Bring balance and focused awareness to muscle groups around your pelvis, open your hips, strengthen your core and connect your hips to the ground by feeling how your feet connect to your pelvis in weight-bearing postures.
CORRECTION for PELVIC TORSION Judith Lasater technique
Repatterning pelvic torsion
Test to assess for pelvic torsion
- Find your ASIS on either side of your pelvis (Anterior superior illiac spine OR hip bones)
- See if one is further back than the other. (you might need a partner to help you with this)
- In the case where the left hip bone is further back, your pelvis is torquing to the left. If the right hip bone is further back, your pelvis is torquing to the right.
- In supine position, on the side the pelvis is torquing to, hold the knee into the chest with the hands clasped behind the thigh.
- The other leg is straightened on the floor.
- On an inhalation, lift the straight leg 3 inches off the floor, reach out through the heel and abduct (move away from midline) the leg a couple of inches. On the exhalation, release the leg back to the floor. Relax everything.
- Draw the left knee a bit closer to the chest. Repeat the lift, reach through the heel, abduction and release of the straight leg, then draw the bent knee a little closer to the chest. Again, relax.
- Repeat the whole process 2 more times.
- Then Relax completely, and slide the straight leg back to the starting position.
Note: This technique can be done starting on the torqued side, then the opposite side and ending a third time on the torqued side.
- Constructive resting pose with a belt, with Diaphragmatic breath (5 min-20 min).
- Lay down on your back with knees bent and feet parallel in line with sit bones (or hip-width apart)
- wrap a belt around your thighs (to provide support to the thighs and hips)
- Place one hand on lower belly (the area below your navel)
- Feel your breath become deeper and move down into the lower belly (notice the space that opens up inside your pelvis and let your organs relax completely.
- With one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, allow the breath to expand and swell the lower belly only. The chest remains still.
- Continue as you allow the exhalations to become slightly longer than the exhalations (stimulates the vagus nerve) and leads to a relaxed state in body and mind.
- This gravitational release of the psoas provides relief from long term pain or acute pain.
- You can also achieve the same results by laying on the floor and placing your lower legs on a sofa. (your lower back will feel supported by the floor)
- Reclining Leg stretches (Supta Padangusthasana) with strap
- Draw your right knee to your chest and stretch your left leg along the floor.
- Bring a yoga strap or other tie around your right foot, wrapping it around the ball of the foot, and try to straighten the back of your right knee while pressing the right side of your pelvis into the floor.
* Here you want to begin by making the connections between points on the foot triangle to the bones of pelvis
- Work with your breath, holding and feeling a deep stretch in the back of thigh/knee/calf muscle.
- Hold a minimum of 6 breaths, alternating between bending the knee slightly as you inhale, and straightening the back of the knee and reaching through the foot as you exhale.(use this method throughout this exercise)
- Then, with the strap around your right hand, allow your leg to open out to the right side, knee cap should face the back wall.
- Keep the back of your left thigh pressing toward the floor, hold for 4-6 breaths, again as you inhale into your belly, your Right knee bends and as you exhale, you straighten your knee and press out into the stap.
- On an inhale breath, bring your leg back to center and switch strap into your left hand.
- Your right arm rests on the floor at shoulder level, as you exhale, take your right foot across your body and toward the left, your right hip will lift off the floor, but you want to stretch the hip back toward the floor as you press your foot into the strap. Don’t allow your right shoulder to come off the floor. breathe and hold this position for another 4-6 breaths.
- Come out by bringing the leg back to center and then slowly lowering it to the floor.
- Rest and feel how your right leg, and entire right side of your body feels.
- switch strap to left foot to do the other leg.
* you always want to work at your edge, which is the place that you feel is your limit, and where your breath can remain calm and deep. If your breath becomes labored, it is a sign that you are doing too much.
- Sensy Ball work (using yellow nubby) to release piriformis muscle and pelvic ligaments
- Lay down on your back, place the ball under your right buttock , bend both knee allow your right knee to open toward the floor and keep your left foot flat
begin to explore the tissue of this area by simply finding tight spots and allowing yourself to melt into the ball to let the tissue release, use the breath to do this.
- Move slowly all over this area from top of pelvic rim to sit bone and from outer hip toward sacrum and also move along the SI joint (up and down)
- To stretch piriformis (and external rotators of hips) – at the back of your pelvis – across your buttock
- Lay on your back with knees bent and feet hip width apart
- Cross right ankle over left thigh and flex right ankle
- Arch your lumbar curve off the floor
- Lift your left foot and draw your knees closer to your chest
- Reach between your legs to take hold of the back of your left knee
- As you take your left thigh towards you, press your right thigh away. Hold this stretch for 6-8 breaths.
- Rock across the pelvis a few times slowly, paying attention to breath
- Release and uncross the leg.
- Repeat same steps with left ankle over right thigh
To release psoas muscles
- Passive Psoas release with bolster or block under pelvis
- Lay on your back and elevate your pelvis to place a bolster under your sacrum and waist-
- Let your back settle into the floor and relax here
- Allow your right leg to stretch out in front of you. Notice the stretch you feel deep in the groin, and relax into the stretch by deepening your breath.
