Yoga Practice for SI Joint Happiness
By far the the most popular search queries that bring people to my page are about yoga and sacroiliac (SI) joint injuries. I've written about this before, but to recap: the SI joint is the place where the sacrum meets the pelvis at the base of the spine. This joint doesn't naturally have a ton of mobility— it's designed to slide up and down a bit, but it can get pulled out of place and stuck on one side, causing pain on one side of the low back.
I believe that injuries to the SI joint are so common in yoga practitioners because people who are naturally flexible are drawn to yoga, and when they start doing yoga, they enjoy working towards even more outrageous flexibility, without necessarily doing due diligence to balance this flexibility with strength. I've also had my SI tweaked out by an instructor with an overzealous adjustment in a twist. Ow.
I designed a practice to bring deeper awareness to the low back and hips, create stability around the SI joint and gently address any misalignments there. The practice is in two parts, so you can do the whole thing together or use the practices separately.
SI dysfunction can have many causes and may point to misalignments elsewhere along the length of the spine, so these poses and sequences may or may not work for you. Do only what feels good to you and feel free to change or skip things that aren't working. And of course, I recommend if you're suffering from pain, to seek advice from a medical professional and/or a trusted body worker. So now that the disclaimer is out of the way, on to the videos!
Part one is a great way to open a longer yoga practice. It brings awareness to the area around the sacrum, gently wakes up some core strength, including the psoas, and also engages the glutes, both of which tend to be weak in those with SI dysfunction.
Part two is a great way to close a yoga practice, especially if you've just done a yin practice or a bunch of hip openers or twists. This sequence will stabilize the sacrum by working the muscles around the hips.
Enjoy! Please let me know if you have questions or if you have any other things that have helped in your recovery from SI injury.