If you’re like me, you have joined the many Pilates instructors who stand with so much “length” through their spine that they’ve lost their thoracic kyphosis. I’ve spent a lot of time doing the standard push through on the tower, hamstring I and III on the chair, knee stretch series and kneeling cat on the trap. Though all of these helped in some way, the biggest release through my thoracic spine came from bridging on the barrel. During our Polestar educator meeting last year, Sherri Betz addressed my constant complaints of feeling stiff in my upper back with a profound stretch over the barrel. She cued me out of my constant rib binding in the front (in an effort to fight the stiffness with some abdominal strength – how naive – don’t I learn anything?!), out of an aggressive chin tuck, and into length and reaching. I BREATHED there, and what do you know? All of a sudden things started releasing. My upper back, shoulder girdle and neck relaxed in a way they hadn’t for very long time. With minimal traction on her part as a wonderful, yummy tactile cue, I felt like I was healed.
I believe in Pilates!
What a wonderful tool we have. Do any of you have any profound experiences in your own bodies that you could share? I witness my clients experiencing these life changing moments every few sessions, and was due for one myself. It works!