I have had problems with my right hip since November.

I have been stretching my hip very regularly – often five times a week. I have received cranio sacral therapy, massage and chiropractic adjustments for it. I have done my yoga, qi gong and meditation for it. I have used epsom salt baths and German homeopathic bath oils. I have taken natural anti-inflammatories, paid attention to sitting and standing with good posture and done my best to be mindful about my alignment.

Like most people, when I have a challenge, I approach what is going on from many different angles.

Even when we address things from many different angles, sometimes our bodies keep talking to us.


My hip pain will go away completely at times, only to come back at unexpected times and unexpected places.


Yesterday, I asked Lillah Schwarz to write a program to help me with my right hip. I have to say, it’s pretty tough, but the issue feels really really deep so an approach not for sissies seems to be warranted.


One. Double strap traction on the hips. Get an 8-foot long yoga strap. Make a loop. Put one end of the loop around your left foot.. Put your right leg through the loop, bend your right knee and slide the yoga strap into the crease of your right hip. Tighten the belt. Straighten your left leg to provide traction on your right hip.


Two. Supta Pandungasthana 1, 2 and 3. Keeping the traction on your right hip with the big loop, get a second yoga strap. Put the second strap on the ball of your right foot. 1, Straighten your right leg and stretch your right hamstring. 2, Swing your right leg out to the right to lengthen your inner thigh. 3, Cross the right leg over the left, stretching your outer thigh and going into a gentle twist on your lower back.


Three. Ardha Supta Virasana. Get a yoga bolster and a blanket. Sit on the edge of the bolster. Bend both knees. Then gently fold your right leg back into half hero pose. Lie back on the bolster. Keep breathing! If this stretch is too intense, put a blanket or a pillow behind you. Breathe into your quadriceps muscle and visualize it lengthening and relaxing. Keep your hips even and your groin open. Hold five minutes. Repeat other side.


Four. Supta Virasana. After working on single leg stretches, lie back into reclining hero on the bolster to balance both sides.


Five. Gomukasana. Sitting on your bolster, fold your legs into cows head pose. Lean back and open your groins. Then lengthening your spine and lifting your chest, gently fold over your hips. Hold. Repeat other side.


Six. Belted setu bandha. Put the loop of your yoga strap around your thighs about midway between your knees and your hips. Lie back and tighten the belt about shoulder width apart. Lift your pelvis, carefully examining yourself so that you activate both sides of your hips equally. Hold in bridge, pressing outwards against the belt.


This program works deep and is highly effective. I did it this morning before working with bridge, shoulder stand and plow combinations and then finishing with vinyasa flow.