The Power of Pilates
Photography by: Dave Louridson
Breathing: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted firmly on the mat about hip-width apart. Make sure your feet are parallel and your heels are aligned beneath your knees. Raise your arms straight up with your palms facing toward your knees. ➨ Inhale and lower your arms toward the mat as you pull your navel in toward your spine, squeeze your buttocks and—using your core muscles—lift your hips off the mat. Brace yourself against the mat with arms reaching along your sides. ➨ Hold the breath for 3 counts, keeping your hips lifted and your abs flat and engaged. Continue pulling in your belly so as not to let your ribs flare out. Take the weight off your neck by reaching it long, and avoid sinking your chin into your chest. ➨ Keeping your navel pulled in toward your spine, exhale as you slowly raise your arms straight up again and roll down on the mat, beginning with the upper back, then continuing with the middle back and finally the lower back. Repeat 3 times.