Movements of the Pelvis

General

Flexion/Extension of the Hip (12 o’clock/6 o’clock)

  • Allow the weight of your pelvis to shift from your tailbone to your low back in a rocking motion like a boat on the water being moved by a soft wave.  (Chantill Lopez – but many variations of this exist from a plethora of sources.)
  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis downward toward the tailbone to arch the low back and then upward toward the belly button or nose to flatten the back. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the glutes, legs, or ribs to push the pelvis back and forth.
  • Draw a clock on your pelvis with 12 o’clock at your belly button and 6 o’clock located at your pubic bone or tailbone. Shift the weight of your pelvis from 12 to 6.
  • Using your breath to move the pelvis as if it were a wave. Inhale so deeply, but without tension, that the back arches. Exhale fully and feel the belly draw in and pull the low back flat into the mat. Let the breath continue to guide the movement of the pelvis.
  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water spills out toward your pubic bone and then out of your belly button.

Rotation of the Low Back (3 o’clock/9 o’clock)

  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water spills out of your right hip bone and then out of your left hip bone.
  • Draw a clock on your pelvis with 3 o’clock at your (left or right hip depending on orientation) and 9 o’clock located at your (right or left hip). Shift the weight of your pelvis from 3 to 9.
  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis toward your right hip without shortening the waist. Then feel the pull of the marble take the pelvis toward the left hip without the waist shortening. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the legs or ribs to push the pelvis side to side.
  • Picture your sacrum sitting in a small inflated doughnut. Gently drop the sacrum into the right side of the doughnut and then into the left side of the doughnut. (Taken from a Marie Jose-Bloom variation.)
  • Imagine your sacrum like a boat in the ocean. Feel as if there were a wave gently tipping your boat to the right and the left, rocking it back and forth. (Marie Jose-Bloom)
  • Feel like you are sitting in quicksand and your pelvis is being sucked into the sand first the right side then the left side. (Chantill Lopez)

Pelvic Clocks

  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis toward your right hip without shortening the waist. The marble rolls into the belly button next. Then feel the pull of the marble take the pelvis toward the left hip without the waist shortening. Finally allow the marble to fall toward the tailbone and finally back to the right hip. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the legs or ribs to push the pelvis side to side.
  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water swirls toward your belly button, then toward your right hip, toward your tailbone, and finally your left hip without spilling.
  • As you move from 12 o’clock to 3, to 6 o’clock to 9 make the movement as small as possible. So small that it’s barely perceptible to someone else. Use your breath to guide the movement: Inhale to 12 and 3, exhale to 6 and 9.
  • Think of how a penny rolls around on it’s edges after it’s been spun on a table top. As it begins to slow down it circles around its entire circumference. Imagine your sacrum (or pelvis) like that penny. Rock the pelvis around in an entire circle as if trying to touch the entire circumference. (Chantill Lopez)

Coccyx Curls

  • Feel your tailbone be drawn toward your heels as if it were magnetized. When it can’t lengthen any further feel it be gently pulled up toward the ceiling by a second magnet.
  • Reach your tailbone toward and up the back of your calf muscles until it is hovering an inch off the floor.
  • Feel as if you were trying to connect your belly button toward your spine, letting the low back flatten and the flesh of the flesh of your butt lifts off the floor. Keep the gluteal muscles relaxed.

Contralateral Rotation

  • If you had a wheel on the side of each hip, imagine that when your right leg stepped forward (hip flexed) the wheel rotated backward. In opposition, feel the left hip wheel rotate forward as the left leg is left behind (hip extended). Each step you take feel the counter rotation of the hip wheels in rhythm with the movement of the legs. (Eric Franklin)
  • Imagine a huge X in the front and back of your body. The top of one line of the X – on the front body — went from your right shoulder through your left hip all the way from the tip of your right fingers to your left toes. The other line of the X went from the left shoulder and left fingertips to the right hip and right toes. On the back one line of the X ran from the top of your right shoulder and right fingertips, to the left glute to the left heel. The final line covers the opposite diagonal on the back of the body. Each time you take a step feel as if these lines were made out of elastic that you had to stretch to move forward, but that also rebounded you always back to your center. (Collection from Eric Franklin, Thomas Myers, and diagonal person.)

