One of our key alignment points is standing with our feet pelvis distance apart (and that's pelvis distance with the feet straight ahead, not duck feet!). That means the centre of your ankles line up with the bony bits that stick out at the front of your hips (your ASIS). This is really important for our joint health. A lot of the excessive wear and tear we experience in our ankles, knees and hips is created by the habit of moving and standing with the feet quite narrow (some folk go too wide but by a long shot most of the people I've worked with tend to go too narrow).
What I notice with most people though (and as usual I noticed it first in myself!) is that we are great in our practice but when we start walking we go straight back to narrow. Infact I think you really need to watch yourself to recognise just how easy this is to do. We know we can't change everything overnight but with the holidays fast approaching I'm thinking one thing we could think about more is pelvis distance apart. What's that you say Mel?
"Stand and walk with your feet pelvis distance apart!" Just that, you don't have to try and remember everything, just that one thing. I promise you it's not as easy as you might think."
True Story Time
A client recently had the great experience of her foot pain disappearing completely just by reverting to true pelvis distance when she walked. It happened while we both watched. It was truly remarkable and we had at least one witness who was not as biassed as me! The Hub has that wonderful mirror so it's a great place to watch yourself walking up and down the room. I can promise you that it will feel strange (the lady in question said she felt like she had made a mess in her pants) - but putting up with that weird feeling for a while seems much more sensible than putting up with the pain and it's resulting damage. If you think about it, we've been moving a certain way for a really long time so it's not going to feel normal for quite a while either. Establishing strong and supple supporting muscles is going to really help and lots and lots of patient repetition will too. Notice that nowhere did I use the word 'force'. Force won't get the job done, just be curious and patient and try it out.
It's About The Core Too
At this stage of the term you can probably imagine how this might impact upon your core too. If the ground floor of your building is too narrow for the floor's balancing up on top it's going to be wobbly up there - and we are likely to be pelvic tucking and / or rib thrusting to compensate.
You could think of it as 'resetting your feet in their tracks' - like a train track. And you could catch yourself multiple times a day when standing or moving. Is your train really on it's rails?
Video Time - Find What We Did In Class This Week on Teachable!
If you liked our warm up this morning it's the same practice I designed for my most illusive client. He let me film it but insisted on a quiet video with no bla bla. It takes care of all four quadrants of your hips from one basic position and is done in 10 minutes. He has found it's kept his back and hips well maintained for about the last 18 months now. You could substitute a belt, a pillow or two and a book for the block , strap and 1/2 dome that he uses. For our wonderful clients, it's in your Teachable video channel, under the Block and Half Dome Series, it's called: A Quiet Practice: the link is:
We also did some standing strengthening of the hips which you can find in the Let's Go For a Walk section, it's called: Get Ready For Stairs and Hills.
And a section with more of a core and shoulder focus was included from the Block and 1/2 Dome Series. You have 6 of these to play with but this week the one we did comes closest to Core Work and a Twist.
And A Bonus Petra Gem
This year we've devoted some time to how we get up and down off the floor, and I've been so happy to see so many of you embrace this task. You've clearly found it's getting easier and that you are getting stronger (which is great because then you feel more confident and more like getting up and down off the floor more often....so less chair sitting, so yay for your back and for your hips!) The lovely Petra Fisher has made a great video about getting up and down via the lunge which I think that many of you will enjoy.