(Reply to Gemma part 2:) You want to feel as if the area between your waist band and right below your chest is working together, like a corset, or a tree trunk who's roots are deeply rooted into the floor. If your spine is flexible enough to do this without tilting your pelvis or dumping your bowl of soup into your chest, and your PH is strong enough to pull into your back, then by all means keep your pelvis in a more neutral position. As an intermediate and advanced Pilates practitioner, I would want to see you challenge your PH and back flexibility by working more in a neutral position. I would love to explain more if you have any more questions but I'd like to make sure I am heading in the right direction with your question. Thanks again for writing in, it helps everyone and I look forward to discussing more:) Monica
Hi Lisa! Thank you for your questions on both this class and in #1/10. So happy you are sticking with it and I hope you are enjoying the series:) Absolutely feel free to keep your knees slightly bent in any exercise where you feel you cannot straighten your legs. Here are suggestions for the exercises we have learned thus far: THE HUNDRED: You can start by keeping the legs bent at a table top position (knees bent directly over your hip bones with the shins and feet at the same level as the knees forming the table top). Once you feel your stomach being in control and getting stronger, progress to almost straight legs just shy of the ceiling. THE ROLL BACK: Every time you come back up to a seated position, straighten your legs and reach forward to your ankles. Then return to begin the roll back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. This extra stretch will help to limber up your hamstrings.
(Reply to Lisa part 2:) SINGLE LEG CIRCLE: Take your time stretching before beginning the circles and Keep knee slightly bent during the exercise. ROLLING LIKE A BALL: Try to really feel the lower belly pulling in and rounding your lower back so your hip flexors don't take over. SINGLE LEG STRETCH (SLS): When straightening the leg, keep the knee slightly soft and straighten the leg a little lower then the ceiling. DOUBLE LEG STRETCH, SINGLE STRAIGHT LEG, DOUBLE STRAIGHT LEG, CRISS CROSS: Same as SLS. SPINE STRETCH FORWARD: Keep knees slightly bent. I hope that helps! And please keep asking if you have any more questions or if that did not improve your technique:) Monica
Thank you so much for your reply, Monica! I appreciate the insights and will apply them. One more question: What are the markers of "proficiency" that would indicate I'm ready to move to the next class in the series? Is it a function of flexibility and strength or the ability to do the exercises modified with correct powerhouse engagement and acknowledgment?
Great question Lisa! I would say both! One of the best ways to move forward with your Pilates technique is to practice multiple times a week (3-5). Try concentrating on form, precision, flexibility and PH strength for a few sessions while pushing yourself forward with higher level classes 1-2xs a week using flow and your correct PH engagement. Use your instinct and how it feels to your body if you are advancing correctly:) Thanks again! Monica:)
Have really enjoyed working in this series, but do have a concern. Have noticed a pain on the right side about 1-2 inches from the xiphoid process that is reactive to palpation with a sharp and burning sensation. Or on it's own can be a bit painful. Thought it might be GERD and had testing done with negative results. I can definitely connect it to pilates. I am doing the second video in your progression series. Look forward to your thoughts and suggestions.
I just started working out again and discovered the pain came even before doing any rolling up of the head. So with just the leg movement at the beginning of the video. Again on the right side and covers about 3 finger width area of sharp burning type sensation. Certainly hope you have some suggestion because really want to continue with the program.
Hi Marcia, I apologize for taking a week to get back to you. I surely wish I could help you so you can continue with the series! I would strongly suggest you trust your instincts and see if there is any other type of food sensitivity or gut related inflammation. Were you tested solely for GERD? Have you tried getting a blood panel through a recommended naturopath you trust? It seems to me that your body does not enjoy lying flat and then iniciating exercise but since I do not have you in front of me and I am not a medical professional, I can only suggest you see one. I wish you the best and hope to hear from you when you receive a diagnosis for your pain. Blessings, Monica
Thanks so much for getting back to me. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated. I am going to a doctor soon so hope to have some answers. Yes, I had an endoscopy and CT scan done with negative results. I feel like it is in the soft tissue. Will keep you informed.
I have been doing the mat 1 and 2 and i love your videos. It has helped me so much with my posture and alignment. The information that you give at the beginning of each exercise and how you slowly walk us through it keeps me coming back for more. Thank you so much and keep doing your awesome videos.