This article nicely explains how important it is to stretch the hips. It also suggests two yoga poses that are relatively easy to do.
I am planning to write my own article on the subject, soon, but I figured this would be a handy guide, so I am reposting this for now.
It's All in the Hips
If you regularly experience knee, shoulder, or lower back pain, you
may be suffering from the effects of tight hip muscles.
By Alisa Bauman
Stan urban, 48, a competitive cyclist, turned to yoga three years ago
when he began to experience lower back pain, a very common ailment
among cyclists, who spend the majority of their time hunched forward
over the bike. Though Urban thought his problem centered in his lower
back, his coach and yoga instructor, Dario Fredrick, had a different
theory. Shortened hamstring muscles along the backs of Urban's legs
coupled with tight hip flexors along the front of his thighs, as well
as tight groin muscles and hip rotators, were preventing him from
riding his bike in the proper form.
Essentially his pelvis was locked into position by his tight muscles,
forcing him to bend forward from his spine, rounding his back on the
bike. Fredrick, an Iyengar Yoga teacher and former elite cyclist in
San Anselmo, California, suggested a series of asanas that emphasized
stretching and opening the front, back, and sides of the hips. It was
similar to the series of asanas that Fredrick used to recover from a
cycling-related knee injury years before. Today Urban is cycling pain
free, and his performance on the bike has improved as well. "The
stress on my body from competitive cycling really demanded some extra
attention to flexibility, and the yoga has helped me a lot," states
Cyclists are not the only athletes who can benefit from asanas that
stretch and strengthen muscles that attach to the hips and pelvis.
Runners, swimmers, tennis players, and others often experience the
same tightened muscle groups from repeatedly using one set of muscles.
These muscles include the following:
Hamstrings. A group of muscles along the backs of the thighs,
hamstrings restrict the extension of the hips when tight, which forces
you to round your back as you bend forward.
Hip Flexors. The psoas and iliacus (collectively called the iliopsoas)
attach your thighbone to your lower spine and ilium bones (top of the
pelvis). When they tighten, they can pull the top of your pelvis
forward, compress the back of your lumbar (overly arching your lower
spine), or draw the tops of your thighbones forward of and tightly
into the hip sockets.
Hip Rotators. Along the sides and backs of your hip, the piriformis (a
small muscle that attaches the back of the sacrum to the thighbone)
and gluteus maximus (a much larger muscle that connects the back of
the sacrum and pelvis to the upper thighs) roll your femurs outward.
When they are tight, they will force you to stand with your toes
pointed outward, putting pressure on your inner knees and also
restricting your low- er back.
To tell if your hips are tight, stand and look at your feet. If your
toes naturally turn out, you may need to work on opening and balancing
the muscles of the hips. As your tightened hip and leg muscles pull
your pelvis forward and roll your thighs outward, they then put more
pressure on your knees and lower back. However, problems can result in
other areas of the body as well. Robert Sherman, a postrehabilitation
specialist and Ashtanga and Bikram instructor in Bethesda, Maryland,
once coached an avid kayaker with a shoulder injury. The problem
actually stemmed from tight hip muscles, which were changing his body
position in the kayak and inhibiting his paddling stroke.
Sports that emphasize one side of the body, like golf or baseball,
compound hip problems by creating imbalances between one side of the
pelvis and the other. For example, baseball requires you to lunge
frequently on one leg but not the other. "One side of the body becomes
tight but strong, while the other side becomes flexible but weak,"
says Sherman. "Without exercises to stabilize the flexible side and
stretch the strong side, you develop muscle imbalances along the
pelvic girdle and spine."
All of this can add up to injuries. Muscle imbalances and tight
muscles along the hips often set up a cascade of problems, resulting
in lower back pain for cyclists and swimmers, shoulder problems for
tennis and baseball players, and knee pain for runners. Also, tight
muscles along the hips can affect a runner's stride. Tight hip muscles
slow down a cyclist's cadence and hinder a swimmer's ability to move
through the water with efficient form.
Conversely, doing asanas that relax and open those areas produces the
opposite effect. "You'll get a greater range of motion, more fluidity
to your movements, and lower your risk of injuries," says Fredrick. To
free the hips, focus on asanas that include full range of motion in
the hips. That's why Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged Pigeon Pose)
is one of the most often prescribed hip openers. It stretches the
outer hip and groin of the forward leg and the hip flexors of the rear
leg, addressing nearly all of your problems in just one stretch.
You also need to incorporate postures that will zero in on particular
hip areas and promote better body awareness. For example, Eka Pada
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (One-Legged Bridge Pose) helps to stretch the
hip flexors and teaches you to feel the proper position of your hips
as you focus on bringing your knee toward the centerline of your body.
