Why is alignment + posture so important and how can Pilates exercises help!
The quick answer is that better posture leads to less stress on the joints and allows the body to move more freely with ease. But the bigger question is how can you improve your alignment so your muscles and joints work together efficiently? Why does it matter where your head is positioned in relation to your ribcage, pelvis, and feet?
Let’s look at a typical day.
We get up, shower, eat, read the paper, drive or bike to work, pick up the kids, volunteer, and spend a good part of the day on a mobile device or computer, often seated. Without realizing it, our daily lives encourage rounded backs, slouched shoulders, and forward head positions, all leading to sore necks, stiff low backs, and tight hips.
The quick fix is to get up frequently, move around so you get some lubrication in your joints, grab a glass of water, then go back to your task slightly taller with your abs gently engaged. But if we are being honest with ourselves, we rarely move in an hour. Once we are in a groove, we just power through to get stuff done.
If we are aware that we are hunched over and sitting still for long periods, there is an opportunity to change our patterns and create better habits. But is moving more and sitting taller going to solve our postural issues?
The answer is, it’s a start. But it’s the attention to how our bodies work as a unit from our feet to our heads that make long term change possible. Pilates exercises work to correct alignment over time so sustainable change can happen!
Since Pilates looks at the body as a whole, rather than as individual muscles or joints, the entire body benefits. Gradually, Pilates exercises can help reduce the negative or harmful effects of everyday wear and tear on the joints. It is not a cure-all, but it is a part of the process to help you walk better, sit better, and move better!
Through detailed instruction, Pilates improves quality of movement, flexibility, and balance, resulting in better habits. An hour of exercise also puts the mind at ease and a spring in your step.
These gradual changes move us closer to better posture and improved alignment, where the bones stack up properly, and the feet, pelvis, ribcage, and head are all lined up as intended so that there is less stress on the spine.
“Good”/improved posture is the underlying goal of Pilates; we focus on opening up the tight areas of the body and strengthening the weak ones. This is done by slowing down the pace, increasing repetitions, challenging balance, and learning which muscles are working in each exercise. This class will give everyone a full body workout, leaving you ready to tackle the day ahead. Newcomers will feel at ease, and regulars will feel challenged and stimulated.