Our body awareness challenge this week is moving from our head, down our spine, to the place where it originates: the sacrum. It is a bone that is easily forgotten, but is so important to the health of our spine, hips, knees, and our whole body system!
Finding your sacrum and its joints.
The sacrum is a bone that is made up of fused vertebrae. It is located between our two hip bones, or illium. You can find the joint where it meets your hip bones in your lower back by feeling for the two bony nubbins just above your gluts (sometimes there are little dimples here). It is called the sacroiliac joint. You can then find your sacrum in between and slightly down from these joints. Our coccyx, or tail bone, is further down.
Becoming aware of how the sacrum and pelvis move.
The challenge this week is no more than to bring awareness to this keystone in the body. Our natural center of gravity is right in front of the sacrum. As you walk and move, draw your attention to this area for a moment. Take a moment to draw in a breath and imagine that it is floating in between your hip bones and your spine is balancing on top of it.
When you are at home, place your index and middle fingers of each hand on the nubbins of your sacroiliac joint and shift your weight back and forth, releasing your unweighted hip, letting it suspend toward the ground. Now, walk into the next room. How do they move? Do the same movements, this time placing the tips of your fingers on your sacrum. Walk a bit, and then sit in a chair and stand up again.
The pelvis is not a single, immovable piece of bone.
This is a very difficult challenge! Just because we didn’t give you something specific to do with your sacrum, doesn’t mean this is not a very important exercise. This challenge is about changing perceptions. Many of us think about the pelvis and the sacrum as one single piece of bone (like the skeleton had in our high school anatomy class!). Instead, start practicing awareness of how the sacrum and the bones of the pelvis are dynamic and flexible.
Next week, we will have a challenge that helps you incorporate this awareness into your movement, and you might be surprised at how it affects your posture, back, and stability!