Domini Anne

Hips Like Butter

Published 19 days ago • 2 min read


You know how it gets at the end of every project, every long journey, every course… Our brains are full, our bodies are tired, and our focus narrows to the finish line. As a result, the advanced exercises taught in those last stages often become the most challenging to retain let alone teach with confidence.

On average, we retain less than 50% of what we learn in any given situation, with the exact percentage varying based on factors like our learning style and the amount of rest we have during the training. It’s no surprise, then, that some of these complex movements fall by the wayside, leaving us with only a vague, choppy recollection of how to perform and progress them.

But what if we could revisit these advanced exercises with fresh eyes and a deeper understanding? What if we could break them down and rebuild them in a way that makes sense for our bodies and our understanding? Many of the advanced exercises in the Gyrotonic Level 1 curriculum hold invaluable information for our bodies if we know how to approach them correctly, and all that is needed is a friendly re-introduction.

Rediscovering the Sciatica Combination

The Sciatica combination is a perfect example of an advanced exercise that holds tremendous value for our bodies, yet often falls by the wayside.

This series teaches us how to:

  • Maintain a stable pelvis while moving a single leg in all directions
  • Isolate movement at the femoral joint
  • Engage the muscles supporting the back of the pelvis for maximal external rotation without “pinching” at the SI joint

Making it Easy with a Mini-Ball

One of my favorite ways to introduce these concepts is by using a semi-inflated mini-ball placed beneath the pelvis. This allows our bodies to piece together the elements that ultimately combine to perform the full exercise with strength and control.

I recently shared a post on Instagram with videos of every stage.

Here are the preps, in order :

1. Lie on the floor, set up for hamstrings with the mini-ball under the pelvis.

2. Open and close one leg while keeping the pelvis stable.

3. Repeat, Circling the extended leg

4. Move each side of the pelvis individually to feel isolated “tilting.”

5. Repeat the progression with enhanced awareness, adding circles if desired.

6. With both feet grounded, consciously rotate the pelvis with the legs.

7. Add the “hips crossing over” variation, including pelvis rotation.

8. Explore “Fancy Frog” opening both legs, closing with extra narrowing, pressing up into frog, then smoothly extending a single leg.

9. Once you’ve mastered these preparatory steps, turn sideways to the machine and apply the organization you’ve learned to the Sciatica combination.

You’ll find that narrowing your pelvis off the ball becomes much easier, and the elements of isolation, stabilization, and counter-rotation will all make sense.

Try this in your next workout and please, SHARE your experience!

Progression 7 is filled with such gems. If you’d like to discover more of them with me, join me online on May 18th for a 2-hour intensive. Can’t make it live? No worries - All registered students will have 6-month access to the recording so you can revisit this material time and time again, enjoying the deepening of your learning experience.

Whether you take the plunge or not, Reader I hope this breakdown enhances your personal Gyrotonic experience. IMHO this methodology is unparalleled in its ability to convey freedom of movement and expanded physical expression. It deserves every moment of attention we give it, for the benefit of our own bodies and those of our clients.

In joy,

Domini Anne

Domini Anne

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