yoga hip openers and modifications
Most hip openers are asymmetrical. This is outstanding when you are trying to let one side of your body rest and heal and want to nurture the other side. Props such as blocks, bolsters, and blankets become very good friends in many hip opening and strengthening poses. We have to respond with compassion to pain. We shouldn’t push past it. It requires respectful acknowledgment and a kind response.
Pigeon pose is a fan favorite in the asana realm. I really can’t recall a class where people have neglected to request hip openers. It’s a big need and practicing yoga for hip pain is probably how a lot of people find yoga in the first place.
If you are in pain, the only solution is to back off. Minimize how deep you go and how often you go there. Joints and tendons have strong reactions when they are pushed past their capacity.
Ways to modify in popular hip openers
- Pigeon pose: use a blanket, block or bolster underneath the hamstrings of the forward bent leg. It will help with easing pressure placed on the knee joints and possibly provide a more valuable stretch to the hips.
- Cobbler’s pose: Sit on a block to tilt your pelvis forward and provide relief to the muscles surrounding the spine.
- Figure Four: If you are laying on the ground. you could place the foot of the bottom leg on the ground instead of suspended in the air. This will minimize the stretch and not tax the spine.
Subtle stretches have a lot to offer. Apply the principle of how much you give and what you’re specifically receiving to take the very best care of yourself possible.