Yoga Hips – One of my favorite subjects!

For some time now the articles and awareness that a woman’s hips are vulnerable to extreme stretches in yoga have caught my attention. Un-square your hips in Virabhadrasana 2…. watch this video.

It appears according to the New York Times article by William J Broad on November 3, 2013 that many woman injure their hips due to the “wide range of joint play that can increase not only their proficiency in yoga, but also their health risks. The investigators found that extreme leg motions could cause the hip bones to repeatedly strike each other, leading over time to damaged cartilage, inflammation, pain and arthritis. They call it Femoroacetabular Impingement — or F.A.I., in medical shorthand. The name spoke to a recurrence in which the neck of the thigh bone (the femur) swung so close to the hip socket (the acetabulum) that it repeatedly struck the socket’s protruding rim.”

As a seasoned yoga practitioner and yoga teacher trainer, I have been observing and halting whenever possible the misunderstanding of alignment and correlating muscular action or lack of, that would lead to this “bumping ” of the bones of the hip joint. In an Elephant Journal article Michaelle Edwards spoke of deep forward bending as a problem of over stretching the hamstring ligaments and low back muscles with a resulting pelvic destabilization and spinal weakness. I do agree with the results she has observed, yet not necessarily to approach for correction, but that is a different story.  What seems to be missing in this conversation is the rampant “squaring of the hips” being taught in all the lateral poses such as triangle (Trikonasana) and warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana 2).

When beginning a recent 500 hour Yoga Therapy Teacher Training at in Seminole Florida, three of the eight woman in the course were already experiencing hip pain… and the worst pose to bring it on? Trikonasana.  As you will see from the following video the mis-alignment and action was present in Virabhadrasana 2 as well. As a teaching aid, it is best to correct the alignment in Virabhadrasana 2.

I hope you will find the following video helpful and will share this information with all your yoga students and yoga friends! Pictures are worth a thousand words…..

Namaste, Lillah

Lillah’s next yoga teacher training course begins February 7, 2014. Registration is now open. Join Lillah to delve deeply into all aspects of yoga and transform your practice. Choose 5, 9 or 14 weekend trainings with more information at

This post was written by Lillah on January 16, 2014
Posted Under: Articles by Lillah,Teacher Training Content

Reader Comments

I am watching this video as I recuperate one week after hip replacement surgery! I want to immediately go to all my past and present students and say, “Stop, stop, stop squaring your hips!!!” I have practiced yoga for well over half my life (I’m 61)and look forward to a skillful and ever-evolving practice in the future. Thank you for this.

Written By Monica on May 7th, 2014 @ 1:26 am

Shared this with our yoga teacher and she worked on external rotation all week. Happy hips. Hope you are well!

Written By Nancy Gray Schoonmaker on June 20th, 2014 @ 6:31 pm

Good blog you’ve got here.. It’s difficult too find
high quality wtiting like yours these days. I truly
appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

Written By Joeann on April 20th, 2015 @ 6:29 am

absolutely brilliant! I am currently completing my yoga teaching course and have had a plethora of injuries (not from yoga but misalignment certainly made them worse.) from scoliosis and thoracic outlet syndrome I’m so much better but these little tweeks have accelerated my progress that last mile needed. educating the world with these videos and articles will bring so many students relief. So thank you!

Written By dominique on April 28th, 2017 @ 11:44 am

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