Yoga for hip pain


The Most Common Yoga Injuries and How You Can Avoid Them. Part III: Hips

Hip injuries are a pretty hot topic in yoga. Given the extremes that we tend to place our hips during each class, it’s no wonder how and why they get injured. Today we’ll look at a few common mechanisms for injury and how we as teachers or students can avoid them. Towards the end, we’ll also discuss how important the health of your hips is for your whole body.

Note that for the sake of simplicity we’ll discuss the hip regarding the femur and the acetabulum in this article. The Sacrum, Pelvis, & Sacroiliac Joint are all major components related to the hip, but there’s a lot of information there so we’ll cover that part in another article soon. 😊

Most common Injury: Wear & Tear

I remember a little while back reading William J. Broad’s article in the New York Times about Women’s Flexibility is a Liability (in Yoga). It was the first time I had been exposed to hip injuries in yoga and how prominent they were becoming. One doctor, Dr. Hyman, said in the article “his typical yoga patient was a middle-aged woman, adding that he saw up to 10 a month – roughly 100 a year.” Now take a step back from that statement and realize that he’s just one orthopedic surgeon in Atlanta, expand that out to the United States, and that’s a lot of people sustaining hip injuries!

So how do these injuries happen? Most of it is simple wear and tear. The hip joint itself is a subject to a lot of “normal” wear and tear, especially on its cartilaginous surfaces. It’s pretty difficult to keep your hip healthy, and the number of hip replacements in both the active and sedentary is a great indication of this.

The hip joint allows for a large variety of movement options. “To create our various movements and to prevent collapse or unwelcome movements, around twenty muscles – large and small, and many of them basically triangular in shape – act within the fascia and the ligamentous bed to create or prevent movement in a harmonized symphony that changes from second to second throughout our moving day” (Tom Meyers, Fascial Release for Structural Balance)

Many movements are created by or stabilized by your hip joint!

Possible Hip Movements

A hip joint that is constantly being thrown into extremes ends up damaging the cartilage, or the cushiony surface that lines our joints. Eventually, this cartilage becomes inflamed or irritated, and we start feeling pain. Joint inflammation, arthritis, if it goes unchecked can eventually become severe and then possibly progress further to a hip replacement.

So how do we keep our hips from too much wear and tear? Simple moderation. Become more aware of the ranges, especially the extreme ones, that you put your hips in.

Poses like Triangle, Deep lunges (e.g., Crescent Lunge), Standing Forward Folds without the knees bent, etc. can throw your hips into some pretty deep places. Is it necessary to go that deep? Probably not. It may feel good at that moment, but too many of those I’m-deep-in-the-pose-feel-good-moments can equate to a lot of chronic & constant pain later.

I understand the desire to go deep into a pose. It’s that quest we’re all on to feel something in a pose/stretch. For many of us, especially the hypermobile/hyperflexible folks, the art of co-contraction can revolutionize a yoga pose. Each part of your body should be active in just about every pose, especially the opposite side to what you are stretching. .

Instead of going into the vast depths of a pose you can also try contracting the muscle that is being lengthened or stretched.

“Contracting your muscles as you stretch them will teach you to be more comfortable at that range of motion”

– Pavel Tsatsouline.

Once your body achieves a healthy level of mobility the sensation is no longer about the feel-good stretch, it shifts to comfortability and stability. That helps keep us safe & resilient so that we can keep practicing yoga injury free.

A lot of these poses that place the hips into extremes tend to feature a straight knee. As we learned in the first article on knees: Always keep a bend in your knees! In these deep stretches, it will take less stress out of the cartilaginous surfaces of the femur and acetabulum.

Hip Impingement & Labral Tears

Something a little less common, but still prominent in yoga is Hip Impingement.

“Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI) occurs in the hip joint. Impingement refers to some portion of the soft tissue around the hip socket getting pinched or compressed. Femoroacetabular tells us the impingement is occurring where the femur (thigh bone) meets the acetabulum (hip socket).”

-Definition provided by Houston Methodist Orthopedics.

