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How Can Yoga Help Your Hip Pain?

By Sara Butler

Yoga for Your Hips

Hip pain is a real pain in the … hips. When you think about how each of us uses our hips each day, it’s no wonder many people deal with hip pain. After all, this joint is the largest ball-and-socket joint in the body, holding up to the same motion day after day. All that wear and tear can take a toll, but hip pain isn’t something you have to take lying down. Instead, get up, roll out your yoga mat, and try a few of these yoga poses to help relieve your hip pain.

How Yoga Can Help

Yoga is a great way to gently stretch and strengthen your entire body, hips included. Particularly when it comes to hip pain, yoga works to strengthen the muscles that support the joint and stabilize it. It also works to increase the joint’s range of motion. Plus, it’s a low-impact exercise that’s easy for people of all fitness levels.

Four Yoga Poses for Hip Pain

Ready to give some yoga poses a try? Make sure you’re wearing clothing that will allow you to move easily. And choose a soft surface if you don’t have a yoga mat of your own.

Here are four poses the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic advise to help care for your hips and, hopefully, reduce the pain you’re experiencing.

The Pigeon Pose

For this pose, you start on your hands and knees, distributing your body weight on all fours. Slowly bring your right knee up to the outside of the wrist on your right hand as you slide your left leg out behind you. At this point, the outside of your right shin should be in contact with the floor. Your torso remains upright.

If you’re new to yoga, then only bend your knee as far as you feel comfortable but remember that the farther forward you can take your right knee, the deeper the stretch will be.

It can be a little difficult to envision, so here’s a video of the pigeon pose to help!

The Bound Angle Pose

For this pose, begin by sitting on the floor. If your hips are really tight, then feel free to sit on a folded towel. Next, bring the soles of your feet together until they touch as you let your knees fall open to the side. You can place your hands on your feet or ankles and use a blanket or yoga blocks to support your knees if you need support.

Sit up straight and feel your spine lengthen as you sit in this pose. As you inhale, hinge forward at your hips, being careful not to round your back as you do so. It doesn’t matter how far you can hinge forward, simply do so until you feel the stretch in your hips. Hopefully, you’ll be able to bend farther forward the more you do it!

If you have really tight hips, this is a really good pose for you.

For help with this pose, watch this video!

Head-to-Knee Pose

This pose is another winner to help open up the hips and get a good stretch. As with any sitting pose, you can sit on a folded towel or blanket if your hips are very tight. Extend your legs out in front of you and then slowly bring the bottom of your left foot to your right inner thigh. Then line up your torso with your legs, hinge forward from your hips and fold your torso over your right leg. Hold on to your lower right leg as you breathe.

The goal is to touch your head to your knees, but if you can’t bend that far yet, then simply go as far as you comfortably can but still feel a stretch. You can even use yoga straps, if you have them, to help. Hold it for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

This will also stretch the hamstrings, which may be compromised if you’ve been sitting for a long time.

For a visual tutorial of this pose, check out this video.

Happy Baby Pose

Have you ever wondered why babies are so happy? Most of them don’t have hip pain. You can now channel your inner baby with this pose, which also happens to feel really good as a hip stretch -- possibly leaving you as happy as a baby.

Start out by lying on your back. Bend your knees and bring them up to your chest, then grasp the outer edge of your feet or your big toes, whichever is more comfortable. Keep your spine and hips on the ground. Remember to breathe in as you hold this pose for about 30 seconds! You will feel this stretch in your hips and hamstrings.

This is the pose to end your workout because the previous poses stretch the hips but this one allows them to rest.

Here’s a video that can help you achieve this very happy pose.

Each of these poses opens the hips and stretches your thighs and lower back in the process. Yoga poses like these help to increase flexibility and range of motion in the hips, something that complements the treatments you get from the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic.

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