Hips have always drawn my attention. I still remember the first years going out dancing during my adolescence, how much I felt “unconsciously not permitted” to move my hips too much, as otherwise we would draw the attention of other teenage boys behind us. Similar thing happened with my arms: I felt ashamed to put my arms up in a concert for example, but this would be for another post maybe related to how to learn to own our body or some other fancy title like that.
Since I started dancing for the first time 16 years ago, the whole focus for me was to get in contact with those -until then- unknown muscles that were deep in my pelvic area that I had never felt before. With those strange muscles, lots of awareness and patience I could slowly learn to draw infinites, circles or shake, in many different angles and directions. Still this was reserved only to my locked room, the only place in earth back then, where I could feel a tiny little bit of freedom.
In Syria, I learned how less is more. How I did not need very impressive moves or acrobatics and simply the amount of feeling I would put into that simple move would exponentially amplify the diameter of emotional impact of the moves.
Years passed and finally living in Barcelona I was allowed (by myself) to dance more freely. I could shake my pelvis, my ribs, every and each vertebra from the coccyx to the cervicals. I could dance how I wanted. Ecstatic dance, improvisation and the need for having that tiny bit of freedom, pushed me to release.
And so it was that I got loose.
Sexuality, past unresolved traumas, shame, judgement, lack of vitality, lack of energy, emotional containment, rigidity in life matters… So many aspects can be related to this body part. The first and second chakra in the hinduist, tantric and yoga traditions; the hara or lower Dantian of the Japanese martial arts… All of them are located nearby.
But coming back to my story with hips: Big shock when I arrived to the north of Europe, to Amsterdam. Women and men in parties would (generally) make absolutely no movement from their ribs to their knees. Mainly they’d move their chest in sudden repetitive moves. Well, I am not saying that in the Basque Country (where I come from) is much better, but still. It did surprise me from a movement analysis perspective and I still find fascinating the cultural differences in regard to body and dance nowadays.
Last time I have been surprised in a “hip matter” was this last year in one of the after work drinks at our office. One of the smartest and sharpest male therapists of the company, got a scarf, put it on his hips and delighted us with the most amazing rhythmic movements I had seen in years following the beats of Amr Diab.
Where I want to lead to is not so funny or colorful.
A very very important person in my life, the most important one, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Pain. Immeasurable pain. Cancer in the vertebras, in the sacrum, lumbar and later on in the dorsal.
Whole body aching. 24 hours a day. Strong painkillers, morphine, fentanyl, anti-inflamatory pills. Still. Pain radiating all over the limbs and a huge sensation of being blocked. No posture. Laying down, sitting, standing. Pain.
Dispair. Hopelessness. Anger.
Pain from seeing somebody you love so much, suffer so much.
It was then when my gratefulness for being able to move grew rampantly. I usually am a grateful person by nature. I feel often thankful for being able to see, walk, eat, breath, and the very simple things we usually get for granted.
But at that point in my life the gratefulness and fascination for being able to move every morning my hips, my sacrum, my lumbar, to stretch my chest, to simply stand up without feeling any pain, became so significant that I needed to share it with more people. That is the real reason for starting the Hip Release workshops. To secretly honor that person of my life.
And here is where I come to ask you something.
Please next time you wake up move slightly the pelvis, as if you would have an elegant tail, and feel the subtle movements, sensations, all the possibilities you have, how it makes you feel. Feel all that without pain. Feel every vertebra and articulation healthy and complete.
Feel how your hips feel. And be grateful.