In a lot of the movement in yoga, it’s common for things like muscles/tendons or the labrum, cartilaginous rim around the hip socket, to get compressed. Compression of these soft tissue structures is typically caused by bony outgrowths, like bone spurs. This extra bone creates abnormal contact between the hip bones and prevents them from moving smoothly during activity. Over time, this can result in tears of the labrum and breakdown of articular cartilage (osteoarthritis)

There are three kinds of Hip Impingement:

  • Pincer. This type of impingement occurs because extra bone extends out over the normal rim of the hip socket. The labrum can be crushed under the prominent rim of the hip socket.
  • Cam. In Cam impingement, the femoral head is not round and cannot rotate smoothly inside the hip socket. A bump forms on the edge of the femoral head that grinds the cartilage inside the hip socket.
  • Mixed. Both Pincer and Cam types are present.

You’ll recognize impingement by a snapping or popping sensation in the hip. The pain, popping, or snapping can become especially prominent with deep hip flexion (like a squat) or circumduction (moving your knee around in a circle).

One way that I learned to assess for it is to stand on one leg. Lift your other leg and perform a circle with your lifted knee. If you feel any snapping/nagging/pain that may indicate impingement. Note that the only way to diagnose this condition is with imagining like an X-ray or MRI. If you do experience any of these symptoms, you may want to seek medical care from a manual therapist. Impingement can often be managed conservatively with exercise and lifestyle modifications. If it persists and goes neglected, it can lead to arthritis and an eventual hip replacement or surgery.

If you feel pain or a snapping sensation in your hip, notice the movement or the yoga poses where you feel it and do your best to modify and avoid them. A lot of the exercises most beneficial for hip impingement involve decompressing the hip with resistance bands & rehabbing the muscles that stabilize the hip like the gluteals. Here’s a great article that covers a lot more on this topic.

The Importance of Healthy Hips

Ida Rolf called the hip “The joint that determines symmetry.” Your whole torso perches atop the two balls of your femurs. (Stop for a second and re-read that, it’s a pretty powerful statement!) Along with the pelvis, the hips are constantly moving and adjusting so that we are balanced and stable. Remember that their purpose is to support us and keep us moving, not look pretty in a crazy yoga pose or be stretched deep all the time. If you often go outside of their anatomy and function, then, unfortunately, you run the risk of hurting them.

A quick and easy way to assess your hips is the Sit-Rise Test. Check out this youtube video. (The guy in the video looks so stiff! Maybe someone can teach him some yoga haha).

It’s crucial to warm up your hips too. Their mobility directly affects the function of your knees and lower back (two not very mobile but stable areas). A new standard in the management of low back pain is assessing and restoring hip mobility. If you have back pain, do some mobility work for your hips – I guarantee it will help at least a little bit.

Now here comes something that may sound a bit blasphemous to a yogi: when it comes to warming up your hips, deep stretching, and even yoga may not be the best. Static stretching is not the best warm up.

Static stretching will create little to no change in the muscle or the movements that they control in the short or long term.

Dynamic stability is the new mobility. Small controlled movements of the joint in all ranges of motion is the best way to warm up. It helps to activate the muscular chains and systems of proper activation, balance, support, and stability. It also enlivens the brain, as there is much more sensory information being sent to the cortex. When your brain is getting a lot of feedback, it’s paying more attention, and you are much less likely to get injured. More neurons = more stability = safer/efficient movement.

This kind of warm-up is what enables us to do our yoga poses within the limits of our strength and mobility in a safe fashion. It involves the use of our core, breathing, and active range of motion around the joint.

  • They also help to establish a neutral pelvis, which allows for better movement from the hip joint.
  • It will serve as a “reset” to muscle tone around the hips. Often, the body realizes it does not have the needed stability around a joint due to muscle weakness. The body’s response is to increase the tone in a muscle to provide some false-stabilization. The hip flexors (like the hamstrings) are a muscle group that often feels tight in athletes. With proper core stabilization movements, this increased muscle tone instantly vanishes, and mobility problems are gone!

