yoga, hip openers, flexability, Missoula

Hip Yoga

My goal with Hip Yoga is to offer a more restoritive version of my Vinyasa classes. We will do sun salutes and various standing poses to build heat and warm up the hips, then move into deep stretches for the hips. As the muscles warm, they become pliable, allowing us to get deeper into the stretch.

There are many muscles that we will focus on, and they are all interconnected. These muscles anchor themselves to the ribcage, vertebrae, pelvis and femurs. With so many different attachment points, it is easy to understand as these muscles shorten and grow rigid, you can have discomfort manifest in many ways. Let's take, for example, the iliopsoas, or psoas. It inserts at the top of the femur, runs through the pelvis and attaches on the T12 and L1 vertebrae, the small of the back. It's primary function is to lift the knee, it is our hiking muscle. Do you ever suffer back pain after a long hike, run, or walk? It could be the psoas pulling on the spine. After all, which bone is going to give- a vertebra or a femur? By stretching this muscle out, we can release it and prevent strain being put on our lower back. By the way, as mentioned earlier, the attachment point of the psoas is the T12, the same vertebra where our ribs begin, and our diaphragm attaches to those ribs. Ever have a tight back and have issues taking a complete breathe? See how it is all connected? There are many more examples that we will get into in class.

With so many muscles interconnected in the hips and low back stretching them is an easy way to ease low back pain from sitting, running and just living our daily life. A lot of the postures we will do are great 'everyday' stretches, things you can take away and do on your own.