Both Fredrick and Sherman suggest that you turn your focus inward as
you practice to listen to subtle cues from your body and breath. This
way you can recognize if one side of your body is tighter than the
other. Then you can use the natural wisdom of your body to cue you to
release and relax into various postures. And as a result, "You will
achieve more body mobility, which allows you to move with less
effort," says Sherman. "What was once difficult or challenging becomes
Alisa Bauman is a freelance writer based in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
This article can be found online at
I just got back from a few weeks with my family in Rome, and I feel energized and relaxed. I hope to be able to share the relaxation with you in the coming weeks.
Since my class hours have changed, I have made some changes to my hours.
Monday from 2pm to 8pm
Hope to see you soon!
I am going to be visiting my family in Rome from January 9th until the 28th.
If you want to make an appointment for after I return, you can call my usual number, and request a time and date for when I come back. Kirk, my husband, will get back to you. If you want to have an idea of what my schedule looks like, I have shared my Google calendar. It will not reveal names, but you will be able to see what my busy times and what my open times are.
Looking for a last-minute gift? Why not get your loved ones a nice relaxing massage? There are gift certificates available for all services.
And buying a package is a great way to save on massage! Just choose your favorite treatment, and buy 6 or 10 sessions in advance. You will get Gift Certificates that you can give away or use yourself.
10 Pack: Pay for 8 sessions, get 2 free. (For example, that is $560 for 10 one-hour sessions, and $720 for 10 ninety-minute sessions).
6 Pack: Pay for 5 sessions, get 1 free. (i.e.$350 for 6 one-hour sessions, and $450 for 10 ninety-minute sessions).
If you'd like to purchase a package by using your credit card, you can send your payment via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. There soon will be a link on my website that will allow you to order directly from there.
Last weekend I participated in an exciting workshop about Pregnancy Massage. I have learned so many new things. I am so excited to try out these new techniques that I am currently offering Pregnancy Massage at the same price as "regular" massage, so, if you are pregnant, or know someone that is, have them contact me and schedule a session now. It is a really great experience. Massage can help relieve some of the discomforts associated with pregnancy, like back pain, anxiety, sore ribs, and sciatic pain. It is a treat to get a moment of calm and nurturing for the mother and the baby (yes, the baby can be massaged, too). Regular massage, in addition with stretching and exercises that your therapist will be able to suggest, can also help during labor and delivery, by relaxing and strengthening the body parts involved in the process.
There is only one you... Don't you dare change just because you're outnumbered!
"Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy..." Khalil Gibran, The Prophet.
My favorite event, about to move to a new, yet unknown location. In Preston's own words:
CIRCUS OF THE SPIRIT @ UNITY / Eight:18 Supporters:
Thanks for your kind letters of support.
Spirit is known and lived in relationships,
and the love and generosity of our "community of Love" is profound.
The world needs more opportunities like Circus of the Spirit,
not fewer. At this time, we have June 1st, July 6th,
with Aug 3rd being the last Eight:18 @ Unity.
Hopefully we will continue somehow, somewhere, but...???
Emily and I are doing all we can to sustain this community
of self-expressive Love. - Preston & Emily
Info : www.MySpace.com/CircusOfTheSpi
Please pass this on to anyone who would be interested:
*fri Jun 1 "CIRCUS OF THE SPIRIT @ Unity - Eight:18"
(1st friday in June, July, and August in five spaces)
***This event is in SERIOUS jeopardy.
Go to www.MySpace.com/CircuOfTheSpir
8-9:30 DRUM CIRCLE by Hazel L'Aura G (shedrums.com) +Ed Mindak
9:30-11 HEALERS & INTUITIVES (Love Offering basis)
10:30 SOUND HEALING= Louise Cloutier
8:18-midnight DJ PRESTON KLIK spins life-positive 1-world bodytemple music
10 BELLYDANCE= Anjum(www.anjumbellydance dot com)
10:05 POI DANCE= Ora Uzel
11:30 DIDJ'N'BEATS= Karl Sacksteder (email@example.com) & Preston Klik
12 midnight CLOSING MEDITATION
===(also during the evening)===
HOSTS = EMILY KLIK +friends
BLACKLIGHT BODY ART = Daina Kopp
DECOR = Ora Uzel
Party PAINTER= Astara (firstname.lastname@example.org)
PRAYER CHAPLAIN = Jeff Neal
VJ = projections by Bob Nicholas
HEALERS (throughout the building; Love Offering basis)
~~Energy Healing= Azula Blue and Sasha Shepard
~~Massage Therapy= Connie Stepanek
~~Reiki= Diamond Haracz, Lillian Nishimura, Paul DiGuida
~~Spectrum Healing= Paula Battaglio
INTUITIVES (throughout the building; Love Offering basis)
~~(angeLynx cards) john sacelli dot com
~~(Tarot) Maz Wojciechowska, Mame Saxton, Lisa O'Connor
~~(Destiny Cards) Gabrielle Loomis
FRESH SAMOSAS + SNACKS for sale!