Movements of the Pelvis

Lateral Glide of the Hip/Hip Hiking (unilateral)

From Standing or Supine

  • Keeping the foot and leg aimed in the same place, as if a spotlight were shining down from the heel, slide the top of your hip straight up the side of your body.
  • Imagine placing a piece of paper behind one hip and sliding the paper up a wall. (Supine: pushing it up the carriage toward your shoulder.)
  • Shorten the distance in your waist on one side by lifting your hip straight up.
  • Imagine you have an elevator in each hip. Move just the right elevator up 2 floors. (Chantill Lopez)

From Supine Only

  • Think of a string tugging on your sit bone directly toward your heel. Feel the pull downward and the waist lengthen on that side. Gently pull up against the string to where you started and then higher.
  • Imagine a laser light on each sit bone. Alternating sides try to point one laser light toward the opposite heel.

Movements of the Pelvis

Finding Neutral

From Supine

  • Rock your hips forward and back until you find the place where weight is evenly balanced between the base of your sacrum near your tailbone and your lower ribs allowing for a slight, natural and relaxed arch in your low back.
  • Find the place where both hip points and your pubic bone are on the same plane with one another and on a parallel plane with the floor.
  • Allow your low back to have a easeful curve in it so that you feel as if the bones are slightly lifted off the floor even if the flesh of the waist is still connecting.
  • Allow the front of your hip creases to be soft and your ribs relaxed so that there is no effort in holding the back arched, but feel as if you could gently reach the crown of the head and the tailbone away from one another.
  • Imagine a heavy marble inside your pelvis. By rocking your hips toward 6 o’clock then 12 o’clock find the place where the marble can be balanced directly in between.
  • If your pelvis were a bowl full of water find the place where no water spills out.

From Seated

  • First rock slightly in front and in back of your sit bones feeling the weight shift. Find the place where your weight is balanced directly on top of the sit bones to find neutral.
  • Imagine 5-pound weights on each sit bone drawing your pelvis directly downward toward the floor in a long plumb line.
  • If the mouth or top of your pelvis were the opening of a bowl or vase full to the brim with water, balance your bowl so that not a single drop spills out.
  • Find the position where both ASIS (front hip points) and your pubic bone are in line and parallel to the wall in front of you.

From Standing

  • Imagine you are a puppet on a string and you spine is being hung from the ceiling. Feel the light hanging feeling of your pelvis under you without tension in your hips or low back.
  • If your spine were a series of hula hoops stacked one on top of the other, allow your pelvis to be directly stacked under your ribs, shoulders, and head.
  • Allow your sit bones to fall straight down toward the floor as if there was a stream of water pouring out of each. (Variation on Eric Franklin)
  • Allow the top of each side of your pelvis (iliac crest) to hover above your sit bones as if there were helium balloons attached to each side.

Movements of the Pelvis

Flexion/Extension of the Hip (12 o’clock/6 o’clock)

From Supine

  • Allow the weight of your pelvis to shift from your tailbone to your low back in a rocking motion like a boat on the water being moved by a soft wave.  (Chantill Lopez – but many variations of this exist from a plethora of sources.)
  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis downward toward the tailbone to arch the low back and then upward toward the belly button or nose to flatten the back. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the glutes, legs, or ribs to push the pelvis back and forth.
  • Draw a clock on your pelvis with 12 o’clock at your belly button and 6 o’clock located at your pubic bone or tailbone. Shift the weight of your pelvis from 12 to 6.
  • Using your breath to move the pelvis as if it were a wave. Inhale so deeply, but without tension, that the back arches. Exhale fully and feel the belly draw in and pull the low back flat into the mat. Let the breath continue to guide the movement of the pelvis.
  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water spills out toward your pubic bone and then out of your belly button.

