Don’t forget your hips

I am …reincorporating yoga back into my life.

On facebook there is a “suggest a friend” (or something like that) application and a friend of mine “suggested” a local yoga teacher for us to be friends. How cute. She said she has a lot of energy and her classes are right up my alley. The girl who suggested I befriend her is another attendee at the local yoga studio with me. (Still following..?)

ANYWAYS, a few weeks ago the friendship was accepted and I started receiving her updates about the classes she was teaching. Now, in the fall and all during my first year of teaching, attending yoga was my ultimate stress relief…more so than running. Can you believe that?!?! Apparently, I am bad at balancing the best stress reliefs in my life and tend to favor one for a period of time. When running seemed to be more than a burden than a blessing in May, it seemed we needed to take a break. I returned running’s letterman jacket to play the field and incorporate other activities into my routine. Yoga seemed attractive again and the magic happened. (Don’t worry. I obviously am still with running…duh. Humor me.)

A few weeks ago when my new FB friend posted a class time, I knew it was meant to be. As soon as I sat down, centered the breathing, closed my eyes, and began my Om, it seemed like everything melted away. I had forgotten how peaceful leaving a class in Shavasana can feel for me. In addition, after a long hiatus from yoga and increasing my running, my interest in how I can pair the two together in my training has peaked tremendously. My interest is to increase flexibility in my hip flexors to allow a larger range of motion and to prevent the (dun dun dunnn) IT band from rearing its ugly head again. My knowledge of the hip muscles is limited and my knowledge on yoga talk is limited…so does two limited knowledges add up to anything? We shall see.

First, let’s look at our hip flexors. There are two major groups of hip flexors that well, flex our hip: Psosas and iliacus, or your inner hip. The psosas articulates with the back muscles and when tight, can also increase back pain…lovely. Oh, and look…there’s the IT band.

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Examples of yoga poses that work my hip flexors to the umph degree are the:

Pigeon

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One legged lunges/Warrior One

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I am challenged throughout many of the poses, especially the ones that work the hamstrings and calves as those are always prone to soreness post-runs 🙂 The added benefits of yoga are endless and the post does not do the practice justice to any means…but its a start – Don’t forget your hips 🙂

What is your favorite yoga pose to incorporate into your stretching routine? Or, just what is your favorite yoga pose?

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9 Responses to Don’t forget your hips

  1. I LOVE pigeon pose. If I only have time for 1 stretch, that’s the one I’ll do! Great info on hip flexors!

  2. bajagypsy says:

    Thanks for the post, it is so true, we need to get the word out! I never even knew hips needed to be strengthened and stretched until some major ITBS hit winter of 2008 and the research began. Now they are my main focus!

  3. Naomi says:

    great post! this is my trouble area! my favorites are the good ol downward dog pose and happy baby pose!

  4. J says:

    I love the warrior series and also any variations on the lunges. I really like how yoga stretches my hamstrings and hips!

  5. I am starting to do A LOT more yoga this summer as well! I am signed up for an 8-week session starting in July and I just got a punch card to the local hot yoga studio!

    I LOVE pigeon. It stretches out my hips soooo good!

  6. BostonRunner says:

    I’ve been getting back into yoga too (starting like, 2 days ago haha) and I’ve seriously missed it! I didn’t even realize how much I was missing it until I started it back up again!
    I LOVE Pigeon pose, definitely my favorite. It’s funny I used to do this pose as a stretch when I played hockey, not even realizing it was a yoga pose – it just felt so good!

  7. Great post. My hips are definitely the tightest part of me. I’m also trying to find a way to bring more yoga in to my life while training for a marathon.

  8. Pingback: IT, I thought I was done with you. « Running on Faith

  9. jeri says:

    this post is kismet right now. my hip is pissssssssssed at me, and it’s b/c of my tight IT bands. On my schedule for tonight, hip-focused yoga. 😉 our minds are like one. 🙂

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