VENDORS = ~~Zoh'ra's Indian Jewelry
~~Inner Metamorphosis University in Rogers Park (lifesurfing dot
~~Handmade Jewelry by Alexia
~~Henna = Tejal Mehta (hennaChicago dot com)
~~Infinite Health Group (InfiniteHealthGroup dot com)
~~Chicago Holistic Medicine= Robert Wallace
~~Heart Rhythm Meditation (appliedmeditation dot org)
~~Alchemy Arts (alchemy–arts dot com)
~~Amuuse Vacations (www.amuuse dot org)
~~Rosley's Rocks & Gems (crystalmaster dot com)
~~Treasures of Tibet (Jewelry by Tibetan Monks)
~~The Monthly Aspectarian (lightworks dot com)
~~Art= Caroline Keem (Pencil, Ink, Geometric)
8-10 HEALERS (Love Offering basis)
10 Subtle Sounds MUSIC CIRCLE = Mark +Bob (make quiet music!)
8-11 Jason (773-338-7323)
8-10 30-string harp= Tracy Demarco (TheGlassHour dot com)
Alcohol/smoke-free dance-party in five simultaneous spaces! 8p-midnight; $10
adults, $8 students, kids under 12 free; CircusOfTheSpirit dot org,
773-973-0007; Unity Chicago, 1925 Thome (1 blk s. of Devon, 1 blk w. of Ridge); LOTS of
free parking. Thanks : THE MONTHLY ASPECTARIAN, TIME OUT CHICAGO, SUN TIMES
(Produced by Preston & Emily Klik) Co-promoted by The Collective HeartThrob =
Eight:18@Unity, Give Peace A Dance @ Transitions, Sanctuary.
*tuesdays May 29 +June 5+12+19+26 SYNTHESIS healing/contemplation @ SECTION X
(Edgewater) every Tuesday. All are welcome. SYNTHESIS is a combination of
Preston & Emily Klik's gifts. Come explore consciousness with a powerful
spiritual - not religious - inquiry and discussion lead by Preston, with simultaneous
hands-on Cranio Sacral Therapy healing by Emily. Via this process, the
pain-body is de-energized, & the bliss-body is awakened & nurtured. Synthesis'
healing & meditation gently grow your heart & spirit from contraction to expansion,
creating an opportunity for powerful healing that is sustained through one's
everyday life. $5+/- donation; Info = EmilyKlik@yahoo dot com
*sat July 7, 8p-10, THE HERO'S JOURNEY MEDITATION. This event is a powerful
guided/experiential meditation led by Emily & Preston Klik, featuring
Preston's 7-part musical cd called Dedicated To The One EYE Love. Emily will set a a
heart-evoking intention themed around THE HERO'S JOURNEY, designed to open your
energy channels to Earth and Universe. Through the guidance and experience of
this meditation, you will achieve a deeper connection to your Source, and set
a personal intention for your Self. Then the musical journey will begin : You
will hear the voice of the goddess in two forms: 1st as the white ethereal
angelic witness who floats above this world's veils, gently guiding us on our
paths. Later, the goddess takes form as the black earth mother, having given
birth to her children she loves them all equally. You will hear the voice of a
solitary Christian monk, solemnly beseeching, while the weeping guitar sings the
gentle emotions of the heart. Pulsing with the breath that drives its tribal
rythms the shamanic didjeridoo resonates with a more primal element.
Heart-centered saxophone ascends directly from the center of the chest to the spheres
above, wordlessly chanting a multitude of prayers. A posse of percussionists
propel you, the spiritual warrior, forward in your journey toward The Light,
while the sound of a wooden flute brings Asia to mind, representing the stillness
of a Zen monastery, and the birds flitting in the surrounding bamboo forests.
*THE HERO'S JOURNEY MEDITATION= $20 - $30 sliding donation
Dedicated To The One EYE Love CD= $15
email EmilyKlik@yahoo.com for details and exact address (about a mile east of
Info : www.MySpace.com/CircusOfTheSpi
Love is my religion!
Exotically creative love,
Preston Klik (with Emily ... )
"Eight:18 - Circus of the Spirit @ Unity"
773-728-2759 (noon to midnight)
"Humans are the cutting edge of God's creative expression." -- Ed Townley
Wednesday May 30
the Sun down & the Moon up
from the Lake
as WE Celebrate the Blue /Buddha
on the EVE of the Full Flower Moon
with the We drum TRIBE =YOU
7:30pm - 9:30pm*
a family friendly happening
@ the Stone Fire-Pit
on the Landfill @ Northwestern University
Love Offering: $5 more or less
+Bring your Scout-Smarts
& All fire-building supplies
if you want a Fire+
*~~~IF IT'S RAINING @ 6PM
STAY HOME & PLAY~~~
Photos of human animal interaction, full of lyricism. Ashes and Snow.