To help improve my posture and bring the things I'm learning from Pilates into the rest of my life, I'm going to try to concentrate on a few things as much as I can. I've put a post-it note on my mirror that says:
Shoulders Back & Down
Naval to Spine
I'm hoping it will remind me to imagine a golden string coming out the top of my head pulling me up straight, to pull my shoulders back and down, to bring my naval to my spine (i.e. suck my gut in) and breathe deep to maximise my lung capacity. I will try to remember those things when I'm working too, as my job as a phlebotomotist involves bending over a lot. Maybe each time I bring a new patient in I will remind myself of those four things. "Pilates for Dummies" also suggests doing a cat stretch every morning which I will definitely do because I really want to stretch and strengthen my upper back. I'm so over having back pain, and I've only had it for a week!
Tonight I started with 5 sun salutations (Surya Namaskara) to warm up and then did the Pre Pilates Fundamentals routine. I did the butterfly stretch intermittently as well as I'm trying to get more flexible in this position (and hopefully work my way up to the splits - one day!) I'm proud to say I can now rest my head on my feet in this pose.
I also did the Warrior I pose and Temple pose. All up I spent about 35 minutes doing these things. It goes quicker than I realised. I thought I'd only done it for 15 minutes until I checked the time!
From doing yoga for only one week and Pilates for two days I swear I can already notice slight differences in tone, especially in my arms. My arm muscles are definitely bigger and it must be from the planks I do in Surya Namaskara. I don't want to get bulky but I really don't see how that can happen from doing yoga and Pilates.
While I was doing the 'C Curve Roll Down Prep' I was noticing as I rolled down that my arms and thighs were really taut so it just shows that Pilates tones your legs and arms as well as strengthening your core.