Exercises for the front & back (flexion/extension) of your hips:

Reverse Active Straight Leg Raise

  • Lay on your back, extend one of your legs to the sky and one of your legs forward. Keep your back on the mat and hover the leg that is on the ground. Slowly switch your legs, lower your leg in the sky with control and when they are next to each other slowly lift your other leg to the sky.
  • Note when you lift you should feel the front of your thigh actively lifting your leg upwards. When you lower it, you should feel the back of your thigh controlling your descent. This sensation may not be evident in the beginning, but it will start to develop with time and consistency.

Supported Hamstring Bridge

  • Stack two blocks at the top of your mat and lay down on your back. Position your butt so that you have a generous bend to your knees. It’s crucial to bend your knees, and you may need to play with finding a bend that feels good for you. Plant both heels on your blocks to assure your body is centered. Lift one leg to the sky and then press into the heel on your block to lift your hips. Focus on the pressure through your heel and the lift of your hips towards the sky.
  • Keep both legs on the block and focus on squeezing your glutes to lift your hips a little higher.
  • This movement is difficult and engages just about every muscle in your posterior chain, or back body. You should feel this in your calves, hamstrings, glutes, and maybe your lower back (pending how high you lift) on the side that’s on the block. I like to tell people the only real thing on the mat here is your ribcage or chest.
  • Customize: The closer your heel is in towards your body, the more glute activation. Conversely, the further your heel is away from your body the more hamstring and calf will be activated. You can also do this on the mat, or with just one block. The two blocks can be a little difficult for some.

Exercises for the inside and outside edges (adduction & abduction) & rotators (internal & external) of your hip:

Table Top “Fire Hydrant” Knee circles

  • In Table Top pose lift one of your legs out to the side. Keep your hip stacked over your knee on your other side and your hands over your shoulders to stabilize your core. Begin to circle your knee that is out to the side slowly. The circles can be big or small. The goal is to move and actively engage with all the muscles of your hip, especially the outer side hip muscles like the gluteus medius.
  • At the end of these circles hold your knee out the side as high as what’s comfortable and for a count of 4.

90-90-90 against the wall with internal rotation.

  • Lay on your back with your feet on the wall. Your knees should stack over your hips. Take a block between your knees and widen out your feet (so that your legs look like a letter M). Add a slight squeeze to your block and lift your foot off the wall and out to the side. Lift through your pinky toe. Alternate your feet breath to movement: inhale lift your foot out, exhale plant your foot.
  • Note that you probably won’t be able to lift that high. Some people barely get their big toe off the wall. You should feel this in your outer hip (glute medius is the target muscle here, we are training it to control and move in and out of hip internal rotation)
  • squeeze the block between your knees a few times in the beginning to activate your hip adductors.

Disclaimer: if you partake in these exercises they should be relatively comfortable and also pain-free. If they cause pain or any discomfort, please modify so that they don’t, or do not do these exercises.

These exercises make for a great warm-up or strengthening for the muscles of your hips. All of it is active and intended to strengthen & engage the muscles to keep your hips in a safe range.

The biggest take home from all of this is stay active in your yoga poses! If you are actively contracting your muscles in a stretch or as you move into a pose, it’s hard to place your body into an extreme where it can get injured. If you do like the deeper poses, please practice them in moderation and counterbalance them with strengthening exercises. Doing deep stretches feels good at the moment, but may equate to some pain in the future.

Thank you for reading & Namaste!

Dr. Garrett

Illustrations by Ksenia Sapunkova.

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9 Yoga Poses to Help Relieve Hip and Lower Back Pain


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Tight hips can be debilitating. When things aren’t working right down there, even sitting or walking can cause hip pain and possibly lower-back pain as well.

Luckily, there are some lower-back stretches that can help ward off this pain, increase mobility, and decrease your chances of serious injury in the lower region of your body.

These easy yoga poses can also take pressure off the area and can decrease your chances of experiencing lower-back pain, while demonstrating how to stretch your lower back.

These nine easy yoga hip stretches and lower-back stretches can help strengthen your hips, but when moving through them, make sure to listen to your body’s internal voice. It will tell you if you are in pain or just feeling a stretch.

At first, a stretch may feel a little sore, but will eventually feel like it is releasing tension where you’re feeling tightness.

If, however, you feel sharp pain, back out of the pose. Consider using a prop if you want to continue doing that stretch or move on to another stretch.

