Happy Hips & Low Back

Class Synopsis

Welcome To the First Class

 In first 5 minutes of the class, I covered some some basic concepts to help you be ready for the series:

  • The five lines (we will return to this in later classes)
  • Objective vs Subjective experiences
  • Body as a reference for the lesson
  • Comfort is primary
  • The midline

Then we started to move the right arm and used the experience of moving to explore a few more principles:

  • Comfort is primary (again)
  • Making small movements
  • Listening to yourself
  • Thinking and comparing distances
  • Inviting other parts of the body to participate

At the end, participants stood and listened/felt the differences in their arms, neck and low back.


Second Class

  At the beginning of this second class, I reviewed some important properties:

  • 5 lines
  • Objective and Subjective experiencing
  • The Body as a reference, and
  • Using the whole self for moving

I briefly mentioned the connection between these special movements and emotions. That there is a range of experiences that people experience as they delve in to learn more about themselves.

We moved into the movement part of the lesson with sensing in particular the "first cardinal line" from the tailbone to the head, using the objective data about contact and positioning and adding in subjective senses.

The sketch at right shows a basic position from which a number of variations were done. When one listens to oneself raising the pelvis, there are many questions that can arise. An overall  picture was finding ways for parts of the sine to rise while allowing others to rest, and, perhaps more than rest, to provide very clear support.

For one part of the body to rise, another part needs to sink into the floor. Thus, when the head rises, what sinks into the floor, providing support? When the pelvis rises?

When support is realized, those parts holding on let go.

When the students stood they found they were more erect and they felt taller. They tested the different ways of bending that had been done on the floor and found much greater ease. One student said, "My back was sore when I came into class, but now it is great!"


Class 3

At the beginning and throughout the class, the following ideas were presented as part of organizing your learning:

  • Notice and Wonder. Annie Fetter's ideas about learning using a process of noticing and wondering. See video at right.
  • Subjective and Objective experience. Attending to the objective experience.
  • Cardinal lines of the legs.

For most of us, high tonus of the muscles in the back preclude the possibility of experiencing objective data (positioning, etc) about the back in an accurate way. Further, we confuse some subjective sensations for objective ones (strain being the most obvious), and cannot sense other subjective sensations.

This lesson continues with the somatic education aspects of becoming clear about the objective data, this time being the location of the feet and legs, and the space they can move in. This is also a somatic mapping activity.

Through the clarification of some possibilities of movements of the legs, the habitual strain (tonus) in the low back is reduced.

We used the freedom of the low back to allow easy rolling from back to side and returning again.

At the end, students slowly walked, sensing their legs in a new way, and the connection of their legs in providing support for a comfortable back.

 Some people report this type of lesson improves sitting cross-legged, dancing Twist and putting on trousers and socks.



The following 13-minute video gives a quick summary of the movements, but not the "mapping" ideas. 


Video by my colleague, Cynthia Allen, on her website, Future Life Now.Click to see her page.


Class 4: What's the Twist Got to Do with it?

It is hard to imagine anyone with hip or low back problems twisting. Instead, their system organizes most of their movements as up/down movements. This is a shame because the body is designed to make many kinds of twists, and the spiral is the strongest and fastest way to change direction and height.


This lesson can be done as an exercise -- and that works. By pushing and straining, and by repetition, one can increase the twist of the upper body, and the lower body. If you approach it from this perspective, you will lose the larger benefit.

In this series we are developing the skills in self-observation, and learning which observations lead to changes in the body. It is through using these skills in these slow ways that you will begin to spontaneously use them to ease your pain and discomfort.

The positions and movements are a tool to observe HOW you move. You can use the observational hints to thus improve the way that you sense in order to allow your system itself to make the changes towards improvements.

The links at the right suggest the positions and movements. But the benefit emerges through attending to how.

Enjoy this lesson, and come back as many times as you like. There is always something to discover!

The day following the class, a new student called to say that she was so surprised that she felt so good when she woke up. She has constant hip and back pain and has tried many ways to ease the discomfort. Waking up without the discomfort was a blessing. She was surprised that the small, simple movements had such profound effects -- and wanted to know how to maintain the results.

Watch a demonstration of The Twist as a dance movement (click here: https://youtu.be/ETX03Zjtarc).


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