Pelvic flaw no more!
So we are into our second week of Pelvic Power Pilates and we’ve been doing some basic moves like hip rolls and the shoulder bridge and trying to use visualisation techniques to help relax the hips and let them move more freely.
Now visualisation may not work for everyone so it is a mixture of auditory, visual and kinesthetic cueing coming into play to try and assist movement. We are thinking of the hips being as a light as a feather as we lift up to create a feeling of stretch at the front of the hip then we are thinking of them being much heavier, weightier, as the hips roll back down to the mat. The weighty feeling to try to help with articulation as the spine returns to the mat.
We have been trying to visualise our SIT bones moving inwards and outwards as the hips lift up and down again to see if we can unlock more movement and release tension, basically trying to reconnect with the pelvis.
I think sometimes we lose the detail when exercising and doing our daily activities so much so that we don’t pick up on what our body is doing and actually feeling. Do you always sit on one side of your hip? Do you stand with weight on one leg when you chat or are on the phone? Do you crick your neck to talk on the phone rather than use headphones. Or are we too preoccupied with technology and don’t realise how much time we might be spending on our backsides on the PC or ipad or watching TV which is not brilliant for keeping those hips moving.
But can we be bothered to pay attention to ourselves, to even stay still long enough to notice whether we stand with our weight over one side of our body more than the other. We all need to give ourselves a lot more time and attention to help that body work well. Even doing some standing work just shifting the weight slightly from one leg to the other is fascinating on how the hips feel and to notice just how lop sided we are and whether you can try to reclaim some of that missing balance on one side. Postural habits that have kept your body functioning possibly after injury or just because it’s easier to do things that way may now after so many years be the cause of irritation.
As with anything, if you do the same thing again and again, there is a strong likelihood of imbalance creeping up on you and I appreciate that we can’t always workout under the guidance of an instructor and if classes are big chances are you may not get much attention anyway to see whether you always lunge forward and your knee falls inwards or your chest has fallen over your knees, etc.
So if we don’t have an instructor around, what can we do?
Well you could try laying on the floor so that you can feel the ground underneath you and notice just what is in contact with the floor and what isn’t. Doing a bodyscan is also a good means of relaxation too. If the back of your leg, your thigh for example does not touch the floor, perhaps your hamstrings are a bit tense which might also be pulling your hip off the floor too. Does one side of your hip not go down as well on the floor? See if you can relax everything and let your body melt into the mat.
With the pelvic floor work we are trying to do, relaxation is so important as many of us hold tension in our hips so sometimes you just need to kind of let yourself go splat on the floor (so technical) and let things melt into the mat.
This next week we will be continuing to do our hip rolls and shoulder bridges but look at challenging balance as we are doing these so going from one leg to the other, again you will find that one side can feel so much more powerful than the other.
All the time whilst doing our pelvic work, we are considering too how we are breathing and a simple way of starting to focus more deeply on breathe is to place one hand on the chest and the other hand on the belly and notice what rises as you draw the breath in and out. If it is more into the chest, see whether you can draw your breath more to the centre of your body. Notice if your shoulders get tensed up. All this affects how well your pelvis works. Your hip muscles are linked to your abdominals, linked to your shoulders to your neck so if something is out of sync it will have a knock on effect.
So take home this week, give yourself a bit of attention. Go and do a bodyscan, relax and let the tension melt away. Try a bit of breathing and see if you can again let tension out of the neck, out of the shoulders and keep your mind focusing on your breathe not on what needs to be done this week.
Enjoy and more to come next week. (www.vivapilates.co.uk)