9 Hip Stretches to Help Relieve Hip and Lower-Back Pain

1. Lizard–Lower Lunge (Utthan Pristhasana)

  • Step your left foot forward several feet in front of the right foot. Bend the left knee until it lines up perfectly with the ankle.
  • Drop the right knee to the ground. Keep the toes curled under on that foot to stretch the calf muscle.
  • Walk the left foot out to the side. Place both elbows on top of blocks on the inside edge of the left foot. Keep hips lined up parallel to each other. You are opening the right psoas muscle and the left inner thigh. To get deeper into the right psoas, lift the right knee into a high lunge as pictured below.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths, then switch sides.

2. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

  • Bring the soles of your feet together, pulling the heels close to your groin, bending the knees, and butterfly-flare the legs open.
  • Keeping your spine straight, lead with the chest, pull your shoulders back, and fold toward your feet. This pose will open and relax the inner thighs and groin.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths.
  • Tip: If you notice your knees are set too high to relax, simply place a blanket right under the sit bones to prop the hips up. You can also take the feet out further from the pelvic cavity to create a diamond shape with the legs.

3. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

  • Begin by threading the left leg under your right leg.
  • Work toward stacking the knees, while keeping both sit bones on the ground.
  • Sit in the pose for several minutes. When the muscles start to loosen and you no longer feel a stretch, fold forward with a straight spine. If this hip stretch is too intense, you can situate both sit bones on a blanket and place a block or blanket between the knees.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths, then switch sides.

4. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

  • Start in downward facing dog. Lift the right leg and step it forward between the hands.
  • Drop the left knee down and untuck the toes.
  • Slide the right foot over toward your left pelvic bone, placing the outside edge of the right leg on the floor. Tuck the right toes in (flexing the foot).
  • Line up your hips parallel to each other, continually pressing the left hip toward the floor. If this position is too difficult, place a blanket under your bottom. To intensify the stretch, move the right foot away from the left side of your body and drop to the elbows or chest. To make this pose less intense, move the right foot closer to your right leg and stay on the hands instead of folding.
  • This is a yoga hip opener as well as a deep stretch for the psoas, shin, glutes, and outer hips.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths, then switch sides.

5. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)

  • Lie flat on your back, grab hold of both feet with each hand, bend the knees, and pull them toward your armpits.
  • Once in the proper position, rock side to side, keeping your head on the floor. The Happy Baby yoga pose will externally rotate and stretch the hips, loosen the inner groin muscles, and help realign the spine.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths.

6. Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)

  • Sit on the floor with a straight spine, both sit bones pressing against the ground.
  • Take the left leg out in front of you and bend it until it is in a straight line and parallel with your body, knee, and ankle.
  • Stack the right leg on top of the left, lining up the right ankle to the left knee and the right knee to the left ankle. If you find this position too difficult, you can use blocks as support to lighten the pose. The Fire Log Pose is a deep hip stretch and good stretch for the glutes as well. It’s a pose that also stretches and strengthens the groin, calves, thighs, and abdominal muscles.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths, then switch sides.

7. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana)

  • Step your feet out very wide, turn the toes outward, and bend the knees so they line up with your ankles.
  • Tuck your butt in to engage the core. The further the toes are pointed outward, the deeper the stretch. The Goddess Pose will stretch your groin, inner thighs, and hips.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths.

8. Half Lord of The Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

  • Sit on the floor and extend both legs out in front of you.
  • Keep the left leg straight and bend and pull the right leg in. Line the right heel up approximately 2 inches away from the back of the right leg and 2 inches away from the left thigh.
  • Sit up very tall, avoiding sinking into the lower back. Wrap the left arm around the right leg, creating a spinal twist.
  • Move the left shoulder forward as you move the right shoulder back, and attempt to line up the shoulders. Take your gaze over the right shoulder. The Half Lord of the Fishes Pose is a great hip and lower-back stretch that will also stretch your glutes, spine, chest, shoulders, and neck.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths, then switch sides.

