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Thanks Christine for the information on trochanteric bursitis! I am suffering from this currently and was having trouble finding a specific list of things to be wary of.

Christine Balkwill

Hello to all of those who are asking about trochanteric bursitis. I am a physiotherapist in Vancouver and also a yoga instructor, and I also HAVE trochanteric bursitis! Without getting long-winded I would like to make a few comments.

Trochanteric bursitis is actually a combination of two conditions - bursitis and tendinopathy. It presents as pain on the outside of the hip which is aggravated by running, climbing hills, lying on that side, standing on one leg, or similar. The bursa is a thin membranous sac that sits under the tendon of gluteus maximus and medius and so when these muscles contract or stretch the bursa is squished/sheared. Usually painless, when it is subject to too much of this stress it becomes inflamed and painful. Research shows that in most of these cases there is also micro-damage or even small tears to the tendons themselves.

When it is acute any but the most gentle yoga practice should be avoided. When it has settled or is a chronic (>3 mos) condition yoga can be practiced with a strict attention to avoiding pain. Forward bends and back bends are usually fine as are all elements of the sun salutations.

Things to be careful for -

External rotation poses - external rotation, at its limit, squishes the bursa and tendons and can aggravate the condition so in Warrior II, reclined butterfly, tree it is important not to feel any discomfort on the outside of the hip.

Hip openers - such as pigeon, square, 90/90 are intended to stretch these tendons and if they stretched intensely it will aggravate the condition. I prefer to choose a gentle ankle to knee stretch in order to release tension in the muscle without aggravating the tendons.

Single leg balances - prolonged single leg standing will put sustained stress on these injured tissues - whether this can be tolerated will depend on the individual. Remember that it might feel like a mild stress during the practice and lead to substantial pain after. Best to avoid any discomfort at all.

Hope this is helpful!


Thanks for this article. I've been doing yoga for years with bursitis in both shoulders and I routinely blow out each shoulder and then stop doing yoga. Finally I'm starting to understand how damaging yoga can be when done incorrectly. Thank you for this advice.

joseph roberson

how can I help my student who has hip bursitis?


a friend had a cortison shot for bursitis of the hip and still suffering. she does not want to stop yoga, so other than pranayama, relaxation and meditation are there any safe asanas to do safely without aggravating situation.


I have the same problem! I have bursitis in both of my hips -- very painful. I just stared physical therapy but can't wait to get back to my yoga classes. Same questions as Louise and Tami -- what poses will help and what poses shoud I avoid?? Thanks


I also have bursitis of the hip. I've seen a physio and have done some stretches and it was almost healed and then came back. I'm tired of not exercising and feeling frustrated. I don't want o have to get a cortisone shot. Any suggestions on poses to help alleviate the pain?


With subacromial bursitis, which yoga postures are beneficial?


Yoga poses to ease bursitis in the hip


I have the same problem. What is the answer to the question of which postures to do and not to do with bursitis in the hip.(Trochanetric Bursitis). Thanks


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