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Season 1 - Episode 8

Hip Flexibility

10 min - Practice


Patricia shares an innovative thigh rolling technique designed to help relieve tension in the pelvis, hips, psoas, adductors, and legs. She guides us in an exploration, drawing our attention towards sensation in order to find greater relief and spaciousness.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Blanket (2)

About This Video


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(water rushing) So now, I'm gonna show you a thigh rolling technique that I've developed over a number of years. I used to do it over an overstuffed chair, over the arm of an overstuffed chair and since then I use my bed in place of this pilates wunda chair. (laughs) And I put sticky mat over a folding yoga chair and a blanket or two so that this surface is about that round and padded, and then I lift my leg up and I put some weight, I get my top of the thigh very close to the edge of the chair and then I lean, at home I'm leaning on my bed and I roll back, so I'm rolling towards the ?? Now and then I roll around towards the front of the thigh bone. So I'm rolling consecutively over the quadricep, the psoas attachment back and also the adductor attachments and then back where the hamstring attaches and those places are usually pretty tender so I've got my foot on the floor and my arm here so I'm not taking 100% of the weight onto my body if I do this. I can monitor and make sure that it's not all that.

Now I'm beginning to push with my hand to move the pressure of the chair here a little bit down the leg. So I'm not quite so close to where the muscles attach anymore rolling so that I'm completely on the center of the thigh, front of the thigh, over around to the adductors and back onto the hamstring. Now, these muscles that come down from the pelvis, they often get a little stuck together in the places where they meet and overlap and that causes a lot of tension in the legs, in the muscles, and in the joints. So sometimes when I've tried all the tricks that I know to release maybe hip tightness including lots of pigeon pose and what else or maybe there's some of that little bit of mysterious annoying and sometimes very painful sciatica going on, if I do this, poof, it's gone. (laughs) So, this might be a little bit uncomfortable as I'm rolling but it's well worth it to me (laughs) a few minutes of discomfort for a few hours or days or weeks.

Sometimes I don't do this anywhere near everyday, I do this maybe twice a month and sometimes I've had to do it two days in a row. (laughs) So, you're moving down the leg gradually rolling over and sometimes if I find a really tight spot, I'll roll it a few times and when I get close to the knee it can be pretty intense and I don't go quite to the place where the bone-y part of the knee is. So I'm just above the knee cap here. I don't go below that. And that is the first leg.

We're gonna switch this set up around so I can show you the other side. So now we'll take the other leg up. Remember that you've got a sticky mat over the top of the chair and at least a couple blankets soften the pressure and when I first come down on this side I'm sitting down just below the sit bone where the hamstring and the sit bone come together and then I'm gonna start rolling around towards the inner thigh and I know I'm passing beyond the psoas attachment as you go along here when I'm that high up and around to the quadriceps. Okay, it's better for me if I'm on my forearm because this joint really doesn't like to stand on the floor so I like to do it on my forearm. So back and forth a couple times on that highest positioning.

Oh yeah. (laughs) You gotta be in pain to put up with pain to get outta pain. (laughing) Or just you know, do something else. Now, I know there are foam rollers that people like to roll around on, but you cannot get this sequential pressure on hamstring inner thigh muscle, psoas, around to the adductors, the various adductors, and then all the way around to the quadricep, I mean it's really a bonanza. Okay and of course with this foot on the floor and this arm supporting you, you're not taking 100% of the weight on your leg so you can monitor that.

Sometimes I might like to just roll back and forth. I can feel a really tight spot right here so I'm rolling back and forth a couple of times, three or four times. But, I've learned that if I go beyond three or four times that I actually am not gonna feel good in that spot later. So, I'm beginning to move away from the attachment points where the muscles actually attach to the pubic bone and the sit bone which are the same bone, and rolling around and then sliding down a little bit more. Now, the back of my hamstring here I can feel a tight spot, so I might roll back and forth again.

So, for people with stuff going on in the shoulder joints and so on, this might not be a great one to do, but I think there are a lot of people who have tightness in the knees and hips who could benefit by this. Here we go, now I'm getting, it's funny, you know, at first I felt something in the back and then something across the front. Now, as I'm getting closer to the knee I'm feeling a lot of tension on the inner thigh muscle. So I don't know if you notice but I moved my foot forward so that I could lighten the weight and I'm rolling at a much less weighted fashion or this really tight spot, not too many times. And then gliding a little bit further away from it.

Yeah. Sometimes slowing way down is useful and last one not quite on the outside of the bones of the knee, certainly don't go over the knee cap. I'm well above that, I'm an inch or so above that and then off again. Just hold on for a minute. (exhales) And again, feel into where your legs are and walk around your room unhurriedly and feel what's happening.

It's glorious. Thank you for working with me and with yourself.


2 people like this.
This technique really works for me! I have tried all the accu-pressure balls and rollers and this gives me more relief! Even gives relief where acupuncture doesn't. Thank you!
Hi Mary Ann, Sorry to let your comment slip by for so long! I'm so happy you found this technique useful; I felt kind of shy about showing it, but it has been a real boon to me and I thought - hoped - others might find it to be true for them too. Thanks for taking a moment to let us know. Love, Patricia

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