Many of us have an unclear sense of awareness of our pelvis. As a result, we often don’t understand how to move from our strong foundation, our true base of support, our pelvis. Try this brief excerpt from a classic Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement(R) lesson. It will help you learn how to sense your pelvis, loosen your hip joints and free your low back. As always, move very slowly, thoughtfully, and pay close attention to the quality of your movement.
1) Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and your feet comfortably apart. You may need to place a folded towel (not a pillow) under your head for comfort.
Imagine the face of a clock lying on top of your pelvis, with 6 o’clock at your pubic bone and 12 o’clock at your belly button. Slowly and gently begin to rock your pelvis from 6 o’clock to 12 o’clock and back. Find a way to move from your skeleton, rather than your muscles. It’s a different way of thinking about movement, and allows for changes to take place in your nervous system and the way you move (neuroplasticity). Stop and rest.
2) With the knees bent as above, begin to slowly rock back and forth from 3 o’clock to 9 o’clock. Go slowly and gently. Sense the quality of the movement. Sense your breathing. How does your back and spine accomodate the movement? Stop.
Go back to rocking from 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock. Again, think of moving from your skeleton. How does the quality of the movement feel now? Stop and rest.
3) With your knees bent as above, slowly, slowly, and gently begin to find all of the numbers on the clock. As your pelvis slowly circles around the face of the clock, what else is moving? How does your spine respond? Your head? How are you breathing? How can you make this movement as light and easy as possible? Do you notice that some numbers are more easily accesible than others? The goal is not to judge it, change it, or try and “fix” it. Just notice. Stop and rest.
4) Slowly and carefully roll to your side, come up to sitting and standing. Keep the idea of the face of a clock on the front of your pelvis as you move. Stand for a moment or two. Slowly shift your weight from side to side. How do you feel different? How is your weight going through your legs? Take a few minutes to walk around the room and appreciate the quality of movement in your walk.
Remember, in the context of learning, doing less helps you sense more! That is the basis of neuroplasticity and learning in a way that engages all of your senses in an organic way, rather than a cognitive way.
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP