These days many people do not think about their thighs in terms of health. Usually, the thighs are a topic of aesthetics. Questions like “Are my thighs too fat?” or “How can I get a ‘thigh gap’? reveal how little attention is paid to the healthy functioning of the thigh.
Located between the lower torso and legs, the thigh holds several muscle compartments that help us move forward as bipedal creatures. It’s shape is key to our locomotion. Aesthetics aside, if we have problems with our thighs, we have problems moving.
Front thigh pain and sciatica are two of the most common problems people have with their thighs. The sciatic nerve originates in the lumbar spine and runs down the legs. Often the pain of sciatica is experienced deep in the muscles of the buttocks and courses down the back of the thigh into the calf. The physical causes of thigh pains can include: sedentary lifestyle, weakness of the kidneys, lower back problems, poor posture and more.
These thigh problems can be considered painful manifestations of an energetic or emotional imbalance. Emotional factors that contribute to thigh problems can include being overcritical, or judgmental and having difficulty nurturing yourself.
Because thigh problems result from a combination of factors, it will be most helpful to consider a combination of treatments. Releasing criticism and judgment with positive affirmations, while taking better care of yourself with adequate rest and massage can recreate a healthy foundation. Regular movement can maintain warmth in the lower part of the body, which helps release tension and lower the frequency of pain.
A combination of Dahn Yoga meditation and physical exercise can heal and release emotional constraints and get your energy flowing again. You can learn to enjoy and appreciate your body better, especially your thighs which have been working hard to support you and carry you forward.
1. Forward Butterfly Bend
This exercise was featured in the Body Talk article for the February 2014 issue of Dahn Yoga Life. It can help you build strength and flexibility in the inner thigh.
2. Monkey Posture
This month, our Core Practice article discusses this posture. It is good for dealing with lumbar-spine related sciatica because it stabilizes the core and lower back. It can also bring circulation to the inner thigh muscles.
3. Foot to Thigh Forward Bend
Here are directions for this challenging, but rewarding exercise for the thighs.
•Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your right knee, gently cradle your foot and place it on the thigh of your left leg with sole up. Your left leg should be straight out in front of you with your knee soft and your foot flexed. Pull your right foot toward your groin.
•Bend forward from your hips. Reach both hands toward your left foot and if comfortable, grasp your left foot. Bend your torso gently toward your left knee, but do not strain to reach your toes.
•Relax and sit up. Repeat about 10 times. Then with your hands around your left foot, alternately wriggle your foot to the left and right several times.
•Switch legs and repeat.
— Sandy Webb