Saturday, January 25, 2014

How Do We Properly Tilt the Pelvis (Revisited)?

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article called "Tilt the Pelvis". I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the terminology I used to describe this movement. She graciously explained a better way to describe it (thanks Kate!). You can read my original article here.

We agree that the phrase "tilt the pelvis" is often misinterpreted and used to put students into an unnatural position. I have used the word "grotesque" to describe some of what I have seen.

Kate prefers to use the term "gently round the tailbone" and says that it is all about opening and closing the kuas. As we sink and deliver energy at the end of a tai chi form, the kuas close. This works to gently round the tailbone, or tuck the tailbone. As we start to open up as we move into the next form, we open the kuas and our posture changes. Combine this with the idea of sinking the qi by our breath and we develop a natural movement that gently rounds the tailbone.

I found another interesting explanation online in an article by Tu-Ky Lam. You can read the whole article here. In that article, he says,
"If we can pull our lumbar spine in correctly (for only 2mm – 3mm), we can feel that it connects our upper body to the leg that supports our body weight more. When we move, it moves as well – from the substantial leg (that supports more body weight) to the insubstantial one. It firms up our body at the start and the finish of a move, (moves back to its normal position in the middle), and makes our movements relaxed and yet strong. We need to pull in our lumbar spine in this manner to produce more power. If we can feel that our skeleton is firm and well connected and our strength is greatly increased, we have got it right. Without this feeling, we are not there yet. If we have lower back pain or strain in our knees, we are overdoing it."
As always, let me know what you think.

© 2014 Eric Borreson