Tai Chi Y2D272: Tilt pelvis in, squeeze lower belly

As the headline of today’s piece suggests, today I was working on holding my pelvis in the right position so that my spine was straight.  This involved a lot of work on the part of the muscles in my lower belly.  I call it a squeeze, but it’s not, really — it’s more of a general sense of tightening of muscle groups between the hips across the lower belly, between the navel and other places.

It’s tiring.  It’s as though some of these muscles have never been worked before in my life.  Maybe they haven’t.  There’s this strange sensation at times, as I work to tense given muscles, that my body isn’t really sure which muscle I’m trying to pull on or tense.  One muscle will tense, and then a moment later there will be a shift or a slippage, and a different muscle will tense, and the first will relax. And then a moment later both muscles will tense together. Then I’ll be tired, and not able to hold either of them, and I will have to start over.Very strange.

But of course, muscles build by experiencing this, over and over.  And skill with tensioning and working specific muscles in isolation will pay off.  I think it’s likely that I’ll gradually be able to build up some control over this process, and I will gradually feel that I’m in more command of my own body.  But it’s weird to think that there are parts of my body that are mostly controlled involuntarily, or have been to this point, and that I don’t really know how to operate them consciously for very long.

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  1. We do the same thing in yoga, and I have a very similar experience as you when I put conscious effort into it off the mat. Feels good to do it, but yes, the effort is something different!

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