Posts Tagged ‘back pain’:

Swan on LB version 2

When I was 22 years old a massage therapist told me that if I didn’t do something about my posture I would be hunched over by the time I was 30. Now at 34 people think I am two inches taller than I am and I owe it all to my Pilates practice. It’s one of the reasons I chose to become an instructor. We live in a society where most of our days are spent in flexion. Because of this so many people struggle with poor posture, neck pain, and back problems. I’m sure everyone who sits at a desk all day knows exactly what I am talking about. No one needs to look like the hunch back of Notre Dame, thanks to Pilates.

I spend my days using the phrase “open your heart” in order to counteract all the flexion in my clients lives. Think of your body as a box with your hip next to your hip and your shoulder next to your shoulder from the front view. From the side view you want your ear over your shoulder, your shoulder over your hip, and your hip over your ankle. This applies whether you are standing, on your side, or lying down. One of my jobs as an instructor is to help clients get their symmetry back. What I love about Pilates is that there is no lack of extension exercises in the repertoire. I get to teach them and have fun. From pulling straps or chest expansion on the reformer, to swan or swimming on the mat, to teaser on the wunda chair, you are constantly working on opening your heart.

In extension exercises you need to work your shoulder blades towards one another while widening your collarbone and engaging your core. Once you are able to put them all together effortlessly it’s such a freeing feeling. Strengthening the muscles in the upper part of your back is an important step in standing taller, along with stretching the muscles in your chest. Being able stand tall and look life in the face is a great accomplishment. Pilates can be so much more than just a workout when you are able to enjoy life more because you’ve gotten rid of aches and pains. So open your heart and let Pilates in.