Maria Skinner, Nia Trainer, says:
The hip joints form the junction where the base of the body (feet, ankles, knee joints and leg bones) meet the core of the body (pelvis, chest and head). Anatomically, the hip joint is formed by the ball of the femur (the thighbone) rolling in the socket of the pelvic bones, or the acetabulum. Although the hip joint is fairly large in size, the movement available in this joint can feel very intrinsic and intimate, as if the movement is coming from a place deep inside of us. Because this joint has the potential for so much mobility via the ball and socket, it also requires a very strong and layered ligamental structure. Numerous muscles surround and connect to this structure that articulate the hip joint: the gluteal muscles, psoas, adductors and lateral rotators.
From Nia’s 52 Moves, Hip Bumps, Pelvic Circles, and Spinal Undulations (starting at the base of the spine) activate the aforementioned muscles, as well as the pelvic floor and abdominal wall. When I move my hips, I sense intimacy in the way this movement activates my visceral organs. When I feel relaxed and safe, my hip joints feel fluid, juicy and powerful. When I feel angry or fearful, my hip joints feel tight and stuck. This is the way my emotional body speaks to me through my hips. When I become aware of the “stuck” sensation in my hips, I can breathe into this area and bring movement to release the tension and change my emotional state. This is how I cultivate a more intimate relationship between my body and mind. Awareness comes from my body and the choice to move comes from my mind.
- Practice Hip Bumps, Pelvic, Circles or Spinal Undulations when you need to stand for long periods of time. Small movements can be done in public without attracting too much attention.
- Practice Nia’s pelvic moves in Closed, Open, “A”, Sumo, Bow and Cat Stance.
- Practice the yoga pose called Pigeon to create more flexibility in the muscles surrounding your hips.
- Practice Creeping, from the Nia 5 Stages practice. Get on the floor and motor around on your belly, using your legs to help push you forward and backward.
- Practice “Legs up the Wall” to release the muscles surrounding the hip joint. Do this by lying on your back with your buttocks against a wall, then extend and rest the legs on the wall perpendicular to your spine.