225: Yoga for Hip Pain with Shannon Crow

Do you have students who come to you complaining of “hip pain”? Or have you experienced pain in the hips, lower back, abdomen or pelvic area yourself? Many people experience acute or persistent pain in their hip and pelvic area, and in this episode, Shannon Crow does a mini-training to address these pains.

Shannon has had personal experience with pelvic girdle pain, which she used to call “hip pain”, for over 20 years. In this time, she has worked in her own yoga practice, and with health care and medical professionals to address this pain, and has gained a wealth of information about the topic. She shares some questions that can be helpful to ask yoga students who are experiencing “hip pain” and talks about why the language we use is important in our experience of pain. Shannon also has some movements and exercises that can help alleviate and decrease pelvic girdle pain for you to try out in your own practice and with your students.

If you have ever experienced any sort of pain in your hip or pelvic area, or have students who are, this mini-training will be very helpful.

Key Takeaways:

[6:09] This episode is a mini-training on hip pain.

[6:45] Shannon starts with some questions and definitions. Have you experienced acute pain and persistent pain?

[8:50] What are some messages we have heard about the hips? What are some messages we have said?

[10:49] Where are your hips, and where are your hip joints?

“The key to serving your yoga students is to ask more questions. You do not need to know all of the answers.” ~ Shannon Crow

[14:19] Why doesn’t Shannon say hip pain to her students anymore? “Hip pain” or pelvic pain usually occurs in the sacroiliac joint (S.I. joint), the coccyx (tailbone), the pubic symphysis (pubic bone), the hip joint, and the entire pelvic area including the lower abdomen, the pelvis and perineum.

“It is not in our scope of practice to diagnose pain. This isn’t our role as yoga educators.” ~ Shannon Crow

[16:07] Shannon clarifies that she doesn’t go around correcting people on proper anatomical terms to use.

[17:59] Shannon talks about some of the cues yoga teachers use in relation to the hips.

[19:06] What are three important questions to ask your yoga students who come to you with hip or pelvic pain?

[21:16] As yoga teachers, it is not in our scope of practice to diagnose pain.

“I feel it’s very important as yoga teachers that we know our scope of practice, and that as we work alongside the health care team, we really know what our role is because we have an important role to play.” ~ Shannon Crow

[22:52] It is important to understand that the pelvis is strong and stable.

“Understand that the pelvis is strong and stable.” ~ Shannon Crow

[24:57] The language we use can make a huge difference in our experience with pain.

[25:57] What are some things we can do when experiencing pelvic girdle pain, and the pelvis is sensitive and protective?

[34:15] Shannon recommends trying out these movements in your own practice to see how it feels, and then you can incorporate it into your yoga classes.

[35:20] For a deep dive to learn more about these movements and why they work to decrease pain, check out the full training.

Things to Try for Pelvic Girdle Pain                       

  • Exhale on effort / exertion 
  • Space for Sitz bones
  • S Breath
  • Question Kegels
  • Rolling over
  • Side-to-side standing 
  • Walking backwards
  • Symmetrical Movements


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