My hips are my canary in a coal mine.  If anything is going on – I’ve sat too long, run too hard – it will show up as pain in my hips.  I was at the chiropractor complaining about the latest bout of cranky hips.  My usual awesome chiro was on maternity leave and I was seeing a fill-in guy.

Chuck is simply the cutest sweetest chiropractor you could ever meet.  And he’s good.

I said to him that I thought my hip was cranky this time because I’d stepped up my running a bit.  He looked through my chart and said, “with the regularity you’ve been complaining about this, I’d say it’s something that you’re doing 8 hours a day.  Hmmmm, it’s on the right side.  What’s on the right side of your desk at work?”  I told him my phone was on the right hand side and that yes I use it a lot and he gave me the perfectly reasonable advice that I try moving it more towards the middle so I’m not leaning on my right hip so much.

So brilliant it should be obvious right?

Then I told him that it’s so frustrating – when my hip is painful doing yoga is also really painful and that’s my favorite way of trying to help my body so if that’s out it doesn’t leave me with much that I can do.  And yes, i was saying it in a whiney kind of voice.  (Note: other things that help are light exercise like walking, hot epsom salt baths, a smear of tiger balm before bed and good ol’ ibuprofin).

He said, “Corilee you teach yoga, you know better than that.  You need to be doing 5-10 minutes a day of the stretches that you know help keep your hips limber.  Not save it all up for when they’re painful.”

Dang, so right.  How does he get to be cute and good?

He also suggested one of those wobbly things you can sit on at your desk so that your core is activated and your hips don’t lock up.  I haven’t tried that suggestion yet but have been keeping up on my core exercises and my hips stretches everyday.  Last week I realized that i it was 8 weeks since I’d been to the chiropractor.  I hadn’t made it that long without the urgent, “when can you get me in??!!” appointment request in forever.  I wasn’t in pain, but i went for a tune-up to keep any issues at bay.

Here are my daily hip stretches:

Option 1:

Hamstring stretch like Forward Bend.  Just hang for a few breaths and if back is tight keep some softness in the knees to stretch to balance the stretch between them.

High Lunge to low lunge, then move hands to inside of front foot and lower the torso to get real deep.  If this feels intense, i’ll go back and forth to give each side a break while i work through the three versions.

Pigeon.  As I hold i’ll come up on my hands to deepen the stretch and then add a twist reaching front leg side arm back to hold back leg.

Option 2 on back:

Squeeze knees into chest.

Cross right knee over left and squeeze both in, especially holding right foot towards body (really hits the IT band if it’s tight).

Hold one leg up a time for hamstring stretch.

Drop knees from side to side and then hold on one side, even sliding top knee to the floor above bottom knee for extra deep low back stretch.  Change sides.

Then outside of right foot on left thigh, pull thigh in (i’ve heard it called “threading the needle” or “Number 4 pose”).  If it’s tight i’ll do each side twice.