What is your ‘Alignment’ & why is your posture super important?
‘Alignment’ in a Pilates or movement context encourages awareness of our body parts in relation to each other, in particular the bony landmarks. This could include awareness of shoulder positioning, ribcage placement, or pelvic stability, to name only a few in a very long list.
We believe there is good reason ‘Alignment’ comes first within the ABCs of good Pilates practice. When bony landmarks of the body are in optimum position, this enables the surrounding muscles and soft tissue to stabilise the joints most effectively.
Pilates focuses on quality rather than quantity – fewer repetitions of each exercise performed to our own very best. We want to get the most benefit from every single exercise. Whether we are working at low level stabilisation or with the challenging classical repertoire, precision and good quality of our movements can only be achieved with continual focus on position of the body.
Focus on ‘Alignment’ feeds very naturally into postural awareness. We talk about posture a LOT in classes. Strengthening the deep postural muscles is essential for both upright stature, and, for the dynamic stability of our entire abdomen. Awareness of posture also has other, less obvious benefits outside of the Pilates studio.
1. Good posture improves the resilience of your joints. When in correct posture, all your joints are placed in their optimum alignment and positioning, reducing wear and tear of the joints and enabling balanced mobility and stability across the body. Put into practice daily into activities such as walking, gardening or housework, can help to maintain healthy and well functioning joints.
2. Better posture improves your breathing and helps deal with stress. Maintaining an upright posture, with an open chest and wide shoulders helps to reduce pressure on your diaphragm. This helps with gaseous exchange, improves lung function and helps to feed all the tissues in your body. Breathing effectively helps us to cope with stress and anxiety. The act of breathing well activates the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing the heart rate and creating a sense of calm and clarity when stressful situations arise.
3. Improved digestion. Your digestive system needs space to function effectively. A good posture can help to ease issues such as IBS and acid reflux by reducing the pressure placed upon the diaphragm, stomach and intestines.
4. Improved confidence. Walking with good posture helps to improve our sense of well being and self confidence. The focus and precision of the Pilates movements helps to improve whole body awareness. This begins in your classes and translates into all your weekly activities outside of the studio.
What’s not to love!
If you don’t already come along to our Pilates classes, get in touch or give us a call on 01273 495911 to have a further chat or book your assessment.
If you would like to find out more about our Pilates classes in Henfield, click here