The longer you sit at your desk, the more your posture resembles the curved, compressed arch of a camel’s hump — and the more uncomfortable you feel. Your back stands to suffer long-term misalignment as a result of slumping, while the resulting impaired breathing can lead to chronic muscle tension and drag your energy level down.
With its emphasis on core strength and alignment, Pilates counters these stresses by helping you look — and feel — a little taller. “This particular fitness discipline aims to create stability and freedom through the entire body by targeting the muscle groups that support the spine,” says New York City-based fitness and Pilates instructor James Darling. That includes the muscles deep within the back, abdomen, and pelvis. By focusing equally on strengthening and lengthening, the following Pilates favorites will foster a buoyant support system for your spine, bringing deeper breathing, more energy, and posture that’s both graceful and effortless.
Spine Stretch Forward
What It Does
Creates space between the vertebrae, lengthens the muscles of the back, and reduces lower back pain. Counteracts stress by calming the nervous system.
How to Do It
Sit on the floor with legs straight and spine tall. Drop your chin into your chest and contract your core, as if you’re trying to curl your torso up and over a beach ball. Focus on drawing your center in as opposed to curving your spine. Rest your hands where they fall, and breathe here for 30 seconds to a minute, use your Zen Timer to repeast the process with the “repeat mode”. Slowly roll back up to the starting position. Repeat six times.
adapted from Body + Soul, October 2008
Use our unique “Zen Clock” which functions as a Yoga Timer. It features a long-resonating acoustic chime that brings your meditation or yoga session to a gradual close, preserving the environment of stillness while also acting as an effective time signal. Our Yoga Timer & Clock can be programmed to chime at the end of the meditation or yoga session or periodically throughout the session as a kind of sonic yantra. The beauty and functionality of the Zen Clock/Timer makes it a meditation tool that can actually help you “make time” for meditation in your life. Bring yourself back to balance.
Bowl Gong Timer and Alarm Clock for a Gentle Wake UP
Now & Zen’s Yoga Timer Store
1638 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302