Fitness and Sport

Pilates: Imagery

By Denise Vidal

In our last blog, we started to assemble our past exercises to create a fuller movement experience. We combined the scapular mobility exercise and the mechanics of the hip joint to work towards a downward dog. In today’s blog, we are going to go one step closer the full downward dog movement.

To review, come into tabletop position on your hands and knees. When you have found a neutral position, take a deep inhale and envision your ribcage expanding underneath your shoulder girdle. When you exhale, envision your abdomen pulling in and lifting up towards your spine. On your next inhale, shift your weight back towards your heels. As you do this, envision your shoulder blades widening and upwardly rotating on your ribcage. At the same time, envision your sitz bones widening and your thigh bones rolling back in the hip socket. In this shifted position, take a deep exhale and engage your abdominal muscles.

If you feel conï¬dent with the above movement, you can attempt the next phase of the exercise.

Sitting back towards your heels take another deep inhale and tuck your toes under. This time as you exhale, you are going to engage your abdominals and ENVISION your knees floating off the floor. Do not actually take your knees off the floor, just visualize the movement. Notice how much more your abdominals need to engage by just imagining the movement? The movement should progress with a deeper abdominal engagement, yet with the same hollowing quality as when your knees are on the floor. Our goal is to eventually take the knees off without hardening and gripping in the abdominals.

Visualizing movement can often be more beneficial than the movement itself. By creating an ideal movement experience in your mind’s eye, you are offering your nervous system a different option, without stressing the system. Try the above visualization exercise for a few weeks. When you feel ready to attempt the actual movement, you’ll be surprised at how effortless it is.

Get help now from a pelvic floor therapist.

Skip to content