PRECISION BODY TONE GRACE BALANCE CONTROL
Open space in your body.
For people who have mastered the basics of Refined Pilates and, especially, leg alignment. Please look at my blog http://jennycolebourne.com/good-leg-alignment-is-essential-for-everyone/
SPRING AND EQUIPMENT SETTINGS.
Medium Support. On my Wunda Chair, one spring up and one down is good.
The exercise can be done with, as shown in the photos, or without the poles.
The poles afford a very light and subtle support. They are not meant to be leant on!
Stand facing the bar. Place the hands on the handles for a modicum of support. Press the bar down with the toes of the left foot. Mount the bar. Place the right foot, in parallel, on the back edge of the seat of the chair. Softly spread and lengthen the toes. The knee is bent and the knees cap is in a straight line with the space between the first and second toe. The left leg is straight, the toes are spread and are on the bar. The heel is soft. It is in, what dancers call, “demi relevé”. The front of ankle is soft. The foot stays in this position throughout the exercise. The left leg is in parallel.
Think of the bones that form your pelvis and bring your pelvis so that it is centered between the legs. Bring the iliac crests in a line. This will probably involve softening in the hip joints. Make sure the triangle of the pelvis ( the two iliac crests and the front of the pubic bone are in one line. This will usually mean an enlivening of the pelvic floor, the engagement of the deep abdominals and an allowing of the coccyx to be free and hang. The spine in in the second position (see my blog) http://jennycolebourne.com/second-spinal-succession-and-position-for-refined-pilates-and-yoga/ or naturally straight, with the curves present.
The palms of the hands are placed on the top of the handles. They very softly push down for support. Use the support, soften your shoulders and gently widen between the elbows. The collar bone is open.
If you do the exercise without the help of the poles you can extend the arms to the side, or have the left arm forward and the right to the side.
Having the left arm forward reminds you to keep the left hip forward.
It is important to sense the extremities, to feel the toes at all points of the exercise, and their contact with the bar, and the crown of the head actively lengthening upwards.
Feel the air traveling into the back of the lungs. Lengthen the ribs away from the hips to create more space.
Feel the toes on the bar, it is as if an energy rises from there, connect the pelvic floor, in your mind’s eye feel the that energy rising up through your axis and out of the crown of the head. It is as if the crown of the head is being drawn out up to the sky. It almost feels as if you are being pulled upwards and out into space.
Feel the right foot very firmly on the seat of the chair. Feel gravity and press into it (be extremely vigilant about the foot alignment).
Allow the springs to lighten. They help draw you upwards.
Leave the crown of the head where it is and gently and smoothly lower the bar.
Keep the two iliac crests facing front throughout.
You can come up into a balance on one leg (arabesque), on the seat of the chair, either each time, or on the last repetition.