Lesson of the Month #27 (7/99)

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Pelvis and Neck

Carriage of the head in walking, bending, and turning; relating movement of the pelvis to the movement of the head and neck.

Works with:
Hip joints, lower back, rib cage, shoulders, neck, and head

1. Begin by standing...just stand normally, close your eyes, and see how that feels today...rock a little forward and back from your ankles...and a little side to side...walk around a little and observe the relationships among your legs, pelvis, and head...then sit down on the floor with your knees bent out to the sides, and your feet on the floor in front of you...one heel is drawn in near your pubic bone, and the other heel is in front of the first, or in front of the shin...the right sole faces left, left sole faces right.

2. Place your hands on the floor beside you, next to your thighs, and explore a movement of slowly rocking forward and back...your knees lift a little as you roll back...and go toward the floor as you roll forward...you feel movement in your hip joints as the knees lift and fall, and as your weight rolls forward and back...do you go straight forward and back, or more to one side?...let the movement stop and rest for a moment.

3. Change your legs so the other foot is in front, and repeat #2.

4. Change the movement so you go from side to side now...as you lean forward you lean over to the left, as if to take your head toward your left knee...and come back...and then lean over toward the right knee...only do what is easy and comfortable...notice the differences between the two directions...then change your legs and explore the same movements with the other leg in front...and rest.

5. Grab yourself gently by the neck (as if to strangle), one hand around either side of your neck, heel of bottom hand resting on your collarbones and upper sternum, fingers feeling the muscles on the sides of the neck...from this position, repeat #2 and #3, going very slowly, and feeling what happens in the neck muscles...explore ways to do the movement which feel good to the neck muscles and allow them to soften...and rest.

6. Same position as #5...repeat #4.

7. Change your legs so that your knees are to the right and your feet to the left...your right foot is near your left knee, and your left foot is a little behind you near your left hip on the floor...lean comfortably on your right hand, which is on the floor to the right, and rest your left hand around the top of your left hip (the iliac crest)...explore a movement of turning your head and body to the right, lifting the left hip away from the floor each time...your left hand tells you how the pelvis is turning in space...how do you initiate the movement?...do it several times looking back over your left shoulder each time...and then several times looking over your right shoulder each time...and rest.

8. Same position as #7...now place your left hand over your navel, and continue the turning-right movement...your navel moves over your right thigh, and you become aware of the movement in your right hip joint...repeat it a number of times...and rest.

9. Same position, but now place your left hand on your throat/neck as in #5...continue the same turning movement as in #7, now focusing awareness on how you use the muscles around your neck and shoulders...as in #8, do it several times looking left, and several times looking right...and rest.

10. Change your legs so the knees are to the left, feet to the right...and one by one, repeat #7, #8, and #9 on this side.

11. Come back to the sitting position of #2, and repeat the movements of #2, #3, and #4, noticing how the movements are different now...slowly stand up and stand, and repeat #1...observe the changes that have taken place in your vertical organization.