Yoga Therapy for Hip Problems

The link above is an article from the BBC that is reporting a high incidence of hip injuries in many yoga practitioners and teachers.

Our Synergy Teacher and Journalist in the UK, Eva Kincsei has written the following after reading this article …

“Simply contorting your body into fancy postures does not give you yoga. Especially, if your yoga teacher doesn’t have a sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology. That’s exactly why Bianca Machliss and Simon Borg-Olivier – physiotherapists for 25 years, and yoga teachers of 30 and 40 years, respectively – developed the Yoga Synergy method 30 years ago.

The Yoga Synergy method is based on a deep and sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology, modern medical science and traditional hatha yoga. It’s a unique method that’s been adapted to the modern body that leads a predominantly sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga Synergy teaches a practice that is safe regardless of how fit you are. It’s suitable for everybody, whether you have an injury or have never tried yoga before. It is also a strong challenge for people used to a regular physical practice such as professional dancers, elite athletes and advanced yoga practitioners. Yoga Synergy helps you develop strength, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness, it helps you increase energy, and enhance your ability to deal with stress.

In the Yoga Synergy method, every posture has a simple and a more challenging version. All students – regardless of strength and flexibility – are encouraged to understand the simple versions of the postures before the more complex versions are attempted. Students can then choose the level of difficulty that suits them, from moment to moment, day to day.

When students undertake a more regular practice, it’s important they know how to respond to the body as it is in the moment, and not be attached to where they would like it to be in the future or where it was in the past. In this way, students learn to generate energy rather than block it, with the focus on meditative flow, to ultimately create a practice that gives the best benefits long term.”

Hip problems and hip therapy:

One of the most common musculoskeletal problems in our lives is anterior hip compression and over-tension due to our predominantly seated lifestyle. This condition can be easily aggravated by overstretching or the compressing your hips in yoga or exercise classes.

If this is at least a part of what you are experiencing my advice is to do the following things:

  • try to avoid things such as pulling up the knee caps
  • avoid tightening the front of the hips as a general rule
  • try to push hips into your heels during standing posture without tightening the front of the hips in order to physically push the head of the femur back into the socket of the hip joint
  • try to activate the small external rotators/extensors of the hips such as quadratus femoris by standing on one leg with one leg in the air behind you with the knee bent and the hip slightly turned out and extending while your spine is in a gentle forward bend
  • improve blood flow round the hip joints with gentle circling the hips or doing figure 8 shapes behind you in hip extensions – try to do with out getting heart rate up
  • avoid doing anything that hurts the hips during or after the practice

Here is a video link to some hip exercises you can try. These exercises are built into the Yoga Synergy sequences.

Simon Borg-Olivier: General Exercises for the Hip – YouTube

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