The short answer is all yoga poses are safe for total hip replacement if you get creative and shift your thinking about what a pose should look like. The benefits of practicing yoga are rooted in awareness and focus. The shape of a pose will end up being different for everyone.
Think of Tree Pose (vrksasana). The benefits from the pose exist whether your foot is low on the leg or high on the leg, or whether you are supporting your balance with a chair or wall or not. Either way you are building hip stabilizer strength in the standing leg and creating hip mobility in the lifted leg. No matter the shape of the pose, the key is that you are finely tuned to your alignment, to how you are using your muscles to maintain balance, to what you are feeling on the inside, all of this with complete absorption. This is samadhi. This is the practice of yoga!
When you are learning something new like how to ski, you don’t start at the top of the highest and steepest slop. We usually start on the bunny hill. It is the same when returning to a yoga practice following THR. Scale back the “size” of the pose. Place your feet in a narrow position. Use props. Modify to make the pose work for you. Use common sense and awareness as your guides. Relish the small successes.
Remember that Yoga poses is a physical practice but it is also a state of mind. If we adopt the yogic state of mind then we are “doing yoga” no matter what the activity.
Here are some specific poses that are beneficial following THR because they build strength, stability, and at the same time keep the joint mobile. They should be practiced only after you have completely healed from your surgery (6-12 weeks) and are cleared by your surgeon.
While you are practicing these poses:
– Start with feet positions that are not very far apart.
– Hold on to a wall or chair while you gain confidence with your balance.
– If you are new to yoga find a teacher who emphasizes yoga technique.
Standing poses to to start with:
Mountain Pose / Tadasana/Samasthiti
Chair Pose / Utkatasana
Warrior I / Virbhadrasana I
Warrior II / Virbhadrasana II
Triangle Pose / Trikonasana
Side Angle Pose / Parsvakonasana
Parsvottanasana / Pyramid Pose/Intense Side Stretch Pose