One of the many reasons I chose to pursue a yoga practice back in March, was the pain caused by my sedentary lifestyle and extended sitting. Did I mention the pain?
I first went the chiropractor route, last year, and it did just what it was supposed to, but I wanted to change my lifestyle to match this new understanding of cause and effect.
When I started doing yoga I was incredibly out of shape, a little clumsy, overweight, and had incredibly tight hips and hamstrings.
The two private classes I took before the fundamentals class, did a lot to establish a foundation of understanding why and what poses did in my body. Since then, I've been reading various online articles and magazines, to help build up my body of knowledge and understanding. I also think critically of each and every pose in the classes I attend, and examine how one pose helps expand into the next to warm up the body for more advanced poses towards the end of the class.
I was recently reading about groin pain, because we had an extremely vigorous class last night. I found an article about the sacroiliac joints (Practice Tips for the Sacroiliac Joints) on Yoga Journal's website.
I expanded my reading to include what exercises are needed to help pain in the sacroiliac and lower back. There are A TON of articles on this website! Love it!
I learned that with hip and lower back pain or tightness, the areas you need to focus on are: the sacroiliac, psoas, pelvic floor muscles, periformis, and gluteus. In my particular case, it looks like poses such as fish, reclining hero, and bridge pose can help slowly and carefully build tone and loosen up tight areas. I need to protect the sacroiliac bones, tighten my core, and make sure I relax in poses. On the other hand, poses that include widening the legs and thighs apart, such as goddess pose, cobblers pose, wide leg forward bends, etc., can cause problems.
I got stoked by the info I learned, and took the initiative to email my yoga studio and suggest a workshop idea to help tight sacroiliac folks like myself. I wonder whether they'll take it into consideration.
My very favorite pose for hip opening is one-legged pigeon. The longer I'm able to stay in it, the more relaxed I feel after. I have difficulty staying in a seated cross-legged position for long, my groin muscles and ligaments start aching.
I love finding educated and well-researched articles on Yoga Journal's website. It should definitely be counted among your go-to references and resources if you are a yoga student.