- Let breath move down to lower pelvis,
- Trace the right psoas from its origin at thoracic vertebra 12 down to its lower attachment at the inner thigh bone (lesser trochanter of the femur)
- Bring left knee to chest, and slide the right heel away from you.
- If you would like to experience more, let your left knee open out to the left
- From here take your right arm overhead and stretch it away from your right foot
- Hold for 6-8 breaths, feeling the psoas muscle become longer and softer, as if smoothing out
- bring both knees to chest before you do the other side
- repeat with right knee to chest and left leg along the floor
- finish once again with both knees to chest
- allow knees to open wide apart and reach behind your knees with your wrists and draw the knees as close to the chest as possible. Breathe down into your lower abdomen. Feel the gentle stretch in your lower back.
- Hold for 6 long breaths.
- Bring your feet down and remove the block and lay on your back with legs extended. Feel the release in your lower back and space in front of hips.
More active stretches for quadriceps and psoas
- Half Bow pose (Quad/ Psoas stretch)
- Laying on your belly, lift one leg at a time, lengthen it and lower it again
- Now, bend your right knee and reach back to take a hold of your right ankle with your right hand, if you can’t reach, wrap a yoga strap around you foot and hand, pull your heel toward your buttock while you press the front of your hip into the floor, feeling the stretch across your upper right thigh.
- After 6 breaths, try lifting your knee off the floor and hold for another 3 breaths (keep the knee in line with your hip
- The next stage is to lift your head and chest and come up onto your left forearm, maintaining the downward pressure through the front of your right hip
Hold for 4 breaths
- Relax and release the foot and rest before doing other side
* Here, a counterpose is necessary to release the muscles of your lower back
Sit back into pose of the child for 5 breaths if you need to between sides, and after doing the second side.
- Repeat this on the left side
(Note: spend more time on the tighter side)
To come out of the pose, bring your hands under your shoulders (or use your forearms) to press back into pose of the child.
Rest awhile here.
- Child’s pose
- from the all 4’s position, sit back toward your heels, and stretch your arms out in front while you release your forehead onto the floor.
- Breathe into your back, feeling the back ribs expand, Feel your soft relaxed abdomen press against your thighs.
- Hold for 5-8 breaths, while completely letting go.
An alternative to Half bow pose is to do a kneeling lunge
- Kneeling Lunge
- Come onto all 4’s and step your right foot between your hands,
- First you want to slide your left knee as far back as possible, then lean your hips forward and down until you have opened the front of your left hip and are feeling a stretch through the top of your thigh.
- Next, you want to contract your left buttock muscles (this will increase the stretch to the front of the thigh and hip)
- Stay here 4-5 breaths
- Keep in mind that you want to create a straight line from the chest to the knee of the leg that is behind.
Then, bring your hands onto your right thigh and lift your belly away from your thigh and spread your chest open.
- If you feel stable, lift your left arm up and then your right arm up (note: keep your hips forward and down), stay here for another 2-3 deep belly breaths.
- Then, come out by shifting the weight onto your left knee and opening the back of your right knee, lifting your right toes up and leaning over your leg to stretch the hamstrings.
- Now come out, and step your left foot between your hands, and repeat all the above steps to open the right psoas and quadriceps.
- Bridge pose (stretches quadriceps and strengthens your gluteal muscles)
- Lay on your back with knees bent and feet hip width apart, your arms by your sides.
- Place a yoga block (3 inch or 4 inch) between your thighs.
- Press the inner edges of your feet into the floor, and press the outer edges of your feet to balance the weight of your body across the 4 corners of your feet. Then begin to squeeze the block and lift your pelvis up, lift through your hip bones and your pubic bones and feel the stretch in your upper thighs.
- Feel the feet and especially the heels strongly pressing into the floor, continue to squeeze the block and contract the gluts and the pelvic floor muscles (root lock).
- Continue to lift up through the upper thighs, taking your pelvis up as high as you can, while you feel the weight of your back across your shoulders.
- The neck stays relaxed, and it is important to not turn your head in this position.
- Hold for 3 long deep breaths, and then lower your spine one vertebra at a time until you’ve lowered your entire spine and pelvis. Keep squeezing the block until your pelvis is back down. Relax completely for 2 resting breath.
- Repeat 3-6 times.
Challenge: Increase the challenge by performing this exercise with a single leg, while maintaining level hips.
- Cat-Cow (focus on creating movement in thoracic spine)
- Starting on all fours, knees hip-width apart and wrists under shoulders on an exhalation, take your tailbone down toward the floor and as you do, notice how your low back starts to round, draw your navel up toward your spine, feel your upper back rounding and allow your head to drop down, feeling the sides of your neck lengthen.
- as you begin to inhale, allow your tailbone to lift up toward the ceiling, feel your low back arch, and imagine emptying the contents of your belly out onto the floor, now gather your scapulae toward each other in the mid back, lift your head and spread open your chest, but do not push back through your neck, keep a neutral neck.