9. Garland Pose (Malasana)

  • Turn your heels so they line up with your hips; turn your toes outward.
  • Bend the knees until you reach a squatted position. Place a blanket under the heels if they have to be lifted while squatting. You can also stack two blocks to sit on to work up to the full integrity of the pose.
  • The Garland Pose increases fluidity in the hips and stretches the ankles, knees, and lower back. It also strengthens the core muscles.
  • Hold for 8–10 breaths.

All photos by Lulu Lam.


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Practice These 9 Yoga Poses to Relieve Tight Hips

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Sitting is the new smoking. We’ve all heard it, but few of us actually take it seriously. Most of us spend at least 8 hours per day sitting down at a desk, in a car, or on a sofa, to name a few. We don’t realize that sitting for so long each day without daily hip stretches drastically affects our musculature.

The bone structure of your hips stabilizes and supports your body weight. It allows you to walk, sit, run, dance, and move, because it connects your trunk to your legs. Your hips are anatomically comprised of three main components: the hip flexors, the inner hips, and the outer hips.

In very simplified terms, your hip flexors draw your leg toward your torso. Your inner hips draw your legs toward each other, and stabilize your thigh bone in your hip socket. And your outer hips draw your legs apart from each other, and stabilize your thigh bone in your hip socket from the other side.

Weak and tight hip muscles becomes a painful combination that can create aches throughout your body.

When we sit for long periods at a time without performing daily hip stretches, we tighten all the muscles of our hips. Beyond that, we typically underuse these muscles which leads to weakness that becomes coupled with tightness.
Need to get to work? Try these 4 Hip-Opening Yoga Poses You Can Do While Working on Your Laptop!

Here are 9 Yoga Hip Stretches to Help Loosen Up Your Tight Hips

Yoga has a multitude of hip stretches that specifically target the hips for increased mobility and flexibility. So, if you’re suffering from chronically tight hips, you’ve come to the right place for some relief.

1. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Simple but wildly effective, Low Lunge targets the iliacus and psoas muscles to create length and flexibility in these powerhouse hip flexors. In this pose, the hip muscles can relax and release accumulated stress.
Unfamiliar with your hip flexors? Get to know your powerful psoas muscle better here!

Let’s try it:

  • Find Downward Facing Dog
  • Step your right foot forward between your hands, stacking your right ankle under your right knee, and release your back knee to the floor
  • Engage your core to gently lengthen your tailbone toward the earth and draw the crown of your head toward the sky
  • Reach your arms overhead as you soften the weight of your hips toward the earth
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute on each side

2. Straight Leg Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandhasana Variation)

Supported Bridge Pose is always a crowd pleaser, and this variation is a delightful stretch. Grab a yoga block (or an appropriate substitute) and get ready to release any tension stuck in your hip flexors.
Note: You control the intensity of your stretch with your block. Use the lowest level for least intensity, medium level for moderate intensity, or highest level for most intensity.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor (about hip-distance apart and about one hand’s distance away from your seat)
  • Press down firmly into your shoulders and your feet to lift your hips off the floor
  • Slide your block underneath your sacrum (about at the bottom of your waistband) and rest the weight of your hips onto the block
  • Comfortably relax your arms and extend your right leg forward
  • Option to extend your left leg forward at the same time, or alternate sides
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute (either legs together or one leg at a time)

3. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)

Another juicy stretch, Lizard Pose stretches out and releases tight hip flexors. It can be intense, so keep your yoga block handy to place under your hands for less intensity.

Let’s try it:

  • Find Downward Facing Dog
  • Step your right foot forward, to the outside of your right hand, and lower your back knee to the floor
  • Engage your core and lengthen your spine
  • Bring your hands to the inside of your right foot, either on the floor or on a block
  • Option: lower to your forearms either on your block or on the floor
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute on each side

4. Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)

This posture can be quite intense for those with outer hip tightness. Fire Log Pose targets the outer hip muscles on both the right and the left side of the hip, and its rewards are oh-so-good.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin seated with your legs extended forward, and flex both feet at your ankles
  • Slide your right shin towards you so it becomes parallel with the top of your mat
  • Lift your left leg and stack your shin over your right, with your left ankle hanging just off the edge of your right knee
  • Elongate your spine and either stay in a tall seat or slowly fold forward over your legs
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute on each side

5. Reclining Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose is a common hip opener but it tends to place the knee in a vulnerable position. Reclining Pigeon Pose gives you the same hip stretch as Pigeon, but with a lot more safety for your knees. So, if you have truly tight hips, this is the variation for you!

