Since I’m not a yoga teacher and don’t have a strong desire to do teacher training, I’ve been supplementing my yoga education through workshops. Wanderlust Yoga recently hosted a Happy Hips workshop with KK Ledford.
First, I want to say that I love trying new teachers and seeing what new ways they can disseminate complex information about anatomy, the emotional impact, the chakras and astrology and everything else that has connections to yoga.
KK brought this kooky NorCal spirit about her to the class. I mean this in the most complimentary of ways, having spent a few years living in the Bay Area. She was fun and made us work hard. There were plenty of times when I felt extremely uncomfortable, which is thanks to my sedentary lifestyle working a desk job. But most of yoga is figuring out how to deal with being uncomfortable and coming out better afterward.
The hips and the whole pelvic area of the body holds so much baggage, or as KK calls it, relationshit. And when you keep burying all that crap emotionally and don’t find ways to healthily release it, it can lead to a number of issues – digestive, reproductive, chronic back pain, etc.
The way to solve this is to pay careful attention to alignment. We practiced a lot of port-a-potty squatting, where you stick your butt out, keep your tailbone tucked and back straight. When you fail to keep strength in the structure (ie. get lazy), that’s when you see problems like yoga butt, which affects the Sacroiliac joints and piriformis.
We also worked a lot on baby cradling each leg by bending at the knee and cradling the foot in the crook of the opposite arm. Keeping the foot flexed is key. Lots of lunging. Ohmygod we did so much lunging! But instead of sinking into it, there’s a lot of pulling toward the center for stability.
I’ve felt a lot of tightness in my groin lately (especially when I go into triangle pose), and I think it has a lot to do with how tight my hips have been from sitting at work. After this 2 hour workshop to help us gain strength and stability before working on actually opening the hips, I was sore all through my groin, thighs and hips. A good sore! I’ll keep at it though. Practice makes for happy hips.
KK said she wants to offer a 3 hour version of the workshop that’s a little more advanced, since most of us were new to her and haven’t been through her hips workshop before. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled!