Summer Series! Ep 2: What’s Missing from Your Hip-Focused Practices

We love, love, love to stretch our hips in yoga. Pigeon Pose — oh yeah. Lizard — yep. Thread the Needle — mmmhmmm. But sometimes we focus on how good opening the outer hips feels to the exclusion of creating strength and stability in the support muscles. Similarly, we focus on the part of our hips that screams the loudest (outer hips) while neglecting another tight area that’s quieter (hip flexors).

On this episode, Jason maps out three ways to create balance in the complex network of the hips. After recording this episode, I realized that it’s a metaphor for life: We want to stay open and flexible. And this requires time and attention. But we also need to focus on stability, strength, and grounding. When we find the right subtle balance, we feel happier and more free.

* Note: We refer to a quad opener in the episode, which is sometimes called Twisted Monkey. Jason calls it Low Lunge Quad Stretch. I’ve put the illustration below the player so you can see it and incorporate it into your practice!

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  1. I’ve been really interested in this since I took Jason’s first module this winter. And because I have some hip pain because my hips are a little unstable. Does Jason have a Yogaglo video that focuses on hip strengthening?

  2. I have a standing desk, and love it. I’m a radiologist, and if I’m not mindful, my entire day is spent in the dark sitting in front of a computer (it’s less depressing than it sounds). I’ve got a desk that is motorized, so I can lower it to sit (I have a therapy ball that I’ll sit on) and raise it to stand, or (yes) even slowly walk on the desk treadmill I have with the desk. Since using this set up, my posture has improved, my core is stronger, and my chronic neck pain is significantly reduced. My energy at the end of the day is also much improved.

    • This sounds awesome! Thank you so much for sharing, Jinnah! I will share it on an upcoming episode. Warmly, Andrea

  3. I’ve had a standing desk for years and got it because of cervical spine issues. Standing at my desk while making conscious & unconscious micro postural adjustments benefits my entire spine and all limbs. I am so much more mindful of my body when standing vs slouching into my chair. My desk is motorized and I use a manually adjustable keyboard tray attached the underside of the desk. A setup that has netted me much more benefit than the cost of it.

  4. Great reminders of some of Jason’s super helpful teachings on working with the hips. Wanted to add a comment on strengthening work, particularly for the glutes/hamstrings. While I have been doing a lot of the work Jason references for a while (thanks to his workshops and classes) for me it has been very helpful to add some non-yoga strength work with resistance bands to start to access regions of the glutes/hamstrings that I wasn’t previously able to in a yoga context. After a few months of band exercises things like locust and cobra started to feel totally different. Jason referenced upper fibers of hamstrings and lower fibers of glutes a few times and despite years of doing low range of motion, precise work with back bends I could never quite feel like I was accessing or recruiting these regions. The repeated acknowledgement of how balanced we have to be in terms of strengthening/stretching all of our hip and leg muscles have been so valuable for my practice. Loving the summer series!!

    • Hi Kate! I feel similarly — never thought “cross-training” would be necessary for such a holistic practice as yoga. But there are areas of the body for each person where it can be so helpful. So glad your liking the series! Andrea

  5. I have found that people who have tight hamstrings usually have weak hamstrings AND WEAK glutes thus in walking/running they are compensating by over using their hamstrings. Find that typical yoga classes overall doesn’t do enough STRENGTHENING PERIOD. ALL around my hips are STRONG + FLEXIBLE (add, abd,glute medius, maximus, hamstrings + CORE + I rarely do any form of pigeon or typical “stretches” Vinyasa flow needs to change to address a “sitting society”


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