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Pilates

tldumont
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Pilates
How do you feel about Pilates exercises?  I've been trying it in the last few months to get relief from minor recurring lower back pain.  It seems to help, but I'm wondering if it conflicts with what your book teaches?  (I've read your book and have been trying to apply the techniques.  I love what I've been able to do so far!) Zoeyb
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The idea of strengthening muscles is great and pilates does that well. Unfortunately, a lot of pilates teachers teach a baseline pelvic position that is either very tucked or slightly tucked pelvis (which they call neutral). This is a big problem and can lead to disc damage over time. I also think many of the basic exercises strain the neck a great deal. It strikes me that Joe Pilates had excellent posture. The transmission seems to have been jagged. I know that there is at least one pilates school out there that agrees with me that most pilates is taught with a problematic pelvic position. I think it is great to have strong musculature, but I think it is important to be able to relax your muscles as a baseline. I like the analogy with lions - plenty strong, but very relaxed when they aren't in action. For yourself do what feels comfortable to your body AND makes sense.
Laurel Eastman
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12/31/2019 - 10:14am

These "roll down" types of exercises in pilates (and yoga) seem to directly contridict the Gokhale Method of hip hinging. I've been skipping them and doing a hip hinge instead and I seem to feel way better.

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I agree with you, that maneuver contradicts what the Gokhale Method teaches and I also agree it is not so great overall for the spine. In the images you are providing, in the sitting "hinge" I would recommend a yoga block or bolster under the bum as our pelvis tends to tuck on a floor. I always sit on a small block or bolster on the floor and have no problem hinging from there keeping my pelvis in antiversion. In standing I totally agree with you in hinging rather than rolling! Our culture tends to curve forward and my question is why would anyone want to cultivate that shape? In hinging, you are also strengthening the rhomboid muscles as soon as you hinge over, all of the upper back, erector spinae and longus colli are included. Just be sure and have the giraffe or wide stance, bean shaped feet and let the pelvis lead the way, when the pelvis stops, you stop :)

Hope that helps, Kathleen King

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