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Yoga for Hip Bursitis

author image Clarissa Adkins
Clarissa Adkins is a freelance writer and registered yoga teacher. With a Bachelor of Arts in English and a creative writing concentration from James Madison University, she has written and continues to write articles about healthy lifestyles and yoga for various online publications.
Yoga for Hip Bursitis
Standing poses can strengthen and stretch hips without applying pressure to bursae. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons say that you should keep your hip muscles strong and flexible to prevent hip bursitis. If you already have a diagnosed inflammation of your hip bursa, then you need to work closely with your doctor to find appropriate treatment. If cleared by your doctor, yoga poses may give you relief from pain and discomfort.


Bursae are fluid-filled pockets that cushion bones and tendons. Hip bursitis may develop from repetitive motions or staying in certain positions for extended periods of time, according to the MayoClinic.com. Yoga poses that do not reproduce pain may give you a better sense of well-being, or even provide relief in the affected areas.


Yoga helps stretch, strengthen and balance the body. You will have to experiment with different poses to find ones that do not increase pain. Try a variety of standing and seated poses. Yoga instructors registered with Yoga Alliance -- the governing organization of yoga schools and instructors -- should have the credentials to help you modify and select poses to help you through hip bursitis.

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Standing Poses

Standing pigeon pose stretches one hip while you balance and strengthen the other. Stand tall, and then bring your right ankle to your thigh, just above your knee or to your shin just below your knee. Sink your left hip back as if you were about to sit in a chair. You should feel a stretch in your outer right hip. Keep your hands in prayer position as you hold the pose for five to seven breaths on each leg.

Side angle pose helps stretch your inner thighs and hip muscles. Step your feet about four to five feet apart. Turn your right foot and knee out so they point to your right side. Bend your right knee until it forms a 90 degree angle and bring your right forearm to your right thigh. Reach your left hand up towards the ceiling. Keep your left leg straightened with muscles contracted. Hold for seven to 10 breaths on each side.

Floor Poses

Use half lord of the fishes pose to stretch your hips and spine. From a seated position, cross your right foot over your lap and place it on the floor next to your left hip. Point your right knee up as you turn your torso toward the right side. Place your right hand on the floor behind you. If you want more sensation, bring your left elbow to the outside of your right leg. Hold for seven to 10 breaths on each side.

A supine bound angle, or butterfly, pose may provide relief without requiring you to put pressure on your inflamed bursa. Lie on your back, and then bring the bottoms of your feet together directly above your inner thighs. Splay your knees out to each side. Grab your ankles or lower legs and gently pull your heels closer to your groin. Relax your face and shoulders as you hold the pose for up to one minute.


The MayoClinic.com emphasizes that hip bursitis may require ice applications and anti-inflammatory drugs. Alert your yoga instructor and physician if yoga poses increase discomfort. Meditation exercises may help you deal with pain.

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