Every once and a while, a part of my body lets me know that it desperately needs some work. This morning it was my hips. Every since I was pregnant with my daughter, my hips have never been the same. According to Baby Fit, hip injuries are fairly common in pregnancy mainly due to the uneven distribution of the extra weight and an excess of the hormone relaxin (which prepares your body for labour).
Hip pain is fairly common. Before trying any treatment it is important that you seek an opinion from a medical professional. If you are like me, my hips most often hurt from neglect and so yoga is the perfect remedy.
Yin yoga is an excellent gentle practice to focus on opening up your hips. This clip is an excellent mini yin yoga practice which focuses on the hips.
I typically practice the routine below as a flow class, beginning with some sun salutations. Sun salutations are great for both warming up and waking up the mind and body. I usually complete 3. On the last sun salutation, I complete a deep child’s pose. Stretching my arms, back, and hips.
Warrior I is a powerful pose, and has always been one of my favorites. It stretches your arms, back, thighs, shoulders, ankles and calves while opening your hips, chest and lungs.
In my practice, I always complete Warrior I and II together. I find the two asanas compliment each other beautifully: stretching and opening your entire body.
Now complete the opposite side. If you are completing a flow practice (which is what I usually do), practice each side two times.
Even in my flow practices, I still take my time to rest in butterfly. Butterfly is a beautiful hip opener. If I want to add in a back stretch, I will complete supine butterfly and lie down with my hips open. Remain in this pose for at least one minute and give your hips a great stretch. Remember to add bolsters and brisk where needed. Listen to your body and allow the stretch to happen naturally.
Additional Hip Openers:
Reclining Hero Pose
I end my practice with supported Savasana, placing a bolster under my lower back.
Other comfort measures for my hips:
- Balance my sleeping positions. If I’m sleeping on my side, I try to use a bolster between my legs to alleviate the pressure
- Massaging tiger balm into my joints
- Avoiding crossing my legs
- Strengthening my core and back
On the days where my hips are particularly sore, I go slowly, paying attention to how my body feels. Some days I may only get in a portion of this practice. More often, I end up breaking up this practice into several small sessions and practice a variety of hip exercises throughout the day. I hope you enjoy these postures as much as I do.