By Jacqueline Rubinstein
For the last 8 years, I have been learning the playful, wild, unique form of dance called Contact Improv. (Click here to watch a video of Contact Improv.) This is a completely improvisational way of moving, where people gather with the intention of dancing together in physical contact with each other.
One of the many things I love about this dance form is it involves a lot of lifting of one another. In order to safely and successfully lift another person of any size, you must know where your pelvis is and where their pelvis is.
Your center of gravity is just above your pelvis (and just below your bellybutton). If you know where your pelvis is, you can make sure it is below the person you want to lift, giving you the leverage and stability to lift them comfortably.
To be lifted securely and gracefully, you need to know where your own pelvis is and where the strong boney structures of the body are (shoulders, thighs, etc). You can then leverage yourself on someone else’s body by ensuring your pelvis/center of gravity is the place of contact with the strong boney structures.
Sound strange? So maybe Contact Improv is not your thing and not where you are going to learn about your pelvis. Fair enough. But it is really important to learn about your pelvis.
If you know where your pelvis is, including the bottom most points -where your sits bones are- sitting is a lot more comfortable. You can also lift heavy objects in healthy ways. It will also inform your bike-riding, running, gardening, and well just about everything you do!
Want to learn more about your pelvis and sits bones?
Try this simple, short exercise:
To begin, sit in a chair, with your feet resting fully on the ground and your knees slightly lower than your hip joints. (If you knees are higher than your hip joints, sit on a book or something relatively firm.)
1. Tilt your pelvis forward and backward just a very small amount. Go very slowly. And make a very, very small movement of tilting forward and backward.
2. Now tilt your pelvis side to side, so your weight will come onto one sits bone and then the other. No need to make a big movement, just a little tilting left and right.
3. Now imagine you are sitting on a clock and tilt your pelvis so you hit every number on the clock.
4. Go very slowly and feel the spots where it is a bit tricky to move smoothly, where the curve becomes more of line, skips a number on the clock, or your movement becomes jumpy. When you find a spot like that just go back and forth between the 2 numbers on the clock that are on either side of the “trouble” spot. (So if 3 o’clock is challenging for you, make a small curve of going from 2 o’clock, through 3 o’clock, to 4 o’clock and back again.)
5. Circle the clock with your pelvis in the other direction.
6. Notice how your head moves when you circle the clock. Sense how the weight shifts on your feet.
Enjoy the awareness of your sits bones and pelvis!
And keep wiggling. Moving while you sit is way easier than sitting still!
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