I really should learn to take my own advice. In every class, I encourage my clients to uncover their Body Blind Spots (areas that have been overused, underused, misused, or abused) with the corrective exercise, self-care with the Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls, and stress reduction techniques that we practice. In YTU, this practice is a lifelong search to find and better embody all of these dark and creepy corners of our bodies so that we won’t have to rely on someone else to find them for us (they tend to charge more and use sharp, metal instruments that leave scar tissue ;)).

So I was surprised at my own astonishment when I discovered that my right IT Band was considerably more tense than my left. And not just a little bit tight, more like “OMG there are knots of super sensation in this bad boy”. And this was after two days of Jill Miller’s Hips Immersion, which included tons of YTU Therapy Ball rolling and exercises that took my hips through every conceivable range of motion.

I think we sometimes anticipate discoveries and changes to occur instantaneously. For some reason, I expected the discover of a blind spot to simultaneously release fireworks, angels would sing, and then I would never have another issue with that area. Man, was I off base.

So back to the IT band, after some incredibly discomfortable thrunks while “stretching” my IT band, I decided that perhaps it was the culprit to the lingering tightness that oscillates between stiffness and pain that I’ve been experiencing in my right hip. Let’s not even get into the conversation about yoga teachers with pain; there’s this unspoken rule that we’re not allowed to feel pain (come on! We do yoga!) and should be ashamed of it. Shockingly, I’m not. I’m human – and anything I uncover in my own body only enriches my classes because I can promise you I’ve tried everything I make you do =). Could something as complex as the human body be solved by just an IT band? No, of course not, for the same reason why there are not fireworks and gospel when we uncover our blind spots. Boo.

When we discover blind spots, we have a choice of what to do with them. Ignore – and wonder why we keep experiencing the same movement errors and pain OR use them to fuel our investigative fire into building the laser precision of our inner GPS that is being a fully integrated human. The IT band was not the key, only a piece of the puzzle.

Which leads me to yesterday morning’s workout and discovery – my hamstrings are crazy weak. Like shaking and stammering when they have to contract on an unstable surface weak. Squatting is great – but concentric hamstrings curls are even more fun. We did these in the Hips Immersion and they were hard, but I wasn’t ready to listen that they could be a part of the problem!

Now I’m facing a daily practice that includes hours of hamstring strengtheners, hip lengtheners, and somewhere, in the midst of all that, stress reduction because I’m freaking out that my hip is broken.

No worries – it’s not, and there is enough time in the day to do it all. How? Fit it in to your schedule where you can! I just discovered this great post on the CoreWalking Blog about a passive release for your deep hip flexors – the illacus and psoas (my two on fire buddies!). All you have to do is come into a constructive rest position (which we call Ardha Savasana in YTU) and stay there for 30 minutes. I don’t have a personal meditation practice or 30 minutes to sit without movement, so I got creative. The dentist chair is almost semi-reclined, and I was stuck in place for 30 minutes, so why not!? Feeling the tissues of my anterior thighs unwind, letting go of without their normal tension was amazing. Plus, it was a perfect distraction to the teeth cleaning!

Here’s the video – try it out. Any of us who spend any time in a seated position (at your desk, behind the wheel, at the dinner table) probably have shortened hip flexors and anterior hip muscles, so this will feel good. If you don’t have 30 minutes to lie on the floor in this position, get creative and see how you can fit any portion of it into your day. 10 minutes is better than none!