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Leg Tilt: An Awareness Through Movement® Lesson

By Frank Wildman

  1. With your arms and legs long at your side, feel your contact with the floor. Take a guess: of the entire surface of the back of your body, head to heels, what percentage is touching the floor right now? Now imagine you’re lying on a balance beam that is along your spine, dividing you into two halves. If you started to fall, to which side do you feel you would roll off the beam? You might find that your pelvis would roll in one direction while your head and chest would roll in the other. If there were an emergency, and you had to roll out of the way as fast as possible, to which side do you imagine you would roll automatically?
  2. Bend your right knee so the right foot can rest solidly on the floor, not too close to yourself and not too far. Find the balanced place where it takes the least effort to stay in this position. Push down through the right foot so the right hip lifts off the floor a little and you roll to the left. Let the movement be very small and make sure that the left leg is relaxed. The right knee should stay directly above the right foot during the entire movement of the hip. Experiment with the placement of the right foot to find the very best position to do this motion. Notice what the head is doing as you push down with the right foot.
  3. Repeat the previous motion using the left foot to push, lifting the left hip. Check that the right leg is resting and relaxed. Position the left foot in different places until you discover the position that allows the most efficient push.
  4. Bend both knees and put both feet on the floor while making sure that each leg is independently balanced. Place your arms away from your body. Slowly tilt your knees to the left. Note the shift in pressure across the soles of your feet as the legs tilt. What happens at the neck, chest, and upper back? Does your head want to turn right or left? Where does the work come from to tilt the knees? Notice what happens inside your mouth and throat when the knees tilt. If you feel an urge to turn your head in one direction as you tilt your knees, go ahead and exaggerate that motion. Let your legs go a little further each time you tilt them and feel the effect on your shoulders. Rest completely with your arms and legs long.
  5. Repeat tilting your legs to the other side as you roll on your pelvis and roll across the bottoms of your feet. Rest.
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