Honest Hips

Shakira was onto something when she admitted that her hips don’t lie. Hips are inherently honest bits. They speak up, especially when they’re unhappy.

In my last post, which was a month ago already, I mentioned that I’d injured my hip somehow and was resting until it felt better. It was extremely painful initially – so much so that I could barely lift my foot off the ground! – so I spent almost two weeks doing nothing more strenuous than taking short walks and doing some light core work. Not being able to move around much was crazy-making. I had so much energy and no safe way to burn it, at least not without inherently accusing my hips of lying. The only yoga I could  practice was the yamas, particularly ahimsa and satya. Healing meant no physical asanas, which made me really sad.

I saw my orthopedist and we had a nice, long chat about my exercise habits. The yoga, the pilates, the TRX – all great stuff, she said. The elliptical, on the other hand, was referred to as “the devil in machine form”. The elliptical’s repetitive motion was the culprit of my pain, causing inflammation to the hip and surrounding muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. Bursitis and an injury to the gluteus medius was the official diagnosis. The treatment in the short term was what you’d expect – rest, ice, cortisone injections, anti-inflammatories. The long term treatment? No more elliptical. Not ever again. Not unless I wanted another honest, painful lecture from my hip.

So, out to the curb it went and, along with it, I hope, any future hip pain. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

It’s now been just over two weeks since I felt well enough to get back on my mat and move around normally again. My gluteus medius is still a bit sore with use, but the hip itself is great. Much, much better. I didn’t realize how chronically sore my hip actually was until it actually wasn’t anymore. Incidentally, by decreasing my pain, staying off the elliptical has made my yoga practice even stronger. By not inadvertently modifying things to lessen the load on my hip and the surrounding muscles, I can fully reap the benefits of each posture. I have more mobility within the hip and more stability around it. And that’s just in two weeks without using “the devil in machine form”.

I’m hopeful that more time without it will lead to more consistently nuanced agility, strength, and stability on my mat. I know that will be the most likely outcome if I continue to reciprocate my body’s honesty with equally honest, healing behaviors. Or if I, as Shakira says, “be wise/and keep on/reading the signs of my body.”

Asi es perfecto.

Namaste.

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