- The next time you move your tailbone down and start rounding your spine just pay attention to the movement in each single vertebra along your spine, feeling your breath moving along the spine from your tailbone all the way to the crown of your head, this is the wave pattern, your spine is moving like a wave, and so is your breath.
- Continue to focus on the spinal wave as you alternate arching your spine on an inhalation and flexing your spine on an exhalation, in a graceful and flowing movement.
- Repeat 4 – 6 times.
- Downward Facing Dog
- Come to a kneeling position and place your hands beneath your shoulders, and knees aligned with your hips, spreading your fingers wide apart (all 4’s) and curl your toes under.
- On an exhalation, lift your hips up toward the ceiling, feeling the sides of your torso lengthening and your spine stretching up. Imagine that you are wanting to take your weight off your hands and bring it up towards your hips.
- Open and lift your shoulders, and reach up with your tailbone. Allow your head to hang and keep your neck relaxed. Keep the knees slightly bent as you elongate your spine.
- Walk your dog several times: Bend your right knee as you take your left heel toward the floor, feel your left calf stretch, then change and stretch your right heel toward the floor as your left knee bends. Then try taking both heels toward the floor.
- Hold while you breathe for 3-6 breaths
- Standing Forward Bend
- Walk your feet forward toward your hands and stand on your feet with knees slightly bent, allowing your torso to release over your lower body.
- Bend knees more until you feel your belly and chest resting over your thighs
- Relax your shoulders and neck, and let go completely as you feel your breath in your belly.
- To come out, make sure your knees are bent and engage your thigh muscles, feeling them hug the femur bones, feel your feet pressing into the floor as you begin to roll your spine back up until you are standing.
Strengthening poses to build muscles that support your spine, (buttock, quads, inner/outer thighs, legs) build your core mucles, improve stability and overall posture
- Squats (beginner version)
- This is one of the best functional exercise, builds muscle throughout body and especially in your core, buttocks, quads and legs.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart with toes slightly turned out, create anterior tilt in your pelvis (so lumbar curve is maintained)
- As you inhale sit back with your bum sticking out, press outward through your knees and let your arms come out in front of you.
- As you exhale through your mouth, lift yourself back up (feel the muscles around your hips working, not your knees)
- Repeat 15-20 times, do 3 sets 3 times per week.
- Plank on forearms
- Start on your belly and lift up into Sphinx pose with your elbows positioned directly below your shoulders. Press through your inner elbows and wrists and the palms.
- Walk the feet back one at a time and then lift your knees away from the floor until your body is in a straight line.
- Engage the quads, glutes and core, and lift your belly away from the floor while pushing the floor away through the toes and forearms. Hold for 5 breaths while breathing deeply.
- Repeat three sets, or as long as you can maintain proper form.
- Core Strengthener
- Place a foam block under your pelvis (horizontally).
- Bring your knees into your chest and engage your abdominal muscles (this should feel like your belly presses back toward your spine to stabilize your pelvis).
- Keep your inner knees touching.
- Inhale, and with the exhalation stretch your legs out into the middle of the room (your knees will stay slightly bent).
- As you inhale, draw your knees in toward your chest and as you exhale, again stretch your legs out.
- Continue with this movement, noticing the work in your core muscles.
- Repeat three sets of 10 or as long as you can maintain proper form.
- Lower your feet to the ground and massage your abdomen in a clockwise circle as you allow your breath to flow into your belly.
- Bird-dog (core stabilizer, balance)
- Start on your hands and knees with your hands shoulder width apart directly under your shoulders, and knees hip width apart directly under your hips.
- Maintain a neutral spine. Brace through your abdomen and squeeze your gluteals.
- Ensure you can maintain this while you take a breath in and out.
- Lift your right arm in front until it’s level with your shoulder, squeezing the muscles between your shoulder blades as you do so. At the same time, extend your left leg straight back until it is level with your hips, squeezing your gluteals, and keeping your hips square to the floor.
- Return to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner, and perform the same action with the left arm and right leg. That is one repetition.
- Perform 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
- As this exercise becomes easy, focus on co-contracting the muscles of your forearm and arms while you extend, the same goes for the muscles of your legs.
- For an additional challenge, instead of putting your hand and knee back down on the ground between reps, try just sweeping the floor and performing the next rep right away, or draw a square with your arm and leg and then sweep the floor.
- The evidence supports building endurance with increased repetitions rather than holding time.
To integrate the work, perfom a few standing Yoga poses. These poses are designed to build strength and flexibility in all the muscle groups of the lower body, pelvis, hips and core.
- Warrior 1, 2
- Triangle pose, Revolved Triangle pose
- Parsvakonasana( Side angle stretch)
- Pursvottanasana ( forehead to knee pose)
- Utkatasana (Chair pose)
- Rest on your back for 5-10 minutes, completely relaxing entire body, observing your breath and allowing for integration of your practice.