Growing Taller From the Ground Up

Imagine…a woman puts one leg up to rest on a plush chair, then she begins pulling up her silk stockings, slowly and seductively, inch by inch, all the way to the top of her thigh.  We’ve all seen that scene in a movie.  What does this have to do with Pilates you ask?  Well, a lot.

It gets at the question: how do we stand taller and create length from the ground up?  Whether planting the foot firmly on the mat, or the foot bar or whatever surface we’re working on, we are working with more than just bones stacked neatly upon bones.  Our legs are literally stockings of muscle.

Source: tenor.com

Stand up.  Take a moment to bring awareness to the feet.  Focus that awareness on your toes, the blade and heel of your foot.  Feel them firmly pressing into the mat.  Now shift the awareness to the arches of your feet.  Begin the lift here.  Lift through your arches and feel the muscle engagement travel up the leg in slow motion.  Mentally “pull up” your stockings of muscle, inch by inch, just like the woman in the movie scene pulling up her stockings.  Continue all the way up the thigh to the pelvic floor.

This chain of engagement naturally continues from the pelvic floor to the TA, all the way up the spine to the crown of the head.  Until you just might actually be that elusive inch taller – not to mention properly aligned and ready to get the most out of the exercise.

 

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