• T
  • H
  • M
  • Hip Joint Pain
    Two Basic Strategies for Alleviating Hip Joint Pain While Doing Yoga

    Hip joint pain in yoga poses can occur in deep forward bends when the chest is close to the thigh or vice versa.

    It can also occur in twists like Marichyasana c and Ardha Matsyendrasana where one leg is crossed over the other with the top knee hugged close to the chest.

    The feeling can be like bone against bone or as if the hip joint is being compressed.

    Create Space

    The simple solution is to focus on creating space in the hip joint.

    If your knees are straight you can start by pressing your feet away from your pelvis. Imagine pulling on a tight pair of hip boots. Push your foot outwards away from the hip joint. Or imagine pulling on super tight jeans. But not too tight.

    Once you get the action (and if you pay attention and do the action slowly you'll notice tension in the butt or inner thigh or outer thigh) you may also notice that it seems as if the head of your femur is moving slightly away from your hip joint, then try it with the knee bent.

    In this instance try moving or pushing the knee away from the hip joint.

    Generally when first teaching this action I'll have students lengthen the leg and then lengthen the spine and then relax, just to help get the feel for the action.

    I go over the why of this action and what causes it in my hip joint anatomy article.
    Basically you are learning to use your obturator internus and gemellus and perhaps in a forward bending situation, the obturator externus.

    It can be overdone, and I've overdone it to the point of including the movement in every pose during a routine and then what happens is an unpleasant feeling in the hip, exactly as if I'd overdone it.

    So I'd suggest practicing to the point where the original hip pain is no longer there.

    do you get hip pain in a pose like this seated hamstring stretch?

    Note that in a pose like this seated hamstring stretch, where the arms can be used to pull the leg into the hip socket, I'd suggest reducing arm tension, modify it so that you use the arms to help lift the leg without pulling the leg into the hip socket.

    Create space in the hip joint while inhaling, then gradually add tension to the arms so that you pull the leg into the hip socket.

    This then strengthens the muscles that create space in the hip joint.

    With enough practice of this technique over time you may find that you can use your arms to pull the leg into the hip socket and the muscles that create space are strong enough to resist the compression.

    Add Tension

    In poses like marichyasana or ardha Matsyendrasana you may have some slack muscle or connective tissue and when you go into an extreme position that connective tissue gets caught between thigh and pelvis (at least that's what it felt like to me.) And so a possible solution is using muscle tension to pull the slack tissue out of the way.

    do you get hip pain in the top leg in ardha matsendrasana?do you get hip pain in marichyasana C?

    In a posture like matysendrasana or marichyasana c you can try activating the quadriceps.

    The idea in so doing is to help pull some of your connective tissue out of the hip joint.

    Or try pressing the knee inwards and then resist so that you activate the inner and outer thigh simultaneously to stabilize the hip, and as mentioned, help draw any loose tissue out of the way.

    You may also find that it helps to adjust the position of the pelvis. If your left leg is on top try moving the right side of the pelvis back a little (turn the pelvis to the right) so that you create space.

    You could also work at creating space (and length) in the torso. To do so draw the lower belly in. Then draw the backs of the kidneys up, away from the pelvis. Try emphasizing one side then the other.

    Lifting the backs of the kidneys (or if you like, the bottom/12th ribs) activates some fibers of the respiratory diaphragm and pulls up on the uppermost fibers of the psoas muscle (at least that's my understanding of what happens.)

    The feeling is different than that of pulling up on the back ribs (which uses the levator costalis muscles.) When pulling up on the backs of the kidneys it feels like the support is coming from deep within the body.

    Activating the levator costalis, the feeling is more external and can involve all of the ribs (where pulling up on the kidneys only seems to involve the lowest pair of ribs.)

    A Third Technique

    If you get pain in the hip joint in standing poses like pyramid pose/parsvottanasana or Revolving Triangle, where you are bending forwards with the leg straight, a sequence of actions that can be used to stabilize the hip are as follows:

    • First press the front of the foot down so that the foot feels strong
    • Create space in the hip joint by pushing the pelvis up away from the thigh (or by pushing the leg away from the pelvis)
    • Try slightly internally or externally rotating the hip.
    • Try pulling outwards on the sitting bone of the forward leg while keeping the thigh and pelvis stationary.

    Return to Home Page from Hip Joint Pain

    Return to

    Gumroad, Yoga for your shoulders, available in epub, pdf and mobi. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Gumroad, Yoga for your shoulders, available in epub, pdf and mobi. Neil Keleher, Sensational Yoga Poses.

    Basic Awareness


    Coordination and Concentration

    Balance and Stability

    Yoga Routines

    Dealing with Pain and Poor Posture

    Muscle Control for Strength and Flexibility

    What's New?

    An Exercises for Knee Stability, The Seated Get Up

    The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!

    Continue reading "An Exercises for Knee Stability, The Seated Get Up"

    Deep Squats

    Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.

    Continue reading "Deep Squats"

    Learning The Body Weight Squat

    How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.

    Continue reading "Learning The Body Weight Squat"

    Basic Yoga Poses

    Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.

    Continue reading "Basic Yoga Poses"

    Scapular Awareness

    Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..

    Continue reading "Scapular Awareness"

    Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises

    Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.

    Continue reading "Hip Flexor Strengthening Exercises"

    Arm Strengthening Exercises

    These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.

    Continue reading "Arm Strengthening Exercises"

    Leg Strengthening Exercises

    Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.

    Continue reading "Leg Strengthening Exercises"

    Hip Strengthening Exercises

    One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.

    Continue reading "Hip Strengthening Exercises"

    Knee Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.

    Continue reading "Knee Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch

    Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.

    Continue reading "Kneeling Quadriceps Stretch"

    Quadriceps Stretching Yoga Poses

    When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.

    Continue reading "Quadriceps Stretching Yoga Poses"

    Lying Quadriceps Stretch

    Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.

    Continue reading "Lying Quadriceps Stretch"

    Benefits of The Dance of Shiva

    What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.

    Continue reading "Benefits of The Dance of Shiva"

    Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure

    This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.

    Continue reading "Yoga Routine Video for Strengthening Arms and Legs Via Friction and Pressure"

    Transverse Abdominis Exercises

    The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis Exercises"

    Knee Strengthening Exercises

    To improve the resiliency of your knees it can help to exercise them in a variety of positions. The following yoga poses can be used as knee strengthening exercises. The trick is to activate your knees while doing them.

    Continue reading "Knee Strengthening Exercises"

    Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors

    Learn to consciously control your quads and hip flexors with Conscious Muscle Control: Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors. This downloadable video course teaches you how to feel and activate your quadriceps (the vastus muscles) as well as the rectus femoris, tensor fascae latae and sartorius muscles.

    Continue reading "Quads and Superficial Hip Flexors"

    Calf Stretches

    For any calf stretch you have to bend your ankle forwards to stretch the soleus and/or gastrocnemius. How you bend the ankle forwards can make the stretch more or less effective.

    Continue reading "Calf Stretches"

    Yoga for Flexibility

    Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.

    Continue reading "Yoga for Flexibility"