This post is part of a series to highlight the rich library of videos in my YouTube account. Today I present to you the third the most viewed of my YouTube videos, with over 8k views: Yoga for IT Band Release.
So many people, particularly runners, complain of tightness in the lateral thigh or iliotibial (IT) band tightness. If you have knee pain or hip pain, there is a good chance that your IT bands, which are really long flat tendons, are asymmetrical right to left or are not sliding and gliding as they should.
Yogis don’t tend to need more pure stretching, so as you participate in this practice, focus on balance, strength, muscularly “hugging” to the midline. And please let me know what you think in the comments below the video!
Yoga for IT Band Release
Your iliotibial bands, also known as iliotibial tracts, are located on the side of the thighs, and — due to the extensive sagittal plane (front/back) movements we do on the yoga mat — movement of the lateral thighs may be neglected along with other side body actions in most yoga class.
This gentle, intelligently-crafted therapeutic, full-length yoga class (45 min) is designed to offer more length and strength to the IT Band and the muscles attaching to it.
This class is NOT a replacement for medical advice, and if you have pain anywhere in your body, please see a physical therapist (physiotherapist). For those of you who have seen a physical therapist before without much to show for it — try a different one and try for more than 3 sessions. Nothing will replace skillful, hands-on, individualized care for your long term health. I offer up this yoga class as a supplementary, therapeutic practice without intention that it will supplement actual physical therapy.
In nearly every public yoga class I teach, someone has knee or hip pain. The root of this phenomenon is probably the amount of time we spend sitting and the lack of time we spend in full squats. And as a consequence, the dense fascial tissue on the outside of our thighs, the IT Band or tract, loses its ability to glide and slide and move freely. When it is tight, it pulls above and below (and front and back) and can commonly be part of the culprit of knee pain.
I am so thrilled to share this really sweet lateral hip “lengthening” practice. (I don’t think your IT Bands will get longer during the class, but I do think this will free up some useful mobility and reduce a sensation of tightness).
What to expect during this class
—A sweet, seated warm-up with active, not passive!, twists
—Plenty of sidebends
—Activation of the muscles to stabilize the medial and lateral hips — inner and outer thighs
- Supta Hasta Padangustasana (Supine hand to foot pose) A with a strap (active, dynamic)
- Supta Hasta Padangustasana C
- Sciatic nerve gliding variations
- Table pose bird dogs with sidebend / outer hip opening
- Gentle variation of Gomukasana (Cow Face Pose) legs
- Unique way to practice Uttanasana (standing forward fold) and walk to the front of the mat
- Standing IT band stretch
- Single leg balance with standing twist variation
- Chair pose with inner thigh strengthening
- Garudasana (Eagle pose)
- Parvritta Trikonasana (Revolved triangle pose)
- Seated IT band stretch/sciatic glide
- Supported Savasana
Props You’ll want:
- Two straps if you own them (if you own just one strap, make it into a loop and grab a towel to replace the other one
- A blanket and/or block for sitting comfortably
“I loved this video, learned so much. Thank you THANK YOU thank you for sharing this.”
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