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Piriformis Injury: Poses With No External Hip Rotation

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Well, I have my first yoga injury! A bit over a week ago I had a weird sensation in my deep bum/upper leg area when doing sugarcane pose, and I saw a physiotherapist yesterday who said that I have aggravated my piriformis. I need to spend a lot of time doing trigger point release work and he said that I can continue to do yoga but to avoid poses that make it worse (so mainly avoiding hip openers, and standing postures like sugar cane, dancer etc).


Now I'm having trouble thinking of what I can do!


So far I think I can do:


  • Downward facing dog
  • Heart openers (camel, wheel etc)
  • Chair
  • Hero
  • Chatarunga
  • Child's pose


Poses I'm avoiding:


  • Half moon and Sugar cane
  • Dancer
  • Warrior 3
  • Any wide straddle forward fold
  • Poses building to lotus (I actually think I've been forcing this a bit lately, leading to fatigue prior to my sugarcane incident)
  • Handstand (because I tried the other day and it hurt)


I'm not sure about warrior 1 and 2, or triangle. Or sun salutations!


I'd love some other ideas - my mind seems to be going blank right now!

YogaByCandace likes this

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I would avoid warrior 1, 2, and 3, as they all have some sort of hip component. Triangle *might* be ok depending on your flexibility but honestly I would just take a step back from a more athletic practice and do some heart opening yin yoga (bolster under your chest in various ways). This way you're getting a nice stretch and opening in your shoulders/chest/upper back but giving your legs a well deserved rest.  :)

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