Hip Hip Hooray – My Journey Before and After Hip Surgery

For many years my hips have been a barometer of what is happening for me physically, emotionally and spiritually. If I ignored these cues about all areas of my life my hips would painfully communicate with me. With these clues I learned to work with affirmations of “Hip hip hooray there is joy in everyday.” (Louise Hay). I have also learned to honor my creativity.
My yoga practice extended my time before surgery for at least a decade, but then my body needed the support of modern medicine and modified yoga and I had hip surgery August 2012. I am now waiting for surgery on the other hip, as I am bone on bone. This is very painful.
Here are a few of my personal remedies of working with hip pain:
Yoga- One Two Three
Yoga, a wonderful tool for me to work with, has been a constant companion on my journey.
Step One:
Right now working with my inner string/core is paramount. The string is a visceral image of the core of the body which extends from the perineum up through the core of the body to the crown of the head. The string needs to have the right amount of tension so that energy can move along it. If the string is too tight no energy moves and if the string is too loose the energy does not know where to go. (This is taught by my Master Yoga Teacher Sandra Sammartino).
With this information about the string my chiropractor made a statement – the core needed to be firing any time I engaged my limbs. This really hit home for me because if I am able to engage my string/ core before walking it is as if I am up and out of the pain in the hips. With an engaged string I experience much less pain.
Step Two:
Engage shoulders correctly. When I properly activate my shoulders, I have a stronger connection to my string. To engage shoulders I need to be able to think of the shoulder blades sliding down the back and slightly out to the sides.
Step Three:
Explore the yoga poses that are important to me. Exploration is important so that the body understands what is going on. Integration of yoga poses on all levels – body, mind and spirit, keep me together. Along with integration there is also an energy component. Learning about the energy body is another gift I have received along my yoga path. The energy body opened me up to the wheels of energy called chakras and the string which is the sushumna channel in yogic terms. This form of exploration is found in Psoma Yoga*.
Here are some poses that I work on to keep my hips as healthy as I can before and after surgery:
Morning bed routine: First I connect to my string/core before I move any of my limbs. Engaging a strong exhalation I am able to connect into my string and wake up my body. With an activated string I pull one leg to my chest and then the other one. I know right away if I have connected to my string -there is no pain in my hip joints. With the legs folded in I place my hands on my knees. Again engaging my string and shoulder blades I extend one heel towards the ceiling as I slowly straighten that leg. My hands remain on the knees. I then return that leg to the starting position, engage string again and extend the other leg. I do this for about 10 reps on each side.
All of my routines (bed, shower, standing and sitting) consider the rule that the body needs to experience gentle stretches in the following ways- forward bend, back bend, side stretch and a twist. I also engage my string and shoulders.
Along with yoga I have found that my body responds well to Hakomi, massage and acupuncture. Also I go to master herbalist who has recommended homeopathic pain remedies which have been very important in my healing journey.
The more I understand my body physically, mentally and emotionally the easier I have been able to face what life is presenting to me.

About the Author

Beth McCann PsomaYoga Instructor, YAA Teacher Trainer, Hakomi Practitioner, currently writing her book, Awakening Sleeping Beauty. Beth can be reached at bmccann@telus.net