Movements of the Pelvis

Rotation of the Low Back (3 o’clock/9 o’clock)

From Supine

  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water spills out of your right hip bone and then out of your left hip bone.
  • Draw a clock on your pelvis with 3 o’clock at your (left or right hip depending on orientation) and 9 o’clock located at your (right or left hip). Shift the weight of your pelvis from 3 to 9.
  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis toward your right hip without shortening the waist. Then feel the pull of the marble take the pelvis toward the left hip without the waist shortening. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the legs or ribs to push the pelvis side to side.
  • Picture your sacrum sitting in a small inflated doughnut. Gently drop the sacrum into the right side of the doughnut and then into the left side of the doughnut. (Taken from a Marie Jose-Bloom variation.)
  • Imagine your sacrum like a boat in the ocean. Feel as if there were a wave gently tipping your boat to the right and the left, rocking it back and forth. (Marie Jose-Bloom)
  • Feel like you are sitting in quicksand and your pelvis is being sucked into the sand first the right side then the left side. (Chantill Lopez)

Movements of the Pelvis

Pelvic Clocks

From Supine

  • Imagine a heavy steel marble inside your pelvis. Allow the weight of the marble to pull the pelvis toward your right hip without shortening the waist. The marble rolls into the belly button next. Then feel the pull of the marble take the pelvis toward the left hip without the waist shortening. Finally allow the marble to fall toward the tailbone and finally back to the right hip. Try to let the weight shift pull the pelvis rather than using the legs or ribs to push the pelvis side to side.
  • Imagine your pelvis as a bowl full of water. Your goal is to gently rock your bowl so that the water swirls toward your belly button, then toward your right hip, toward your tailbone, and finally your left hip without spilling.
  • As you move from 12 o’clock to 3, to 6 o’clock to 9 make the movement as small as possible. So small that it’s barely perceptible to someone else. Use your breath to guide the movement: Inhale to 12 and 3, exhale to 6 and 9.
  • Think of how a penny rolls around on it’s edges after it’s been spun on a table top. As it begins to slow down it circles around its entire circumference. Imagine your sacrum (or pelvis) like that penny. Rock the pelvis around in an entire circle as if trying to touch the entire circumference. (Chantill Lopez)

Movements of the Pelvis

Coccyx Curls

From Supine

  • Feel your tailbone be drawn toward your heels as if it were magnetized. When it can’t lengthen any further feel it be gently pulled up toward the ceiling by a second magnet.
  • Reach your tailbone toward and up the back of your calf muscles until it is hovering an inch off the floor.
  • Feel as if you were trying to connect your belly button toward your spine, letting the low back flatten and the flesh of the flesh of your butt lifts off the floor. Keep the gluteal muscles relaxed.

Movements of the Pelvis

Contralateral Rotation

From Supine

  • If you had a wheel on the side of each hip, imagine that when your right leg stepped forward (hip flexed) the wheel rotated backward. In opposition, feel the left hip wheel rotate forward as the left leg is left behind (hip extended). Each step you take feel the counter rotation of the hip wheels in rhythm with the movement of the legs. (Eric Franklin)
  • Imagine a huge X in the front and back of your body. The top of one line of the X – on the front body — went from your right shoulder through your left hip all the way from the tip of your right fingers to your left toes. The other line of the X went from the left shoulder and left fingertips to the right hip and right toes. On the back one line of the X ran from the top of your right shoulder and right fingertips, to the left glute to the left heel. The final line covers the opposite diagonal on the back of the body. Each time you take a step feel as if these lines were made out of elastic that you had to stretch to move forward, but that also rebounded you always back to your center. (Collection from Eric Franklin, Thomas Myers, and diagonal person.)

Movements of the Pelvis

Lateral Glide of the Hip/Hip Hiking (unilateral)

From Standing or Supine

  • Keeping the foot and leg aimed in the same place, as if a spotlight were shining down from the heel, slide the top of your hip straight up the side of your body.
  • Imagine placing a piece of paper behind one hip and sliding the paper up a wall. (Supine: pushing it up the carriage toward your shoulder.)
  • Shorten the distance in your waist on one side by lifting your hip straight up.
  • Imagine you have an elevator in each hip. Move just the right elevator up 2 floors. (Chantill Lopez)

From: Supine Only

  • Think of a string tugging on your sit bone directly toward your heel. Feel the pull downward and the waist lengthen on that side. Gently pull up against the string to where you started and then higher.
  • Imagine a laser light on each sit bone. Alternating sides try to point one laser light toward the opposite heel.