Pilates spinal rotation stretches to lengthen and unblock the spine
Laying on your back rest hug the knees into a ball and rock from side to side to warm up the spine. Elbows out to stop the rocking becoming a roll onto ones side. You can take the cushion and place it on the floor to the right or left of the body at hip height depending on the direction we will stretch. Place the feet on the ground with the knees bent and cross the right leg over the left. Down both knees down to the left until the right foot rests on the cushion. Stay here for between 1- 2 minutes, each breath allowing the left knee to float down to the ground, allow gravity to help, use the pilates breathing to help lower the knee. Please be aware of the shoulder blades. The top half of the body ought to be relaxed and facing up toward the ceiling, both shoulder blades on the floor, chin tucked into the throat. Change to stretch the other side.
From lower spinal and hip stretch to spinal rotation
Lying sideways on a mat, hips and knees bent, knees squeezed together in order to keep the hips straight and the pelvis in neutral. In pilates we aim to work in neutral where possible. Upper body active (there should be a little gap between the floor and the waist) Both arms reaching forward, straight palms together as if we are praying (Place a pillow under head to make neck more comfortable). On the inhale reach the top arm up to the celling. At the top fix the arm into the socket and the shoulder blades down the back. Without moving the hips lower the arm and shoulder blade down at the same time permitting the upper torso to rotate and front of chest to open and face ceiling. Follow hand with eyes. If you neck aches stop following the hand with the eyes. Inhale rotate the body bringing the arm back up to the celling and on the exhale place the arm back onto the hand still waiting on the floor. The pelvis is in neutral during the whole of this exercise.
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