A few years ago, I thought tight hips were limiting me from certain movements, so I chose Vinyasa yoga to increase my flexibility. What I didn’t realize then was that most yoga classes require external rotation of the hip, such as Warrior 2, Triangle, Extended Side Angle, Pigeon, etc. The yoga practice I chose was overworking the muscles that externally rotated my hip and weakened my already underactive inner thigh muscles and hip adductors. This consistent overuse of external rotation was creating an imbalance in my body and I had no idea. I was overstretching my muscles, degenerating tissues, and causing instability in my body. Over time, when my hip flexibility started to increase, so did my yoga hip pain.
It was a dull pain on the right side of my hip that worked its way down the upper front portion of my leg. The sensation originated near the gluteus medius and traveled towards the Tensor fasciae latae, iliotibial band, sartorious and part of the rectus femoris. For a while I ignored it, still being aware of the sensation every time I performed a physical activity.
Instead of harnessing my critical thinking skills to identify the areas of my body that needed to be strengthened, lengthened, and mobilized, I stretched one area of my hip instead. It wasn’t until I began learning about Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model Method® several years ago that I learned how much harm I was doing by focusing on too much of one thing. I now understand that in order to “open up” the hips, we must move the ball and socket joint and its connective tissues in external and internal rotation, flexion, extension, circumduction, adduction, and abduction.
Here are the exercises for hip pain relief that helped me ease discomfort in my hip and regain the natural mobility of the joint, which in turn increased the flexibility I was looking for.
I perform Adductor Slides to strengthen the adductor magnus and Half Happy Baby Mini Vini to mobilize the hip socket. I make sure to find balance by strengthening my inner quadriceps, gluteals, hamstrings, adductors, and psoas as well.
In my previous posts, I discussed how inactivity due to Migraine Associated Vertigo (MAV) ignited my old hip pain. Thankfully Yoga Tune Up® techniques have eased my pain and discomfort.