The practice of yoga gives you messages that are very difficult to ignore. Through my physical yoga and mindfulness practices, I realized that I had a low grade gnawing pain in my right hip joint. In my mind’s eye, I saw that the inflammation occurring in between the acetabulum and head of my femur.
I attribute this to years of using my right foot on the rheostat. Whether I did a procedure sitting or standing, I preferred my right foot as I felt more secure with it controlling the rheostat. That is after all how I was trained.
Over time, this led to an imbalance in my hip as my right leg was more active than my left. After some focused time trying to rebalance the musculature, my hip settled down. Now it only occasionally flares up which serves as a reminder that I need to spend focused time giving my hips some love.
Upon reflection, I have learned that there is an edge that each of us must confront between growing, which is an adventure, and holding onto security. Some security is necessary. But too much dampens growth, creates an imbalance and dulls life by keeping newness out.
One of the remarkable things about yoga is that it invites you into self exploration, while building both physical and psychological strength. This gives an entirely different kind of security – the security of knowing that you can respond to whatever challenges life may bring by simply responding with love and attention.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Simple but wildly effective, Low Lunge targets the iliacus and psoas muscles to create length and flexibility in these powerhouse hip flexors. In this pose, the hip muscles can stretch and release accumulated stress.
- Find your version of Downward Facing Dog (this can vary from day to day).
- Step your left foot forward between your hands, stacking your left ankle under your left knee.
- Release your back knee to the floor
- Engage your core to lift your torso away from your front leg.
- Gently lengthen spine by drawing your tailbone toward the earth and the crown of your head toward the sky.
- Reach your arms overhead, palms facing each other, as you soften the weight of your hips toward the earth.
- Breathe and hold for several breaths.
- Place your hands back on the ground on either side of your front foot.
- Curl the toes of your back foot under and lift your back knee off the floor.
- Press into your hands as you draw your hips up and back, bringing your front foot backup meet your back foot.
- Return to downward facing dog and breathe.
- Repeat these steps in the other side.
**if your knees are sensitive, place a blanket or towel under your knee