Open hips in a season that closes us down

A private yoga student found me online. She was desperate. Her hip joints were in lock down. “What?,” I asked, “do you mean?” She could not separate her legs more 1-2 inches. Getting to the floor was an acrobatic event, one not without props. Hiking was a past activity. Standing for a long time sent her back into spasms making work as a bench scientist challenging. Her reign as holiday meal chef had ended.

Suspicious her hip sockets were riddled with arthritis, after getting to know her for a few weeks, gradually gaining her trust, I recommended an orthopedic surgeon consultation. Long story very short – and sweet, after working together for 10 months (to build up her upper body strength), she had bi-lateral hip replacements.

And, after another 10 months recovery, we’re back at yoga. Legs span 90-degrees now. This is her in the picture. I take so many pictures now, just like a proud Mama. This assisted pose is an excellent way to anchor your upper thigh bone into the hip joint capsule for optimal alignment. Pressing your big toe ball mound into a second strap alleviates tightness in your psoas. Here’s how to do it:

Lying on your back, place a looped belt around your upper left thigh and right foot. Extend your right leg along the floor. With a 2nd strap, belt your left foot and extend your leg toward the ceiling. Tip the bottom of your pubic bone toward the floor to open your low back and sacrum, then gently lengthen your tailbone to turn the left outer hip and thigh outward (this also creates length in your side body). Stay with your breath to keep your body relaxed and hang out here for 1-3 minutes.

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