Let’s try it:

  • Begin lying on your back with your feet hip-distance apart on the floor
  • Lift your right leg, bend your knee, and flex your ankle
  • Cross your right ankle over your left knee (creating the shape of a figure-4 with your legs)
  • Either wrap a strap or interlace your fingers around the back of your left thigh as you lift your left foot off the floor and gently draw your knees toward your chest
  • As you draw your left leg toward you, press your right knee away from your body
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute on each side

6. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This pose feels so good and is so comfortable, you could fall asleep in it . . . literally. Relax and lie down into this simple stretch to release your inner hips and thighs.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin lying on your back with your feet hip-distance apart on the floor
  • Relax your knees toward the outer edges of your mat as you draw the soles of your feet to touch
  • Slide your heels as close toward your groin as feels comfortable for you
  • Relax your arms anywhere that feels comfortable
  • Breathe and hold for up to 2 minutes

7. Frog Pose

The pose that everyone loves to hate, this intense inner hip and thigh opener will make you realize just how tight your hips can get.

Let’s try it:

  • Begin on all fours in Tabletop Pose
  • Keep your hips in the same line as your knees as you slowly glide your knees apart from each other (only go as far as feels comfortable)
  • Turn your toes toward the outer edges of your mat (so the arch of your foot rests on your mat)
  • Keep your core engaged to protect your low back and gently relax the weight of your hips toward the floor
  • Option to stay as you are, or lower your forearms to blocks or to the floor
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute

8. Yogi Squat (Malasana)

Yogi Squat stretches both the inner and outer hips, making it a beautiful addition to any practice. While it requires a decent amount of flexibility to get into, you can always modify by sitting on a block or two to help distribute some of your body weight.

Let’s try it:

  • Stand with your feet at least as wide as your mat, with your toes slightly turned out
  • Keeping your knees stacked over your ankles, bend your knees and drop your hips as low as you can
  • Elongate your spine and engage your core
  • Relax the weight of your hips toward the floor
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute

9. Side Lunge (Skandasana)

Side Lunge hits all major parts of your hips (and their neighbor muscles – the hamstrings!). Basically, Skandasana is your hips’ best friend. Just like in Malasana, you can always prop your hips on a block to help support your pose.
Let’s try it:

  • Face the long edge of your mat, and find a wide-legged stance (bring your feet as far apart as comfortable) with your toes slightly turned out
  • Keep your left leg straight, and bend deeply into your right knee, leaning your weight to the right to place your hands on the floor
  • Keep your right knee facing the same direction as your right toes
  • Flex your left foot and with your toes facing straight up to the sky
  • For an added balance challenge, draw your palms to meet at heart center in Anjali Mudra
  • Breathe and hold for up to 1 minute on each side

These Hip Stretches Will Not Only Change Your Hips – They’ll Change Your Body!

Because the hips play a huge role in just about every major movement of the body, it is important for them to be supple and mobile. By releasing tension and tightness within the hips with these hip stretches, you’ll open your body up to a world of change.
You may find other yoga poses become more accessible, and back pain may even magically disappear. If you’re like most people who have tight hips, releasing them with these hip stretches just may be your ticket to full body transformation.

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7 Easy Yoga Poses That Will Helps To Cure Hip Pain Quickly Shirin Mehdi Hyderabd040-395603080 September 28, 2017

A bad posture at work, no exercise, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy food – there are a lot of causes of hip pain. Hip pain can be particularly uncomfortable. You can neither sit or stand, nor sleep. In such a situation, you will be willing to embrace anything to comfort you. Yoga will not only relieve the pain but will possibly prevent it too.

An Overview To Hip Pain

The hip joint is one of our most used joints. It is said to withstand a considerable amount of wear and tear and repeated motion. It is a ball and socket joint that is, in fact, also the largest joint in the body. It fits together so well that it gives allowance for fluid movement.

