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HIP TIGHTNESS, IMBALANCE TEST
Flexibility and balance…to have this in small measure in all aspects of our lives in the coming year would reap tremendous benefits. Whether it be finance or personality, mental disposition or physical body, with some intention and a modicum of time, this dynamic duo of flexibility and balance will enable us to “play at a higher level” as Leslee Schenk-Trczinski says.
My best in the New Year,
Note: I first came to know Leslee back in the ‘80’s when I wore the maple leaf on my jersey, and she was either in the stars and stripes kit or the colors of a powerhouse women’s team. I caught up with Leslee recently in her quaint town of Canandaigua, New York at a wonderful creperie beside her TuneYoga studio. Here’s a photo of Leslee, Peg and me at the 1987 Tour de L’Aude in southern France.
Tell your hips - and your loved ones - how much you care.
Article by Leslee Schenk-Trczinski
The hips are considered the "junkdrawer" of the body. We hold so much there, not just physical tension, overuse stress, grip and tightness. But also emotionally, we 'store' things in the hip and low abdomen region to bury it from being processed, worked through, released. Take the hip test to see how imbalanced or tight your hip, ham, butt, leg areas are. Then, starting the New Year, get going on working through the imbalance, the structural mal-alignment and CLEAN OUT THE JUNK!!
Here’s an easy way to see if – or how much – your hips are tight, imbalanced or both. Below is a quick self-assessment. It is not scientific but a great low-tech way to do some self-analysis on your hips. You may have a known – or worse – an unknown issue with your hips or even low back. Sports or repetitive activities contribute to some muscles being over-used or others under-used causing imbalance, weakness, tightness. This type of assessment can help prevent overuse injury, giving you a “window” into how your body is aligned and where a problem area could be developing.
Do this periodically – monthly – and compare results. Use a camera to capture current position and then compare pics month to month to assess change. With an increase in your flexibility program – through classes and your own home practice - this winter, you will very likely see positive changes. Here are some past Tune Yoga blog post “Go To Poses” that target the hips and hip flexors.
TAKE THE TEST
1) Lay flat on the floor, legs outstretched, heels planted on ground. RELAX your feet, let toes ‘flop’ to side. Lift your head and look down at your feet.
2) What are you seeing? Is one foot not rolling out as far as the other? In the picture below, the left foot position compared to the right would indicate that the left side – hip, low back, leg, IT band, etc. is more congested, tighter, bound than the right side.
3) This picture shows progress. Over time, and with dedicated yoga practice targeting the hips, hip flexors, IT bands, hamstrings and quads to gain BOTH FLEXIBILITY + STRENGTH, the feet would ideally come to a place of more equal position.
This final photo shows nice alignment and close to equal outward rotation of both feet – which is what you are striving for.
So keep up (or start doing) your yoga, continue the analysis, the focus, the discipline of studying, knowing, staying in TUNE with your body for greater performance, more fluid movement, less injury and general overall well-being. There are so many yoga postures to aid in this hip alignment path.
Helping you to “Play at a Higher Level”,