Today as I write, I sit on a wooden chair normally very comfortable. I like solid support. However, this morning my hips complain loudly after only thirty minutes. I imagined my body would support sitting on this chair as long as my mind deemed necessary. My mind wanted to stay in the chair until I finished writing this post.
An automatic question pops up, “What do these hips want to feel right now?” I even say it aloud.
I set the timer for one minute, move the chair back from the table, plant my feet comfortably on the floor in front of the chair. My hands resting in my lap I focus on feeling just the hips. Slowly shifting my weight slightly to the left relieves tension in my lower back I had not yet noticed. Shifting slightly to the right eases the initial discomfort in my hip. Interested in this discovery, I repeat the movements, now with curiosity.
I experiment, shift my weight forward. There is tension in my neck. When I drop the weight of my head in this position, my arms naturally want to slide off my lap toward the floor. My back appreciates this easy stretch and I pause, take a breath. Shifting slightly backward, I wonder what will happen when I engage the abdominal muscles. Amazed that this simple action of the abdomen releases tension from the hips, I try it again when I lean in other directions.
After sixty seconds of seated movement, my hips want me to stand up and walk around, so I do. When I sit again, I experience a different feeling in my hips.
Mentastics Minute: Hips and Sitting on a hard surface chair or bench.
Move the chair back a safe distance from the table, sit with feet on the floor, hands in the lap. Become curious about the effect of comfortable movement while remaining seated. Bring attention to the hips. Notice the weight of the body sitting. Slowly shift the weight to the left, pause, shift slightly to the right, pause, return to center. Move the weight forward slightly, comfortably drop the head, let the arms gently fall toward the floor, take a breath, return slowly to center. Shift weight backward, pause, return to center. Take a breath. Recall the initial feeling of the hips noting any change. Take this awareness with you as you move throughout the day.
For additional play: With each movement pattern, play with both engaged and relaxed abdomen. Notice the effect on the hips.