“My Hips Don’t Lie” – says Shakira. And neither do yours! 🙂 Our most powerful energy center is located in the pelvic floor area. Coincidentally (oh, human body, you couldn’t be any more perfect!) that is where we come from and where we are created: in the womb, the pelvis, the hips. Yes, sexual energy is our creational energy (have you ever thought about it? we have the power to create life!). Our drive, our desires, our movement, our anger and our laughter… it all comes from the pelvic floor (aka chakra 1, red chakra or root chakra – our very wise ancestors knew).
It also happens that the hips are primordial in the role of a correct posture. Pelvis alignment is key and origin to a good breathing and movement of any sorts. So if you find yourself having issues with your lower back, neck, knees, shoulders… or having a hard time with breathing, stress, emotions, thoughts… pay attention to what’s happening inside and outside your hips first.
So what’s the correct position then? There are a bunch of fine books out there that answer this question in much more depth than I do, but here it is the basics:
- Have your feet separated hip or shoulder width apart (whatever ‘anchors’ you best to the ground).
- Have your knees relaxed, slightly bent (not locked).
- Allow your body weight to fall rather on your heels than on your toes.
- Roll your shoulders back (have an open chest but not too curved, keep a neutral line) and down as if you’re carrying two heavy buckets of water 🙂
- Now bring your belly button to your spine (imagine a thread tying both), tilt your pelvis slightly forwards and squeeze your bum ever so slightly. This should align the sacrum with the rest of the vertebral column, minimizing the curvature in the lower back.
- You’re all set! now you own it.
Drive yourself with your hips. Trust them. Walk and breathe from your core, from below your belly button. Do your daily tasks leading with your hips. Walk upstairs with the body weight on your heels. You will heal/prevent half of your diseases… You’ll be in control.
Our breathing is born (guess where…) in the hips! 🙂 The very first move of respiration is originated in the muscles of the pelvic floor: the levator ani, bulbospongiosus (root of clitoris and penis), perineal and ischiocavernosus. I call it our First Diaphragm*. The thing is we only get to witness this when we are absolutely relaxed. Basically the more relaxed you are, the better you’ll experience that feeling. Now the trick is to isolate that movement and bring it up anytime you need, whether you’re relaxed or not. The lower you get to ‘breathe’ the less tired you’ll feel when you do any activities, and this includes talking and singing. It takes a good dose of awareness to master this. Try this exercise:
- Lie down on the floor (or mat or bed). Relax as if you are about to fall asleep (actually the best moment to do this is when you’ve just woken up).
- Place your hands below your belly button and try to direct your inspiration just there to that point (do not move your chest or shoulders, if you do, keep trying not to).
- Once you’ve controlled that zone try to ‘expand yourself’ (breathe in veeeery slowly and deeply through the nose) as if you are growing like a balloon from there.
- Breathe out through your mouth slooowly.
A variation of this exercise is placing a heavy object (like a thick book) below your belly button instead of your hands, it will give you more freedom to focus on your lower abs.
Remember: your body is designed to help you grow at any age, not to make you ill. We have the power to heal ourselves having the right mindset, food, exercise and lifestyle.
Have a happy hip awareness 🙂
*Note: Most researchers claim that the pelvic floor moves as a result of the expansion of the diaphragm. I say it’s the other way round: the first movement starts in the pelvic floor, then the diaphragm does its usual job of supporting the air pressure in the lungs (an upcoming article on this soon).