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Neutral Pelvis-A place to travel to & fro

Posted Oct 07 2008 6:26pm

by Lesley Powell

Anthony Carey wrote an excellent post The Myth of the Neutral Pelvis. In movement of a healthy body, all of our bones have some kind of movement. When a bone becomes rigid, there will be consequences in the body.

Historically, neutral pelvis came important after years of tucking the pelvis in exercise and dance. But neutral pelvis is really only apparent in static movement such as standing, sitting and lying supine. Once you move, there is movement of the bones of the pelvis even in simple plies (bending and straightening the legs).

When is it important to know neutral pelvis in your client’s body? When you observe your client in their starting static positions of standing in parallel, sitting and lying, supine and prone. Such as in standing, observing my client’s posture gives me information how they organize their bodies. If their pelvis is rotated and/or unleveled, this organization will probably show up throughout their workout, walking and other movements.

Why is the pelvis not in neutral in static positions? You need to look up and down the body to understand their pattern. It could be their legs, habitual use of one side, injury, poor use of the hip sockets, etc. Every week I take a Hanna class with Laura Gates at Movements Afoot. In the beginning of the class, I observe my habit of uneven rotation of my pelvis and ribcage. No matter what the theme of the class, Laura takes us through a series of exercises that mobilizes the spine in many planes.  At the end of class, my walk has balanced rotation of the spine.

Warming your client up in many planes is a great way to bring balance to the spine. Pelvic clock, originally a Feldenkrais exercise, is a wonderful way to articulate the pelvis in many planes gently. I also look how people do thigh lifts. Many people are not using the hipsocket well which will reflect into the pelvis with either tucking and/or hip hiking.

True fitness should give our clients and ourselves a freedom of walking and ease of motion.

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