The hip control guide teaches you how to feel and control the deep muscles of your hip joint.
It shows you how you can use these muscles to deepen your yoga poses with more awareness and less effort.
If you have trouble with forward bends or back bends (I do), learning to feel and control your hip muscles can help make these types of yoga poses easier.
Now you might think that muscle control means just learning to activate those muscles. It also includes learning to relax them and in the Hip Control Guide you practice both, repeatedly.
The repetition does two things:
To make learning to feel your body easy, the hip control guide uses prominent landmarks of the pelvis and thigh as reference points. These are points that you can easily feel with your fingers or see.
Learning to feel these points, and the muscles that work on them, you learn to "feel" or "directly experience" your anatomy.
And rather than focusing on the names of body parts, you'll focus on feeling and controlling the actual body parts!
The hip control guide is an ebook (pdf, epub and mobi formats) with some optional videos (see below). Each exercise includes photos, as well as written descriptions so that you can easily understand (and then do) each exercise.
Once you've experienced your hip muscles using these exercises, you can then experiment with activating them (or relaxing them) in the context of yoga poses and other exercises or movements.
That's one of the advantages of learning to feel your body. It is not activity specific. You can use body awareness and control in anything that you do!
This is for anyone who wants to improve their ability to feel and control their body. If you want to improve strength or flexibility or "fix problems" then learning to feel and control your body is a first step.
If you are super flexible (some might describe this as "floppy" i.e. you can drop easily into the splits but you can't lower into the splits with control) then these exercises may be difficult to learn. You may be better starting of with Frictional Muscle Control program which is included as an extra.
This program makes it easier to learn to feel your body even if you are very flexible!
Once you have some basic control and awareness you may find that you can then better feel your hip muscles while using the exercises in the Hip Control Ebook.
The video extras below include some of the latest techniques that I use in my classes for exploring and learning the body. Each is a routine or workshop in its own right and can help you deepen your awareness and control of your own body.
Each of these videos can help you deepen your awareness and ability to control your hip joints and the muscles that work on them.
This routine focuses on stabilizing the extremities, the feet and ankles for better hip control. (Applying the same idea to the arms, the hands and forearms are stabilized for better shoulder control).
By stabilizing the feet and ankles you give the muscles that cross the knee a stable foundation from which to work on the thighs and pelvis.
Read more about Extreme Stability (Foot and Ankle Control for Better Stability)
This routine uses friction as an initial means of turning muscles on. And this is actually the fallback method I use for developing muscle control and awareness with students who can't feel their muscles using other methods.
Generally, those are students who are hyper flexible and in some cases very skinny and light. (So that working against their own body weight doesn't give them much muscular feedback.)
With frictional methods, you use two parts of the body against the floor in opposing directions. One of the really nice things about this method is that once you get it you can gradually ramp up the muscle activation (and also gradually reduce it.)
Since friction can only be used when two parts of the body are in contact with the floor (i.e. two feet) this set of videos also includes techniques for turning muscles on with only one point of contact with the floor (i.e. standing on one foot.)
One important point about using friction is that the more you press down, the greater the friction. So if you are frictioning a hand and a foot, it helps if the hand has at least some downward pressure, if not the same amount of downward pressure as the foot.
This set of exercises provided the basis for the Muscle Control for Better Flexibility and Active Stretching programs.
The focus in both of these programs is on moving the thighs relative to the pelvis. It was sometimes a tricky concept to teach and the fallback was usually to use friction to teach muscle control.
Those frictional exercises are included in this package because it offers a nice contrast to the next program where the focus is on moving (or thinking about moving) the pelvis relative to the thighs.
It's also handy in its own right because it teaches you how to activate the quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and glutes by working against body weight as opposed to friction.
Read more about Thigh Muscle Control (front and back).
In this set of videos, you learn to control the hip muscles by moving (or trying to move) the pelvis relative to the thighs. You'll also focus on creating a pull on prominent landmarks of the pelvis.
This video is in more of a workshop format, very similiar to the format used in the Hip Control Guide ebook.
It offers a nice compliment to the previous set of videos and with both sets of videos, you learn how to control the hip joint by focusing on moving either the thigh or the pelvis.
Read More about Improving Hip Joint Control
You can buy the above extras along with the hip control guide for a reduced price or you can buy any of the above extras individually.
One question that you could ask is, how effective are these exercises in improving flexibility?
It depends. Using the front-to-back splits as an example, for some people the technique used in Feel and Control Your Pelvis works really well, for others it's the Extreme Flexibility program that works better.
Basically, there is no guarantee of improving flexibility. But with practice, using the techniques in this set of videos and ebook (which by the way is in pdf, mobi and epub formats), you will develop better awareness and control and that could lead to improving your flexibility.
And that's one reason for packaging all of these programs together. At any point in time, you may find that one of the above options works better than the other, and it changes from day to day.
And so to that end, I'd suggest focusing on feeling your body while doing each of these exercises. Each program is designed to help you learn each technique so that you can do it without thinking. You then don't have to follow along with the ebook or videos, you can practice without them while focusing on feeling and controlling your body.
Another question is how much practice is required? I had one client who practiced 3 hours a day. He warmed up for an hour for each yoga class he took and he continued his practice after each class. But he's rich and can afford the time.
Find a reasonable amount of time that works for you.
Aim for three hours a week as a minimum. That can be three 1 hour sessions or 6 half-hour sessions or even 12 quarter-hour sessions.
What can make the time less relevant is the quality of the time you spend practicing. 5 to 10 minutes a day focusing on actually feeling your body while your exercising could be more beneficial than 1 hour just going through the motions. And in the process of actually feeling your body while doing the exercises, you may find that you actually enjoy the exercise or feel better afterwards.
The Extreme Stability video and Frictional Muscle Control video are actually in the form of a routine. Either of these could be used as a model for developing your own routine.
Videos are in MP4 format. I'd suggest using VLC if you have any trouble viewing them if you download them. But as well as being able to download the videos, you can also stream them.
The Hip Control ebook is in PDF, epub and mobi (kindle) format. You get all three ebook formats with your purchase.
You can buy any of the videos individually. Click on any of the Read More links in the relevant section above.
If you aren't happy with this program, contact me (my email is also included in the ebook) for a full refund.
Once you've ordered, you'll be able to download the book in pdf, epub or mobi format (you get access to all three formats for one price!). And if you've ordered the extras you'll be able to stream them or download them.
If you have any problems use the contact form to get in touch with me.
I've been teaching yoga for 18 years now. I'm constantly refining my teaching methods so that I can better help students learn to feel and control their body.
Prior to becoming a yoga teacher I studied Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. And before that I was an Armourer in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers.
I've been living and teaching yoga in Taiwan for the last 11 years.
All of the above programs are based on exercises and routines that I've used in my classes.