Tracy Adshead is a yoga teacher specialising in yoga for seniors. She is passionate about bringing healing and healthy ageing to the community.
“My body doesn’t like mornings” is something I hear all the time, mostly from my husband these days! It all starts with getting out of bed in the morning when hip joints feel tight and the general feeling is that ‘Old Father Time’ is catching up with him.
How do these muscles become tight? The human body is essentially like soft plastic, it can be shaped based on the forces being applied to it. So your body adapts over time to what you do the most frequently and the one body position we all do is with great frequency is sit. What does my husband do? He sits at his desk eight hours a day hunched over a computer.
In a nutshell, our overuse of the sitting posture shortens the muscles around the hip joint, turns off the otherwise powerful glutes (buttock muscles) and basically throws our hips and pelvis out of balance. Sitting also shortens the muscles that line the back of the thighs (hamstrings). The result is achy hips and lower back pain – hobbling to the bathroom in the mornings becomes the new norm. Looking after the hips joints will benefit daily life on every level, especially for activities such as gardening, golf, dance, tennis etc.
Yoga is a great way to ward off the stiffness that most people begin to experience as they age. Don’t tell yourself, “I can’t do yoga because I’m already very stiff.” You have to start somewhere and it’s a long-term process. While your muscles are warm think about looking after the hips when you first get out of bed in the morning, before breakfast if possible. Any sort of arthritis in the body might mean this practice is more comfortable to do in the afternoons.
Follow my demonstration of these easy practice to help your hip joint mobility.
If you have had hip surgery recently, check with you doctor or physical therapist for any movement precautions.
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