Much like Yoga, Pilates can
help you connect to your
body through movement.
Stretch the arms up over your head opposing the length and reach of the fingertips by pulling the shoulders down
the back towards the waist at the same
time. Simultaneously stretch the legs out
straight at an angle keeping the spine on
the mat. Engage the gluteal muscles and
squeeze the heels to one another.
Press the arms down alongside the body.
Pull the legs and the arms in to hug the
legs and exhale fully.
Repeat five to eight times. Finish hugging
the knees to the chest, and rest the head
back on the mat.
This exercise is one example of how we
use the straight spine in Pilates. This can
help with all of the Yoga poses that re-
quire strength upon standing and balanc-
ing. In this move, the leg that remains
placed on the ground is the working
leg. Here you can push through the heel
of the leg that stays still as if you were
standing on the leg. All of the fundamen-
tal asanas from Utthita Hasta Padangust-
hasan to Arda Badda Padmottanasana
can benefit from the Side Kick practiced
with support from the floor.