New to forum and question on hip stiffness


#1

Hello to all, new here, I have been doing yoga at home for about 2 months, every day. I love having this new yoga routine, I use DVDs and practice shortly after getting up in the morning.

One question is about hip stiffness. I am fairly dynamic, have always been, biking, hiking, aerobics, weights etc. I’m 48 and in spite of having stretched a fair amount in my life, my hips are tight: classic example of knees pointing upward when doing seated poses. I have been gently working on them, but wonder if at my age, there is any hope of truly loosening.

I have noticed a very slight improvement overall, but my dream is some day to be able to sit in lotus, since I do vipassana meditation and currently have to use a small stool.

thanks for any opinion.


#2

Welcome to the community. I hope find it a profound and safe place to both give and receive.

If we are talking about “possibility” then an emphatic “yes” is my reply. The body has a profound ability to regenerate. However this requires correct thought, correct intention, and correct action (and by “correct” I mean that which is appropriate for the stated mission). So when one is eating properly, resting properly, acting properly, and thinking properly this regeneration is more available.

The larger issue with the hip complex is that many seem to believe an active hip is a balanced hip. All six of the hip movements have to be worked, in the seventh, while avoiding the eighth. So if your current video or teacher is not teaching such things then it would be challenging to have a balanced hip complex unless you are incredibly intuitive or exposed to more sound teaching.

Knees “pointing upwards” in seated postures (like Badha Konasana) is due to a lack of opening in external rotation or incredible tension in the internal rotators. And both can be worked on through asana. But to ONLY work them, to ONLY work flexion and extention, to ONLY work adduction and abduction, these things facilitate imbalance.


#3

Dear InnerAthelete

[QUOTE=InnerAthlete;82887]All six of the hip movements have to be worked, in the seventh, while avoiding the eighth.[/QUOTE]

The six movements are Internal and external rotation, flexion and extention, abduction and adduction.

What is the seventh movement?

What is the eighth movement? Why one should avoid it?

[QUOTE=InnerAthlete;82887]But to ONLY work them, to ONLY work flexion and extention, to ONLY work adduction and abduction, these things facilitate imbalance.[/QUOTE]

Why should “only working on the movement” facilitate imbalance? As an example if I have poor internal rotation I work on it to bring the hip / thigh muscles into a more balanced state, isn’t this action desirable?

Kindly elaborate.


#4

InnerAthlete, thanks for the post, it is somewhat informative, and somewhat confusing, as antaraayaah pointed with further questioning. I get the first paragraph and noted what you said, specially about correct, or right intention. However, some clarification for the other 2 paragraphs would help.
Thank you kindly.


#5

Clarifications are for class

But …

The seventh is traction. The eighth is compression. In order to answer the third question consider the nature of the hip (perhaps in contrast to the nature of the shoulder).

In using the word “only” I meant only, as in “just this and nothing else”. All of the movements of the hip are covered in the hip series but the doing is customized - after assessment, to bring all of the movements to the same level.

Of course knowing that my internal rotation needs additional attention is appropriate. And, of course, attending to that need is warranted. However the question this begs is “how much work, in what way(s) and with what synergy relative to the other movements”. The problem occurs when we know the internal rotation needs attention and we run to the mat to do Eka Pada Rajakapotasana as a remedy.

When that is our response we are doing a pose that [I]requires[/I] external opening not one that [I]delivers[/I] it (generally speaking, though not absolute) and we do it without any measure of when it is enough or too much relative to the other movements.

Any time we play to or favor that which we can do easily over that which has challenge we have to carefully watch the effects on balance.


#6

Dear InnerAthlete,

Thank you very much for response & clarification !

On the eight movement. Do you consider drawing / firming the muscles around the hip joints, bringing the femur into the hip socket, compression? If so, isn’t it good to ensure the integrity of the hip socket?

Regards.


#7

That depends on the drawing/firming. The action has to bring the head of the femur into the acetabulum. Ergo a drawing/firming which includes such an action does, in my mind, qualify as compression. However it is not necessarily putting the hip in joint, depending on what posture we are addressing.

For example this is not enough action for putting the hip in joint in trikonasana and obviously the hip doesn’t nee your assistance for compression and bearing the body weight is compression enough.

In the hip series to which I am constantly making reference, actions counter the nature of the hip. Since we have elected to stand upright on two legs, the hip joint lives in compression bearing the body’s weight. Ergo a hip series is only done in traction - extending the femur away from the hip joint in a supine position.

As alluded to above, other postures are a different story, especially those where one bears weight on the lower extremities.


#8

[QUOTE=InnerAthlete;82967]… The action has to bring the head of the femur into the acetabulum. Ergo a drawing/firming which includes such an action does, in my mind, qualify as compression… [/QUOTE]

I find taking this action in some standing poses stabilizes my hip-joints, it lifts pelvis, spine, and improves hip range of motion, e.g. in Trikonasa I am able to rotate whole leg out while keeping both buttocks in the frontal plane.

My left hip used to be unstable, I can’t stand on left leg, and the hip muscles get inflamed frequently. When I became aware of this action with practice the problem went away.

I learn this action from Geetaji Iyengar convention DVDs. She said it helps to prevent hip fracture, especially for folks with Osteoporosis.

Just sharing my experience.

Namaste