For those of you just joining in, we’re taking Baby Steps to Balanced Living here on the blog this month.
Daily Exercises For a Healthy Spine
If you haven’t read Return To Life Through Contrology by Joseph Pilates I highly recommend it. It’s a fascinating read. He explains his method and reasonings for creating the Pilates method in a way that is truly enlightening. And so much of what he said back then is even more pertinent in today’s society.
Before proceeding, we must speak of the spinal column with which are associated practically all the major activities of our body. The spine is composed of 26 vertebrae. Each vertebra is separated from the other by intervertebral cartilage. This cartilage acts as a cushion to absorb the shock of sudden jars, reduces friction to a minimum, and gives the spine it’s characteristic flexibility, thus permitting it to function even more freely.
The science of Contrology (Pilates) disproves that prevalent and all-to-trite saying, “you’re only as old as you feel.”
The art of Contrology (Pilates) proves that the only real guide to your true age lies not in years or how you THINK you feel but as you ACTUALLY are as infallibly indicated by the degree of natural and normal flexibility enjoyed by your spine throughout life.
If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.” -Joseph Pilates
Pilates is essentially exercise for a healthy spine.
If you sit at a computer for much of the day it’s absolutely imperative that you exercise your spine to avoid permanent and long term damage.
Thankfully there are little things you can do that will help you maintain a healthy spine.
Try incorporating these 2 Pilates exercises into your daily routine:
Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Align your feet so they are sit bone distance apart. Rest your arms by your side.
Start by flattening your lower back into the mat and then sequentially rolling your spine up into a bridged position one vertebra at a time.
You should end in a straight-line from shoulder to knee.
Slowly soften your chest and roll your way back down.
Repeat 5 times.
Stand with your feet sit bone distance apart. Take an inhale. As you exhale, nod your chin to your chest and slowly roll forward allowing your upper body to hang over your lower body.
Keep your knees slightly bent and let the weight of your head stretch out your spine.
Draw your belly button in and slowly stack your spine back up to standing, one vertebra at a time.
Repeat 3 times.
Give these a try and let me know how it goes!