Top 5 Pilates Moves for Better Posture

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Poor posture is a problem that almost every person can relate to at some point. Whether it’s from slumping on the couch or sitting at a desk, most people have poor posture at some point in their day. A once in awhile occurrence might not make huge dents in your health, but over time, continued poor posture can cause back pain, neck pain, headaches, and even lead to poor circulation and spinal health.

As the instructors and students at the Pilates Empowerment Summit know, exercises that strengthen your core while opening the shoulders and chest, can help alleviate these symptoms and help you stand a little taller.

Seated Twist for a Tall Spine Sit with a straight spine and your legs stretched out in front of you, hip distance apart. Reach your arms out to a “T” as you lift your chest, drop your shoulders, and draw your navel to your spine. Inhale in this position. As you exhale, keep your spine long and your arm in a “T” while you twist to the right. Inhale back to the center and exhale to the left. Repeat 10 times.

Double Leg Kicks to Open the Chest Lie flat on your stomach with your legs together. Rest your forehead or chin on your mat. Clasp your hand together, resting on your back. As you inhale, bend your knees and kick your heels to your glutes. Exhale as you lower your legs lift your chest and stretch your hands, still clasped, up and away form your tailbone. Repeat 10 times.

Swimming for a Strong Back Lie on your stomach with your legs together and your arms stretched out in front. Draw your belly button to your spine as you lift your legs, squeezing your glutes, and lift your arms off the mat. Lift your right leg and left arm slightly higher, lower them as you lift the other side. Repeat 10 times.

Side Bends to Lengthen the Sides of Your Waist Lie on your right side with your feet stacked or staggered. Bend your right arm and place your elbow in line with your shoulder. Slowly lift off the ground. If you need extra support, drop your bottom knee to the mat. Reach left arm overhead as you press your hips higher off the ground, exhale as you bring your left arm back to your side and lower your hips an inch. Repeat 5 times and switch sides.

Reverse Plank to Lengthen the Front Body Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bring your hands on the ground beside your hips, with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Slowly lift your hips off the ground, pressing them towards the ceiling. Point your toes towards the ground. Draw your navel into your spin for support and tuck your chin slightly. Lift your right leg to hip height as you inhale. Lower as you exhale. Repeat 10 times and lower to the ground. Repeat the entire sequence on the left.

Even the best never stop learning. At the Pilates Empowerment Summit you will access knowledge and insight from top Pilates professionals including our team of Peak Pilates Master Instructors to heighten your Pilates practice and amplify your expertise.



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Yoga Every Day: More Than A Hashtag

If you’re a yoga practitioner in 2016, chances are you have had some exposure to the yoga of social media. You may even be familiar with the “yoga every damn day” hashtag that unites a community of yogis in the pursuit of a devoted daily practice. But what does #yogaeverydamnday really mean and is it in the realm of wise practice? While some are quick to condemn this social media movement with cautions of injury, demands for moderation and a strict adherence to tradition, perhaps it warrants closer examination.

Maybe #yogaeverydamnday is meant to celebrate the yogic lifestyle and encourage committed daily practice. Or maybe there exists a deeper level of embedded insight in this seemingly innocuous hashtag than what can be communicated in a well-staged image or video. At the very least, it serves as an entry point for discussing how Yoga Everyday is actually a lifestyle choice.

WHAT IS YOGA EVERY DAY?

THE SPIRIT OF SADHANA: EXPERIENTIAL WISDOM

Among the numerous sacred texts that comprise the ancient body of yoga philosophy, the Yoga Sutras include some of the clearest and most readily applicable teachings for the modern yoga practitioner. There are two words in Sanskrit that are commonly translated as “practice” in English: abhyasa and Sadhana. These two words may be synonymous in their shared English equivalent, but in Sanskrit they illustrate, in two very different ways, what is meant by yoga “practice”. As we begin to examine our own personal reasons for practicing yoga every day, it is important to develop an intimate understanding of both.

THE SPIRIT OF SADHANA: ABHYASA

Abhyasa is the collective of devoted practices and lifestyle choices (thoughts, words, actions) that allow us to grow in the direction of truth and spiritual realization. Abhyasa can be thought of as a set of natural behaviors that are informed by our personal values and our deepest spiritual aims. In Yoga Sutra 1.13, we are given Abhyasa as descriptive of all practices that maintain a state of tranquility. This maintenance is achieved with a commitment to sadhana.

THE SPIRIT OF SADHANA: SADHANA

Sadhana refers to the specific methods and techniques for interacting with the physical world through the vehicle of the body. Sadhana addresses body, breath and mental awareness through prescribed practices such as those offered in Ashtanga Yoga, The Eight-Limbed Path.

 

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