Hips don’t lie but they can be the hidden source of much more in our lives than awesome dance moves. Did you know that your…
pains can all potentially be traced back to the muscles in your hips?!
Let’s talk about WHY?!
It mostly stems from the evolutionary changes that allow us to walk upright and for that matter, do things such as ride a bicycle or a horse. Everything literally HINGES on your hips. This is because you use your hips to POWER movement as well as STABILISE in stagnation or moments of balance. In this way, your hips never stop working for you, but what have you done for them lately?
If you think about your hips, you probably don’t think of them in terms of MAINTENANCE, but just like a car, sometimes we need a tune up! For happy, healthy hips you need a combination of flexibility and strength and to KICK off this train of thought let’s discuss the FLEXORS, which are often both tight and weak from our modern lives spent in chairs. These muscles are responsible [mainly nothing is absolute in our bodies!] for flexion and extension, i.e. walking or kicking. For our purposes here, we will focus on the PSOAS (pronounced so-as). This beast crosses NINE (9, no joke, that’s nine) joints and it is your secret weapon in a yoga practise. Many of the movements and strength we attribute to the abdominals can be sourced to the psoas, such as that tight little ball in crow pose, bakasana (crow) or moving from ardha navasana (half boat) to full navasana (boat): this is your psoas! Accessing and controlling this powerhouse potential can be difficult. Furthermore, due to the number of attachment points, 9 remember?, this singular muscle can potentially also cause a lot of problems. That is why it is so important to understand and learn how to take care of it!
However, when you think of tight hips, you usually think of poses like pigeon or baddha konasana (bound angle), which brings us to the GLUTEALS! The tightness in these bad boys is caused by movement but not because they are the propulsion; rather, this group of muscles stabilises the hip [keeps us from falling over] as the opposite leg moves forward to walk, run, press down on a bike pedal or kick a ball. Tightness in these muscles, which you can probably agree is fairly easy to achieve based on the previous information, can mimic the discomfort of sciatica, and if you have experienced this you know what a PAIN it really is. Simple stretches which can even be done in a chair, or better yet a bed!, and taking time for more circular movements, yes, like DANCING, can help relieve the tension in these muscles.
And then there are the muscles you never think of as part of the hips! Tight HAMSTRINGS and QUADRICEPS have just as much of an affect on the mobility of the hip joint. There are of course many more muscles such as the ADDUCTORS and ROTATORS, and focusing on these groups, understanding where they are, how they move, and how to keep them happy is important!
And of course there is you, YOUR UNIQUE BODY, with its history and injuries and genetics! All the yoga in the world will not change your beautifully different body and depending on HOW YOUR femur is rotated in the hip joint will dictate a lot of your mobility. Whether or not you have given birth will also affect your hips. The sports you play, your jobs, your injuries, your life… ALL OF THIS can impact your mobility! But don’t be discouraged!!! The most amazing part of this practise is it is ADAPTABLE! And that is what I love to teach, how to help you adapt the practise to your body so that you an feel your BEST! I hope this inspired you to get on your mat and explore the experience of moving in your hips!
For more information contact Stori at:
Join Stori for a hip workshop on 6th January 2024