Sweaty Betty Shop Girls, Clam
Well, I'm off to the Lake District tomorrow (Bank Holiday monday) with my group of 12 Pilates students. Some have been on my retreat before and some are new to me. I can't wait to get started on them. We will get there tomorrow afternoon and after a lovely welcome dinner at Miller Howe's top Michelin 3 star restaurant, we start on the first of 4 x 2 hour Pilates classes on tuesday morning. I will tell you more about it when I get back.
In the meantime, you can carry on practicing your Pilates without me. How about a little Clam, or Oyster to tide you over? There are once again many versions of this exercise. Look at Mellie and Laura in the photo below, waiting patiently for my instructions. You can make them out there in the middle of the shop amongst all the clothes and new Fit flops!
Anyway - lying on their side and lined up with the back of the mat. Their shoulder, hip and ankles follow the line. Knee on top of knee. Place an imaginery piece of blue-tac between the knees and squeeze for a moment, activating the gluts.. (bottom)!
Now in position, you are already working. Breath the Pilates breathes, in through the nose and out through the mouth, whilst holding the tummy in at notch 3 of a 10 hole belt. Focus on not allowing the belly to go out and in. Work your core muscles by not allowing them to let go. Try not to lift or move the shoulders as the arm rests down the side line of your body.
The first version, once you have this set up is to very slowly open the blue-tack from between your knees, but DO NOT allow the hips to roll backwards. Imagine I resting my leg against your hips, which are still aligned one on top of the other and as you open your knee, you must NOT lean on me. Try to push away from me with the hips, whilst opening and closing the blue tack. If you are feeling your gluts in this first version, it is correct. THe movement is slow and small and you can even hold the push at the top to enhance the work. "OUCH" if you are doing it properly. It is a deep stretch.
You can go to the second version... if you wish. Separate the heels, with the toes towards each other and open and close the knees (think of the blue tack) as above. You will feel it more than the last version.
There are more versions, but I'll leave you with those for now. Make sure you work BOTH sides evenly. Maybe 12 on each side with a hold for about 6 breathes on the last one if you can bear it.
See you after the Lake District Pilates and Massage retreat.
Next retreat is in Majorca in October and you can read about it on my website as usual. www.sarahpilates.com
Bye for now