Giving A Tip On Tips! #2

Tip-of-the-Week, TIPS!!!! Oh my, I don't know what it means when I have to have tips on the tips. Whatever it takes. Pilates is not simple! Indeed it is like a language all to itself.

Continuing on with the different planes of motion in our spines: We addressed Flexion and Extention in a post yesterday. Today, as promised, we'll cover briefly Rotation of the spine and lateral flexion.

Find a quiet spot, like you did yesterday, away from the hustle and bustle. Plain to chill. Add gentle music, if it's your flavor. Comfortable clothing. Barefoot. A mirror. A chair. Too, if you have a difficult time keeping your knees from rubbing together, place a small rolled up towel between them. But remember to keep your legs hip-distance apart. You don't want your legs closed as it will be harder to balance.

Rotation of the spine:
  • In that same chair as yesterday, make sure you are up on top of your sit bones, legs hip-distance apart. Head on top of your body, not forward of your body. Feel as though someone is gently pulling you up from the top of your head, lengthening your neck. That should feel good.
  • Always engage your core. Always breathe!
  • If you have a shoulder issue like I do, crisscross your arms across your chest. If you are free of shoulder issues, bring your arms up and out to your sides, shoulder height, and a little forward of your shoulders.
  • Speaking of shoulders, keep them back and down. Don't crunch them up or round them over.
  • Remember to let your head follow with your spine. They go together. Don't let your head take off ahead. Keep your eyes open and keep your gaze in front of you.
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale as you begin to slowly rotate to the right side.
    The movement is from your torso; it is not an arm swing-me-to-the-side, nor is it a move-ME-from-el hippo.
  • Your hips should stay in the same square position as when you first started. Don't let them rotate, or hike up on one side. Quite a few people have to watch for this. Just make yourself aware. This is where a mirror can come in handy. You will be able to watch for hip-hiking, or rotating. As well as where your arms are in space. Are they level, or is one up higher than the other?
  • The move is not about seeing how far around you can go; it is about control, and precision. I guarantee you, it is much harder to use c. and p. than it is to sling yourself around to the back of your body. We are not trying to exorcise, but exercise the body. Big difference.
  • Once you have rotated your spine with your arms simply floating in the air as they follow your spine and head, stop. Inhale.
  • Exhale as you begin to return to your starting position. Take a look in the mirror, is your body aligned? It's worth checking.
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale and begin to rotate to the left side, the same as you did with the previous side. Repeat 5 times.

I would say, let's take a break. Do you see why Pilates is often called intelligent exercise? You have to think, think, think! Remember, every move stems from a neurological response.

CAUTION: Always exercise at your own risk. Seek the advice of a trusted health professional before beginning any form of exercise.

Tomorrow: Lateral Flexion. Photography:www.photographybyaprilwilliams.com/.

Copyright © 2008 by Ellen M. Samples. All rights reserved.