Pilates is a low impact form of body movement that works to lengthen and strengthen the body and improve posture and flexibility.
It requires us to work with the mind and body.
Through repetition and layering of the exercises, over time the body gets stronger and remembers the movements and patterns – improving body awareness and posture. The positive process of learning how to move and carry our bodies better in daily life is great for confidence – a natural high!
Some people love to start the day with Pilates, others prefer to practice later as a way to begin winding down their day.
It’s about choosing what works for you. If you start your day with Pilates, however, it’s good to remember that your body may need more warming up than later in the day, so try and factor that time into your routine.
If you only try one Pilates posture, Make it the Pelvic Tilt
A nice way to mobilise the spine, with the addition of the arm reach with can help release tension in the back.
Lying on your back (on a mat or carpet) with your knees bent and soles of the feet flat on the mat close in towards your bottom. Feet and knees are about 10cm apart.
Arms on the floor by your side, palms facing down.
Neck in line with the spine, so your eye gaze is slightly forward on the ceiling.
In Pilates we breathe in through the nose (taking the breath into the sides of the ribs, with shoulders relaxed) and out through the mouth (softly with pursed lips as though blowing out through a straw)
BO = Breathing Out
BI = Breathing In
- BO – drawing your stomach muscles inward, tilt your pelvis towards your ribs and gently roll your back off the mat leaving your shoulder blades, shoulders and head in contact with the mat
- BI – holding this lifted position*
- BO – soften through the chest and use the stomach muscles to hollow through the front of the body as you roll back down to the mat*
- BI – when the pelvis is back down, ready to start again
Repeat 5 times, then add the arm variation:
Same as above, but add...
2. ...also raise the arms to the ceiling, hands and arms shoulder width apart, palms facing each other
3. ...as you roll down reach the finger tips toward the ceiling, letting the shoulders gently peel off the mat
*As with most exercise, if you have an injury or condition it’s always best to seek guidance from a Doctor/Specialist beforehand