Episode 74: Jill Miller Talks Honestly About Hip Replacement Surgery & How Yoga is in Need of a Tune Up

Jill Miller is the creator of Yoga Tune Up® and The Roll Model Method® — a self care method that utilizes specific poses, sequences, and self massage tools to help you tune into your body’s “blind spots.” Jill’s method can help ease aches and pains, it can soothe your nervous system, and increase proprioception — that important ability to feel where your body is in space.

Just before this interview, Jill made the announcement that years of wear and tear on her body (including yoga practice) have led to the need for a hip replacement. Understandably, the response in the yoga community was one of shock, curiosity, and even some judgment. Jill was kind enough to share her story — what she thinks led her to this point, what she would do differently, and why she’s not throwing yoga under the bus.

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The Roll Model Method (PS: I highly recommend this book if you’re interested in her method. It’s so detailed and filled with helpful rolling sequences.)
Surprise, Surprise! You Need a Total Hip Replacement
More About Yoga Tune Up®: www.tuneupfitness.com/yogatuneup

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  1. This podcast was brought to my attention by a colleague as I’ve been using my yoga practise to rehab after slap tear and pasta surgery 3 months ago. Love the fact that the whole thing about yoga teachers or practitioners having to undergo treatment doesn’t mean you are evil or a bad practitioner or teacher; however, it is very clear to me from the beginning, and I believe she makes it very obvious from the beginning as well, that this is also part of an effect of over doing, of over stretching, of over practising without understanding what it is happening. My injury was not yoga related but 7 months after my accident, when the real truth of what had happened starting manifesting, I did try to get myself out of pain with the practise (it was not constant pain at all). However, after the pain started coming in poses that it shouldn’t be there, I knew there was something wrong and I took action. The lesson in all this is to not overdo it, to learn why and what we are doing instead of pushing to whatever shape or form or standard we think we should be in. i can very happily say that after 3 months of using my practise, I have 99% of all my movements, strength and no pain with me, and I am 52. The practise works but only if we understand that less is more, extremes and pushing past the limits is not what yoga is about.

  2. Thank you for the great interview with Jill. I appreciate her willingness to share this information with the yoga community. I started to have a sharp pain in my hip joint when I did triangle pose and immediately stopped many poses over 30 years ago. I created a style of yoga called YogAlign that eliminated hip opening poses and focused on stability exercises rather than stretching hip and lumbar/sacral stretches. Our main focus in YogAlign is on aligned posture rather than pose performance. Also a study on dancers hips shows that it is usage rather than anatomy that creates hip dysfunctions. There is a new study showing that in ballet dancers, it is extreme range of motion rather than hip joint structure, that leads to hip pathologies that may eventually require surgery such as thinning of articular cartilage, labral tears and osteoarthritis.

    Similar to dancers, yogis also put their hips into extreme ranges of motion. This may explain why some yogis as well as dancers in their 50s and 60s are getting hip replacement surgeries after a few decades of practice. The website Dancerhips.com is dedicated to the discussion of hip surgeries including options and holistic alternatives for dancers and yogis.

  3. So timely for me. Just as this was hitting the airwaves, I got the news that I have arthritis in both my hips. Had gone through the whole process she describes, the twinges, thinking I had a tear, tendonitis in various tendons, etc. Nope! Being a yoga teacher and practitioner, I am devastated. Still processing the news so this podcast is almost like manna from Heaven – helping me process what this means to me as a practitioner, as a teacher, as a 58-year old woman who plans to be active and vibrantly healthy for decades to come! Knowing that I have a hip replacement in my not-to-distant future, it helps to know there IS no judgment, there is a yoga practice ahead for me and that I will be a role model and teacher for students (and other teachers) gives me perspective and hope! Thank you Jill and Andrea!

    • I’m sorry to hear that you’re going through this, Mary. AND I am so happy that the podcast was helpful. Jill’s courage to be open and vulnerable is helping so many! Warmly, Andrea

  4. This podcast prompted me to finally see a medical professional for my hip pain. I had an x-ray last week and just received news today that I have calcium deposits in my hip and may have a small labral tear. I’ll know more after I have an MRI, but I’m sad, I’m wondering how this will affect my career (I just opened my own yoga studio), and a little embarrassed. But being embarrassed is useless. Athletes don’t get embarrassed when they get hurt. And I can’t blame only yoga for my tear. I’ve always had flexible hips and have been an over exerciser for years. I first noticed hip pain after I ran my first half marathon around 15 years ago and I ran several half marathons and a full marathon after that. So, anyway, thanks for this podcast — I’m glad that I’m seeking treatment and not just brushing it aside. And thank you, Jill, for putting things like this out in the open.

    • I got my MRI results and I just have a muscle strain and need rest. Hallelujah!

      • I am so glad to hear that, Rebecca! And good for you for getting it checked. Warmly, Andrea

  5. Great information and very helpful. I will be having a hip replacement this year and I was more concerned about how my yoga practice added to all of this degeneration in my hip. As I reflect I have always worked hard and have been competitive all my life…had various accidents which I know I did not take of properly. All this adds up that my yoga practice has kept me active and really without pain, for a long time. My story is so similar to Jen’s. I am grateful for this podcast and I will share my story with my students as well as other yoga teachers in my community.

    • I’m glad it was helpful and resonated with you, Shelley. Warmly, Andrea


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