There are 2 alternatives for pelvic placement in Stott pilates the neutral pelvis and imprinted pelvis.
The neutral pelvic placement is when you have a gentle curve in the lower back or lumbar region of the spine. To find your neutral pelvis place the heels of your hands on your hip bones and your pointer fingers on your pubic bone if you put a board across these 3 points in the neutral position it would be level.
The imprinted pelvic placement is when you gently find a posterior tilt by gently using your obliques to gently lengthen the lower back towards the mat, it’s a gentle movement, not squashing your lower back into the mat. People who experience gripping in the lower back area are encouraged to work in an imprinted alignment, particularly if your legs are off the ground.
The neutral position of the pelvis is the strongest alignment for your spine so you should always aim to work in neutral pelvis in any exercise, unless you have been advised to work in an imprint position.
To find both positions, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor find the 3 points I speak of above then allow your pelvis to line up so these 3 points are in a horizontal plane. Gently draw in on your obliques to lengthen your lower back and find imprint and then gently release to return to a neutral spine.
I had a conversation last week with a colleague who asked me whether I got sore from doing pilates she spotted me in our gym at work and said to me it looked easy but she was sure it is not. I was quite pleased to hear it looked so easy but it got me to thinking about how one learns pilates and how the basic principles are so very important.
I often see people working out and realise that my love of pilates comes from the structure of the exercises and how there is so much to learn, which always keeps me interested as a student of pilates and also as a teacher.
So I have decided to catch up my weeks I am behind in my blog with the 5 basic principles of the Stott pilates that I have been trained in. Because I again are very present to what can only look easy through proper practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals on which Joseph pilates and the many variations of pilates are built.
Pilates breathing is to inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth with pursed lips, similar to when you are blowing out a candle.
You breathe deeply into the back and lower area of your ribcage.
When you exhale deeply this helps to activate the deep support muscles of your spine and pelvis by engaging the transversus abdominis.
This deep breathing helps to you avoid neck and shoulder tension and helps in relaxation.
As you inhale the ribcage opens out and up whichs helps in spinal extension. The ribcage closes in and down when you exhale which aids in spinal flexion.
I always like to start my classes with at least 5 big deep inhales and exhales to get everyone focused on their breath.