Feldenkrais Lesson of the Month #36 (9/00)

By Rich Frye
For safety and best results, read instructions before doing lessons!

Hip Circles

Walking, rolling, reaching, bending, power movements

Works with:
Turning waist, differential rotation of hips and shoulders

   1. Lie on your back on the floor…notice how your body feels against the floor today…check in with yourself…notice tensions, attitude…and rest.

2. Roll onto right side…rest head on left upper arm (or on low support), right hand on floor in front of you, knees together, and feet together on top of each other…explore movement of rolling pelvis so left knee slides forward in front of right, then returns to neutral…repeat many times…notice how rest of body does or does not roll...and rest.

3. Same position…this time roll left hip backward, so left knee slides toward you over right knee…and return to center…does whole body roll?…head?…and rest.

4. Combine #3 and # 4, so you roll your left hip both forward and backward…your left knee slides out over your right, and then inward…let your body participate…you feel your weight roll forward and back on your right hip against the floor…place left hand on left hip and feel the left hip move in space as the knee moves forward and back…then change it by extending your left leg down with the instep on the floor, and the left arm overhead with the palm toward the floor, maybe touching the floor (arm relatively straight, it's ok if some shoulders won't let hand come all the way to floor)…and from this position roll entire body forward and back…spine moves as a unit…different segments of the torso have to soften at different points…head and neck roll?…and let it go and rest on your back.

5. Again on right side, knees in front as in sitting, knees and feet one on top of the other…explore a movement of separating the heels…left heel lifts away from right, and return…balls of feet stay in contact throughout…do it a number of times, to see how you do it…and rest.

6. Same position, this time separate feet entirely, lifting left foot away from right foot…but keep them parallel…you have to rotate your left thigh inward…put hand on trochanter (big bone that sticks out on side of upper thigh), feel it move as leg rotates…left knee might move a little forward…what does pelvis do?…it rolls a little forward, but it also tilts so the left hip comes up toward your head a little…and rest.

7. Same position…this time imagine ankles and knees are tied together, and lift both feet away from floor…you have to roll your pelvis, a little forward and up, lifting the hip toward your head…your waist presses into the floor each time…let your head come away from the floor, and do it in such a way that you feel taller each time…your head moves toward the wall over your head…and rest.

8. Again lift both feet off floor, repeat same movement as before, rolling pelvis forward and up each time…waist presses into floor…but now each time you lift the feet, also lift head away from floor, arch your back a little, and look up (as in standing, toward the wall "over your head")…and rest.

9. Put left hand over top of head to hold head near right ear…leave feet together on floor…lift left hip toward head while lifting head away from floor…your waist presses into the floor, and your right side feels long…do it several times…then change it so from neutral you take your hip down away from your head, and your waist lifts away from the floor a little each time…and go up and down like that many times…the hip goes up and down toward the head, and the waist goes down and up toward the floor…your spine is pushed up and down carrying your head closer to and further away from the wall above your head…and let it go and rest on your back.

10. Same position…extend left leg with ankle flexed as in standing, and resting on the floor on the instep…find a way to extend the leg downward, sliding the foot away from you and then toward you on the floor…the leg stays pretty straight, so it's not about bending the knee…you have to move the hip to move the foot…your left hip moves up toward your head and your right side and waist press into the floor as the foot slides toward you…and your waist lifts as your hip pushes the foot away…repeat it many times…let your spine and torso get softer each time…and rest.

11. Again with knees drawn up and together, explore again rolling left hip forward and back….and then go up and down with the feet in this position…and then around in a circle…you can lift your head a little off the floor if that helps…let your whole body be involved…and go around in a circle the other way…and roll onto back and rest…compare the two sides of body…stand up and walk around and observe differences between the two sides…and come back onto your back and rest.

12. Roll onto left side and repeat entire sequence on the other side.