The Pelvic Clock
1. Stand comfortably and observe the relationship between your pelvis and your feet. Does the pelvis feel balanced over the feet or is it tilted in some way? Start making gentle circles with your pelvis, tilting your pelvis forward, then to the left, then backward, and then to the right. Observe where this movement is smooth and comfortable and where it is more difficult. Try some circles in the opposite direction. Finally walk around the room a bit and notice how your pelvis and your hips move as you walk.
2. Lie down on your back with your legs extended and your arms along your sides, with your palms facing the floor. Take a few minutes to relax, to observe what thoughts are going through your mind, to notice what your emotional state is, and to get a sense of how you feel physically. Pay attention to your breathing, noticing which parts of your body move with the breath. Observe how you are lying on the floor. Which parts of you are actually in contact with the floor? Are you lying symmetrically or are there differences between your left side and your right? Pay particular attention to the way the back of your pelvis and the small of your back relate to the floor.
Do the following movements gently and easily. Set aside the need to achieve any result. Repeat each movement as many times as you feel like. Avoid stretching and straining or moving to the point of fatigue.
3. Bend both knees and place your feet on the floor about hip width apart. Imagine that the back of your pelvis is lying on a large, circular clock. The clock is oriented so that 12 o’clock is in the direction of your head and 6 o’clock is in the direction of your feet. The back of your pelvis is resting on the centre of the clock. Start moving your pelvis gently and slowly between 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock. To move to 12 o’clock, flatten your lower back into the floor and raise the tailbone a little. To move to 6 o’clock, increase the arch in the lower back and press the tailbone into the floor a little. Repeat this movement a few times, paying attention to how the rest of your body responds.
Now start moving between 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock by tilting your pelvis a little to the left for 3 and a little to the right for 9 o'clock. Don’t go too far because the clock is circular, so the size of the movements should correspond to the size of the movements between 12 and 6. Imagine where the numbers of the clock are as vividly as you can. Keep your knees pointing more or less up toward the ceiling so that the movement is primarily in the hip joints. Feel how the contact your pelvis makes with the floor changes as you tilt your pelvis left and right.
4. After a short rest, continue the movement between 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock, noticing if your head responds at all to the movement. Stop and imagine that the back of your head is also resting on a circular clock that is orientated in the same direction as the clock that the back of your pelvis is resting on. To move to 12 o’clock, bring your chin toward the ceiling and increase the arch at the back of your neck. To move to 6 o’clock, bring your chin down toward your chest and decrease the arch at the back of your neck. Move your head gently between these two points and notice if any of the movement is being transmitted to your pelvis. Start deliberately moving your pelvis between 12 and 6, allowing your head to follow. Once this relationship is well established, try doing the movement a little faster. Then rest with your legs extended.
5. Bend your knees again and place your feet standing on the floor. Move to the 12 o’clock position by rounding your lower back and lifting your tailbone off the floor. Imagine where 1 o’clock would be and start moving between 12 and 1 and back again. After a few repetitions, start moving between 12 and 2, and then 12 and 3. Take a short rest and then start moving between 12 o’clock and 4 o’clock, then 12 and 5, and then complete the half circle on the left side of the clock between 12 and 6. Notice which parts of the semi-circle are smooth and circular and where the movement is jerky or takes a different shape. Does your head move along with the movement of your pelvis? Rest and observe any differences between your left side and your right.
6. With bent knees, start moving your pelvis between 12 o’clock and 11, 12 and 10, etc., repeating the exploration of the semi-circle on the right side in a counter clockwise direction. Is it easier or more difficult than the left side of the circle?
7. After another rest, start exploring the semi-circle on the left side with your head, going from 12 to 1, 12 to 2, etc. Soften your ribcage and notice if this helps your pelvis to respond to the movement of your head. Pause, and then do the right side of the circle with your head.
8. Spend a few minutes doing circles in a clockwise direction with your pelvis, allowing your head to make circles in the same direction. Move very slowly and easily, attempting each time around to make the movement smoother and more circular. After a brief rest, try some circles in a counter clockwise direction. Are different parts of the circle easy and difficult when you are going in this direction?
9. After taking a rest, try making circles in opposite directions with your head and pelvis. This is not easy for most people, so do it playfully and don’t worry about the result. Start at 12 o’clock and bring your pelvis toward 1 and your head toward 11 and continue till you get lost and then start over. Try it with the head going clockwise and the pelvis going counter clockwise as well.
10. Rest on your back and observe any changes in your relationship with the floor, particularly the back of your pelvis and your lower back. How are you breathing now? What is your emotional state and what are you thinking about?
11. Slowly roll onto your side and sit up and then come to standing. How is your pelvis balanced over your feet now? Start making gentle circles with your pelvis again and notice if this movement has changed since the beginning of the lesson. Try some circles in the opposite direction. Finally walk around the room again and notice how your pelvis and your hips move now as you walk.