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The Bodywork Perspective – Tilted Shoulders or Pelvis - page 2

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bodywork, tilk

Tilt, viewed from front or back

In order for there to be a tilt to the body, when viewed from front or back, (barring one leg physically being shorter than another) there has to be a tilted part. You'll have to look at two zones, and identify the source of the tilt.

tipped pelvis

First of all, look at the pelvis.

From the front, locate the bony protrusions at the top outside corner of the pelvis.

Imagine a line connecting the two points. If the line is parallel to the ground, move on.

If the line is not parallel, make note of which side is higher.

crooked shoulders

Now, do the same with the shoulders.

Same test. Parallel? Ok. Tilted? Which side is higher?

To get a better sense of this try tilting, in front of a mirror. My sense is that if I am tilted at my pelvis, the natural tendency would be for my shoulders to tilt the same way. However (try this), tilt your pelvis so the right side is higher. Notice the shoulders follow. Now, using your shoulder muscles alone, raise the lower shoulder so that the shoulders are now parallel. This levels the tilt for the upper body. Of course, it doesn't deal with the cause.

Now, push the formerly lower, now parallel, shoulder even higher. You should now have your pelvis tipped in one direction, your shoulders in another. If you look at the space between your armpit and your waist, you'll see that one side is "shorter" than the other. (see the photo below.)

Now, parents might see our kid from the front, look at her shoulders, and say, "Straighten up!", maybe reaching over and raising the lower shoulder. Because we don't often stare at the pelvis, we may miss the fact that it is the pelvis that is tilted, causing the shoulders to tip the same way. Thus, the "correction" makes the problem worse.

As to "meaning," the right side of the body is the masculine yang) side, energy wise,and the left side (yin) the feminine.
A tilted pelvis would may be about an imbalance of sexual energy, the imbalance being expressed in an over-abundance of the energy of the high side.

Similarly, tilted shoulders would indicate the same thing, but on a more general, yin/yang approach to life. Some businessmen, for example, are quite "high on the right" and perhaps more so going into a meeting.

Here's a video showing a tilted pelvis. Notice that the near side stays "crunched" throughout her walk across the screen.

bodywork, double tilt
double tilt

Opposite double tilt

As to an "opposite double tilt" - I have a client who is the divorced mother of three pre-teens. Her sexual experience, prior to her divorce, was with one man. Since the divorce, she has discovered her sexual nature.

When she stands and I look at her face on, her pelvis is up on the right, and her shoulder is up on the left. You might also view this as being "short" on her right side. (Her posture is like the woman to the left.)

Thus, we see an excess of yang energy in her pelvis (her aggressive sexuality coming to the fore) and yin in her shoulders -- in life -- (she's out there, looking for "Mr. Right" to take care of her and her kids.) This is an incredibly stressful position to maintain; she's been doing it for a year now, and the metaphor has become her "normal" posture.

The photo on the right shows the opposite double tilt -- aggressive yang at shoulders (power stance "in life") while somewhat repressed in the pelvis. She seems "crunched" on the yin side, perhaps holding herself back from her feelings.

Structure of the Body

Neutral Posture and also Dar!)

dar.jpg (9180 bytes)

Let's just cut to the chase here and talk about what a neutral posture looks like. Everything we talk about from here on in, area by area, will be contrasted to neutral.

In words, here's how neutral "looks."

  • The feet are flat on the ground.

  • The knees are slightly flexed, and over the ankles.

  • The pelvis is level on all four planes (not tipped forward nor back, nor one side higher than the other) and centered over the knees.

  • The shoulders are over the pelvis, level from the front, and in neutral front to back.

  • The head is over the shoulders and tipped slightly up.

Against the "wall"
bodywork, on the board

To feel this, back up against a wall.

Put your heels against the wall. Flex your knees a bit. Your butt should be against the wall, just touching.

The small of your back should be just an inch away from the wall; you should be able to stuff your hand in and feel a bit of resistance.

Your shoulder blades should touch the wall. The back of your head should touch the wall. Your eyes, focused on an opposite wall, should be looking a bit above horizontal.

Not done yet. Put the palms of your hands against the wall. Allow your forearms and elbows to touch the wall. Feel how your shoulders fall back, and your chest opens. This is now military posture, and the chest is slightly too open. (Actually, many people who have shoulder issues have closed chests - rounded over in the front - this is the correction).

To finish, simply let your hands come away from the wall, and cross at crotch level. (Sort of Buddhist standing meditation posture.) You'll feel your shoulders round, just slightly. Hold the posture, and step away from the wall. Walk a bit.

Use the wall to practice. You'll have to reset to this posture often.

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