Friday, May 6, 2011

Pelvic Clocks with my New Hip

Every Thursday morning, my gym has a Feldenkrais class. One of the lessons that the teacher likes to repeat is thee Pelvic Clock.  Here’s a website with instructions:

The basic exercise is to imagine a clock under your pelvis, with 12 towards your head and 6 towards your feet.  You imagine rocking the pelvis between 12 and 6, then between 3 and 9. And then you rotate around the clock, trying to keep the rotation round (not looking like something Dali would draw, says my teacher). Make sure to touch each number. Rotate between numbers. Go both clockwise and counterclockwise.  This may appear to be a 5-minute exercise, but it fills an entire hour-long class.

My teacher does variations.  He has us put the soles of our feet together. He has us prop ourselves up on our elbows, so our trunks are slightly elevated and we can see our feet.  He has us prop ourselves into a near-sitting position, with our arms behind our trunks, fingers facing away from us.

He even has instruction to do it with one leg crossed over the other, but I’m not allowed to do that yet.

I remember how hard it was to move on the left (or high numbered) side of the clock with my old hip.  I tried big clocks. I tried tiny clocks. The silver-dollar sized clock was the most work-able. Still, that left side was something Dali would have drawn – not a clockmaker.

With my new hip, rather than balking, my hip slides easily.  Too easily.  My muscles are weak and I have very little control.  Big clocks are easier than little ones.  It’s a good thing that imagination counts as exercise because that way I can get practice in while I’m waiting for a client’s computer to boot, or waiting in line at the grocery store.

It’s amazing how many muscles need to be retrained.  I’m very glad all these exercise gurus have been there ahead of me and worked out the details. 

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