The Original Pilates Book

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TIPS
Here we will be presenting tips and information on the Pilates Method.   Check back with us as we will be offering new tips.

T H E H U N D R E D
Always start with The Hundred to stimulate your circulation and breathing.

Anchoring
1. Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides, palms down.
2. Anchor yourself in place by pressing your spine to the mat. Try to make your navel touch your spine (but donít suck in your stomach or hold your breathóthink of a heavy weight pressing down your middle).

Position
3. Bend your knees and bring them to your chest, pressing your spine closer to the mat. Straighten your legs, keeping them together, to about a right angle with the floor.
4. Chin on chest.
5. With your legs straight and your toes softly pointed, lower your legs until your spine begins to arch off the mat. Stop. Press your spine down, raising your legs slightly if necessary.
6. Lift your hands about six inches off the mat next to your body, palms down, with your arms and wrists straight, reaching away from your shoulders with your fingertips.

Movement
7. Pump your arms up and down rapidly a few inches (toward the ceiling and toward the mat) in short, vigorous motions for five counts.
Continue in groups of five for up to one hundred pumps.

Breathing
Breathe IN for five pumping motions.
OUT for five pumping motions.
If you do a hundred, you will take ten deep breaths.

Hints for Beginners
1. One hundred pumping motions may be tiring at first. Start with twenty (two complete deep breaths) and work up to a hundred by adding five at a time.
2. If your neck muscles get tired, lower your head to the mat for a few pumping motions, then raise it again if you can.
3. If your legs tend to sink as you do The Hundred, raise them higher, instead.
4. Eventually, your toes should be on a line with your eyes. For now, lower them only as far as you can while keeping your spine pressed flat to the mat.

Checkpoints
1. Keep yourself firmly anchored to the mat.
2. Navel to spine.
3. Eyes on your stomach. Watch to make sure it doesnít bulge.
4. Empty your lungs completely with each breath.
5. Donít hunch your shoulders. Reach with your fingertips.


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