Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Where are the hip joints

A chapter from
Up: Improving Mood, Posture, Sex, Sleeping, Thinking, Backs
and Saving the World

This time we’ll go to both hip joints. We’ll be approaching them, with our awareness and our movement, in a number of directions. So, as usual, get out the timer, figure out the directions, and then click on and explore for at least 11 minutes.
Can you do more?
Can you do this several times a day?

16.1. On back, feet standing, rounding and arching your back. This we did on one side in the last lesson, and you almost can’t do a slow and aware rounding of your back too often. In a chair, in the car, on a seat of a bicycle, or on your back in bed, or on the floor: this is great for our backs, our pelvis (and hence sex, to say nothing of most coordinated activities that involve the top and bottom halves of our bodies), and our breathing and ribs. To make the floor comfortable you’ll probably want a thick blanket or mat to lie on, or outside on grass or a deck, this could be nice, too.

16.2. Rest and notice how your back rests on the floor/ ground. Now do the same movement as above. Round and arch your back, so you feel your lower back coming to the floor, and then lifting up from the floor. Notice how your legs stay more or less fixed as this movement takes place, so it is your pelvis moving forward and back. Where is this happening? The hip joints. See if you can notice them in there. Where are they? Focus on the right hip joint, the left hip joint and then both. As always, rest before the next section.

16.3. Sit up and hold one arm in front of you, exploring what a joint is. Here’s the thing: one arm out in front of you about chin height with your palm facing down. Try two movements: one, move the tips of the fingers up and down, but keep the forearm straight and horizontal. So, notice, one side moves, the hand, one side stays still, the arm. Where does this happen? A joint. Now, bring everything straight again, and keep the hand from moving and the wrist stable, and let the elbow rise and fall. This might require holding the hand with the other hand, if it doesn’t want to cooperate and stay steady. But again, same joint, different movement.

16.4. Down on back again, legs standing, lift one knee at a time and study for the hip joint. Now, the pelvis stays relatively stationary and the leg bone, the big femur bone we call the thigh moves. Poke around a bit in the rear end area and see if you can discover where there is movement, that’s the leg, and where it is stable: that’s the pelvis. Do one side at a time. Occasionally alternate with the 16.3 movement of pelvis moving with the back arching and rounding, for a contrast, again with hands exploring: what is moving, what is staying put? As always rest between. In the rests, let your legs go long. Be still and aware.

16.5. On back once more, legs standing, tilting legs. Again, one at a time, tilt your legs at the knee, tilting in and out, and explore just where this reveals your hip joint as your leg moves and your pelvis stays stationary. After doing both legs, again alternate with 16.3. And then rest.

16.6. On back, soles of feet together, arch and round your back. If your soles won’t quite touch, get them at least in that direction. Tilt and untilt your pelvis so your back lifts from the floor/ground and comes back down. Notice and discover all you can about your hip joints, now once more the pelvis is mainly the mover and the legs are mainly the unmoving.

16.7. On back, feet standing, try for this, the pelvic clock. Go slow, because this can be a whole lesson in itself, but sensing where the pelvis is pressing into the ground/ floor, push the top part down (lower back to floor), and then the right side, and then the lower part of the pelvis into the ground/ floor (lower back coming up from floor), and then the left side pressing in. Go slowly. Enjoy. Get the idea of the round movement, and then go back to discovering where the hip joints are. Rest.

16.8. Pelvic clock again, other direction. Come to feet standing, and first visualize and imagine going to the opposite direction of circle with your pelvis. Enjoy this imagining, visualizing. Now, do the movement. Notice what you left out in your visualization. Stop, rest and visualize again. Then do it again, once more noticing what you left out. And so on, until you’ve had enough. Rest.

16.9. If any more time remains in the eleven minutes, do more pelvic clocks.

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