The hip joint is durable, but not indestructible. And with use and age, it can get damaged. The muscles and tendons in the hip area can get overused. Even the bone in the hip can break, causing sciatica or a fracture, or both.

A sore hip can cause pain in the thigh, the groin, inside or outside the hip joint, and in the buttocks. Sometimes, pain from the back or the groin can radiate to the hips.

Activity can worsen the pain, especially if it is caused due to arthritis. The pain can even reduce your range of motion, causing you to develop a limp.

How Can Yoga Help Cure Hip Pain?

Regular practice of yoga prevents stiffness in the joints and muscles of the hips. It also enhances the circulation of blood in that area. These asanas target more than one area. Hence, they relax not only the hips, but also the other areas that could possibly radiate the pain.

7 Asanas In Yoga For Hip Pain Relief

  1. Ananda Balasana
  2. Anjaneyasana
  3. Ardha Matsyendrasana
  4. Baddha Konasana
  5. Gomukhasana
  6. Malasana
  7. Rajakapotasana

1. Ananda Balasana


The Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose is an asana that takes you back to your roots, almost imitating a happy baby playing in its cradle. This asana gives your hands and legs a good stretch as it massages your back too. Your hips open up, and there is a supply of fresh blood all through your arms and legs. Your hip joints are massages and relaxed, and therefore, the pain is eased.

To know more about this asana, click here: Ananda Balasana

Back To TOC

2. Anjaneyasana


The Anjaneyasana is a low lunge that specifically works on your hip joint and muscles. The area is stretched and toned. Blood circulation is increased, and the muscles are relaxed. Your hip pain will vanish in no time. Just start slow and listen to your body, pushing only as far as your body allows you to.

To know more about this asana, click here: Anjaneyasana

Back To TOC

3. Ardha Matsyendrasana


A twist is always considered to be an excellent detox. This asana massages your internal organs, removes the toxins, and enhances the blood flow in your system. Your hips are also stretched. Therefore, the tension in the hip muscles is released. It is a recommended asana for hip pain.

To know more about this asana, click here: Ardha Matsyendrasana

Back To TOC

4. Baddha Konasana


This asana is a hip opener. In fact, it is all about the hips. It allows your hip joint and muscles a full range of motion, thereby loosening it and creating a channel for the free flow of the fluids. All the blockages are released. With time, your pain will vanish, and your hips will become flexible.

To know more about this asana, click here: Baddha Konasana

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5. Gomukhasana


The Gomukhasana or the Cow Face Pose is known to relax the muscles and spread a sense of calm. When your legs are stacked over each other, there is tension created in the muscle-tendon joints, and this gets escalated. The spinal cord, in response to this stress, signals the muscles to relax. The stretch that this pose creates results in the release of endorphins, which induce a feeling of relaxation within your body and mind, thereby relieving the hip pain too.

To know more about this asana, click here: Gomukhasana

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6. Malasana


The Malasana is basically a squat. It is an incredible asana to practice when you have a hip pain because it opens up your hips and relaxes the muscles. It makes your hip joints strong and tones the area too. Blood circulation is improved, and any pain and tightness are combated with ease.

To know more about this asana, click here: Malasana

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7. Rajakapotasana


The Pigeon Pose works wonders to relieve the pain because it stretches the hip muscle, thereby releasing the built-up tension. It ensures proper flow of fluids and successfully breaks energy blocks in the hip area. It also serves as a hip toner.

To know more about this asana, click here: Rajakapotasana

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Have you ever tried yoga for hip pain relief? They say that prevention is better than cure, so it is a good idea to start practicing yoga now to avoid any pain and discomfort in the hips. But if you already have hip pain, you know what to do! Just make sure you do it under the supervision of an experienced yoga practitioner.

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Shirin Mehdi

A jack of many trades and a master of some, Shirin is a writer, a fashion designer, and a chef by her own acclaim. She loves food, and though she might want to call herself a great cook, she just falls short of seasoning. She also loves Yoga, and has extensive knowledge about the postures of the asanas. Always muddled up between traditions and modernism, she thinks she would have been a better fit in the vintage era. She loves life and believes in living it up to the fullest.

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