Can I practice yoga if I have had hip replacement surgery?

Sadie Lincoln
Yes, as long as you first have approval from your doctor or physical therapist.  I also suggest asking if there are any guidelines you should follow when beginning a new exercise program.  Next, let the yoga instructor know that you have had a hip replacement so that they are aware and can give you modifications for any postures that are difficult or cause discomfort.  Finally, listen to your body.  If a certain pose does not feel right or causes any pain, ask your yoga instructor for an alternative one. From there, focus more on the alignment and balance of the posture to help increase your strength and allow you to get the most out of your practice.

You participate a very mindful yoga practice after hip replacement surgery as long as you have been cleared by your doctor or therapist and alert the yoga teacher to your current situation. Yoga can become a very important part of recovery therapy as it will help strengthen the muscles crossing the hip joint and enhance range of motion gradually as practice continues. The combination of breathing into the hip space and soft, fluid, and mindful movements will be beneficial in your recovery, building mobility, and feeling safe in knowing your current abilities. It is important to remember that every body is different and whether you are still in recovery or have had hip replacement years ago there are a few guidelines listed below to follow.

  • Arrive early to yoga class, or schedule a private session, to have a detailed conversation with the yoga teacher so that he or she can offer proper variations and/or props during your practice.
  • During practice, always be honest with yourself and work at your pace and ability and most importantly, move slowly so that you can focus on breathing into sensation and to avoid pushing too far and causing pain or injury.
  • Definitely start yoga practice with an introductory, basic, or restorative type of class since these will be slower paced, informative, and give you a chance to determine your comfort in mobility.
  • All students carry tension, stress, and trauma in their hips so always continue focus on letting go and releasing any excess tension in that area.
  • Yoga is very focused on posture and body alignment and most poses will be done on the right side of the body then the left, so be aware that you will likely be favoring one side and be sure to observe and reassess that favoring behavior over time. You may become more balanced and a further, more even stabilization will occur as time progresses.
  • Most importantly, keep breathing and stay relaxed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.