Pilates stretch hip opening flow to improve flexibility

Starting position: sitting with the body in its natural alignment engaging the 5 basic Pilates stretch principles. The neck tucked in to the throat, shoulder blades slid down the back, spine in neutral, rib cage on top and far from the hip and breathing through the nose to inhale and mouth to exhale. Please do use a cushion if needs be. The objective is to open the hips and tools such a cushion can be a great help allowing us to straighten the spine. In pilates using tools so that the body can learn it essential.

The soles of the feet together we allow the knees to drop. Holding onto the feet and opening them as if we are reading a book. Inhale we lengthen through the spine showing our collar bones to the opposite wall. On the exhale we fold from the hips lowing the body without lowing the chest or curving the spine. Make sure the chin is down as if it was holding an egg. Repeat this 5 times until we have reached our maximum reach and hold for 5 – 8 breaths. In pilates we engage the breath to relax the muscles allowing the stretch to be extended to our bodies maximum natural potential. Pilates stretch to open all your joints.

We are going to repeat the exercise but this time working deeper into the hips. Starting position as before but this time open the legs straight (or nearly straight if straight is not possible) Again, keeping the back straight and the chest proud inhale lengthening the spine and on the exhale lets fold from the hips. The margin of reach should be less than in the previous exercise. Repeat 5 time and then stay and hold breathing for 5-8 breaths. Keep engaging each of the pilates principles during the exercise to get a safe pilates stretch

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