I contemplated long and hard about how to teach the Anusara principle of pelvic loop. If students are already tending to bring the tops of the thighs forward, without doing enough inner spiral enhanced by thigh loop (which together take the tops of the thighs back and apart and brings curve to the lumbar spine), it would not be helpful to invite them to engage in an action, which if done as a primary movement, will tend to take the curve out of the lower back and bring the tops of the thighs forward, making movement even more limited.
Even if we have the tendency to tuck the buttocks and tailbone too much, we are not necessarily engaging out core, and pelvic loop, when done in proper sequence, really helps us to affirm and find our own strength — and no one should miss out on the opportunity to do that. So crucial to thinking about pelvic loop (especially being myself a reformed “tucker”) are the following:
1. The loops are bilateral and can move separately. This means it is not just bringing the whole of the pelvis forward by a single, central big movement of the tailbone, but using the muscles on each side of the pelvis independently to engage pelvic loop.
2. Although ultimately, all of the principles are done at the same time, they are also done sequentially. A student said last night that doing pelvic loop in a seated position made her feel “lifted up away from the ground.” Once I said to remember that part of “opening to grace” is settling and getting heavy, and we always do “open to grace” first, she was better able to understand how to refine her seat with pelvic loop. Instead of lifting her thighs and pelvic bones, she left her bones heavy and drew her muscles in to firm the buttocks, tone the pelvic floor muscles, and lift the belly to support up-rising energy in the spine, which gave her a sense of power and upliftment, even as she kept a feeling of being rooted to the earth.
3. Last week I wrote and taught about using “thigh loop” to get out of our own way, to choose actively to tip the longest bones in our body into the back plane of our body so that we have more range of movement, freedom, and flexibility in our pelvis and low back. Only after we have made the physical and energetic shift of thigh loop can we really tap into and affirm our own power. If we are still jutting forward (literally and metaphysically) then when we try to tap into power, we will just get more in our way. When we have gotten out of our own way and moved into the back body, then we can better find our power. We still start in the back body, but we affirm the spaciousness and freedom we have created and are able to find a place of empowerment and soar. For example, it is my experience that taking the thighs back and apart is a big part of what gets us into arm balances, but firming the buttocks and engaging the pelvic floor and lower belly muscles that keep us up and give us the ability to choose where to go once we get there.
4. Off the mat, it may be nice to get out of our own way, but then what? Shedding or moving what is blocking or inhibiting us is not for the purpose of having nothing, but so that we are then able to affirm the worth of our own being and find our own power so that we can be more joyous and more generous.