Thanks to Cazbaz for this question/suggestion:
I’ve recently been told I have one hip higher than the other – just minutely – but it’s the cause of a lot of discomfort I’ve been having and am interested to research what I should concentrate on to rebalance if possible. Any tips appreciated.
Hip alignment is crucial to keeping your skeletal system in good health. Asymmetries can lead to tension and nagging injuries over time. Obviously, the first thing to do is see your GP if you’re pain or have an acute injury. Once you have the all-clear to practice Bikram it’s time to focus on strengthening the muscles around the hip and loosening tight muscles and tendons.
Muscle imbalance frequently causes injury. For example, if you focus on stretching your just your hamstrings it can make for tight hip flexors that pull on your pelvis and lead to misalignment. During the postures concentrate on your alignment and follow the dialogue carefully. Adjustments like locking your knee properly in the standing poses, keeping your hips squared in the balancing series, and using your legs equally in awkward pose will help ensure you are working your hips correctly.
Triangle pose is a key hip opener and strengthener for your leg muscles. With regular practice it will improve your stability, build the muscles that support your hips, and open the joints. Remember that your hips are slightly angled in the pose. The hip of the straight leg should angle slightly toward the mirror so you can sink your hips can sink deeper into the pose.
Eagle Pose is also good for hips as it helps release the iliotibial (IT) band, which can cause hip pain and stiffness.
If you have any questions in class, don’t be shy about asking for assistance. Once you get the feel for the correct alignment you’ll be able to go deeper in your practice and heal your body.
Share your tips or questions about correct alignment in the comments!