Less pain and better posture are great reasons to do Pilates. A regular Pilates practice can work wonders for these issues, depending on the causes of your regular pain. Improving your posture will bring you great benefits like improving the efficiency of your breath, reducing lower back, neck and shoulder pain and even improving the way you feel about yourself and life!
So what is the one thing that is going to make a difference to your pain and improve your posture? Taking movements that you learn in your Pilates class and use them everyday. Find the moments in your day when you can practice the concepts you are learn in your class. That’s how you change the way way you stand and move. Bring the postures and movements into your everyday life.
Here are some examples of regular movements we can use to improve your posture and reduce pain:
- Bending to pick something up: whenever you bend down to pick something up get your feet to hip width apart, hips over your ankles. Bring your ribs over your hips and your spine long (including your head and neck). Then fold at your hips, reach your tail bone back and keep your spine long (no bending in your spine).
2. Standing waiting for the kettle to boil: notice your posture. Are your knees locked tight and your hips pushed forward? Are your ribs sinking down and your pelvic tucked? Take the moment to find your neutral spine, shift your hips over your ankles, ribs over your hips, open your shoulders wide and imagine your a string out the top of your head so you lengthen the back of your neck. Use your breath and abdominals to stabilise your spine.
3. Sitting down in a chair: Feet hip width apart, hips over ankles. Bring your ribs over your hips and your spine long (including your head and neck). Fold at your hips, reach your tail bone back and down to the chair and keep your spine long. Use your exhale to go down as your stabilise your spine with your abdominals.
4. Reaching up to get something: Align your hips over ankles, ribs over hips. As you reach up draw the front of your ribs down (with your exhale) so you are not flaring your ribs and loading into your lower back.
The way we work with the breath in a Move to Nurture mat class will teach you these movements in detail. You can then use and remember the feeling of the moves in your daily life. Practicing these postures in your everyday movements will improve your posture and reduce pain and recurring injuries. It will also help with pelvic floor function and healing diastisis recti.
I am Brigid Pearse a certified Pilates instructor, an ex-dancer and a mum. I run a fully equipped Pilates studio from my home in Lennox Head and I run community Pilates mat classes in Byron Bay, Ballina and online. To receive regular body wisdom sign up below.