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Pilates Principle of Alignment

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Correct alignment at the start of and throughout the movement is essential. By correctly aligning the body and bringing the joints and soft tissue into their neutral zones, sound recruitment patterns are recruited which will help the joints to stay healthy.

Once correct alignment is mastered the results are plain to see. People become stronger, longer and more toned, functional daily movement and mobility seems to be much easier, and postural alignment improves immensely.

If we consciously practice having the ideal postural alignment, it will ultimately cause us the least amount of pain and strain in the body and allow us to move more freely.

All Pilates exercises start with ensuring the body has the correct postural alignment, so that the core or 'centre' is connected and the spine is in a neutral position. This can be when standing, sitting, four point kneeling, or lying down on your back.

Take a look through my standing postural alignment check list below to practice, I will put a printable coupe of this in the members area.

  • Feet and legs: Place your feet, ankles and knees facing forward in a parallel position. Your knees straight and soft but not locked. Ensure that your weight is evenly balanced between your big toe, little toe and heel.

  • Length through the body: Imagine that there is a length of rope from your tail bone to the top of your head lengthening through the hips and up the sides of your body to the tops of your ears and beyond.

  • Neck and head: As you lengthen, feel the back of the neck lengthening away from the shoulders and ensure your head is relaxed and sitting freely. Your gaze is straight with your chin resting on the shelf.

  • Shoulders: Make sure that the tips of your shoulder blades glide down your back so that there is plenty of space between your ears and the top of the shoulders.

  • Core: Gently pull your lower abdominal muscles backwards and then think of them drawing and 'scooping' upwards under your ribs. By doing this you should automatically engage and 'zip up' your pelvic floor muscles at the same are aiming to make your waistband feel a little bit loose and have a sense of aliveness in your core area.

  • Neutral Spine: Activating your core connection should drop your tailbone down towards the floor to bring your back into a neutral spine position. This is where your pelvis is neither tucked under or arched backwards and is just sitting in the natural curve of the spine.

  • Arms: Your arms are long by your side and relaxed.

Once you have mastered your good postural alignment you could practice going through the above checklist as many times as you can during your day. You can apply the principals when sitting down or engaged in other activities, such as at work or even just watching the television. The more you practice, the more in tune you and aware you will become. You will start to look and feel taller, more poise, relaxed and more confident. Good luck and think posture.....

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