Sneaking Up On the Hip


“The challenge is finding configurations that don't simply reproduce the same old patterns of life.”

—Hua Hsu

I could call this lesson, “meditation on the wholeness of the leg.” It’s a slow, contemplative, and, in the end, complicated exploration.

I have an old injury that causes a lot of pain in my right SI joint. Sometimes it wakes me up in the middle of the night, pulsing and throbbing. This happens more often when I ignore my hip and pretend it’s not there.

I like this lesson because it doesn’t ask me to navigate challenging movements when I’m in pain. It just asks me to sense how I move.

Removing any demand allows my leg to emerge in a quiet, settled way. My attention no longer goes to discomfort, but to quality.

It helps my hip, but also the low back, ribs, and breath. I feel balanced and tall after this lesson.

Even if you’re not concerned about your own hip, this lesson frees up hidden tensions in the back. Bonus: It also helps with walking!

As Moshe Feldenkrais said, “I know life can be better.

Yet, I do like the reminders that I don’t have to live in that space of throbbing pain!

TIP: As this is a one-sided lesson, do the lesson just on the one side to contrast your perception. (You can do the other side later.)

If you like this lesson, check out Gentle lessons for hips and legs.

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Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t make new.
— Adam Grant, Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World