We continue to practice and refine the Pilates matwork Beginner/Intermediate Series using Alycea Ungaro's text, Pilates, Body in Motion, as a reference.
- The Corkscrew:
- Upper body flat on the mat, arms strong at your sides, and legs positioned at 90 degrees above you, the Corkscrew targets the lower part of the abdominals.
- Move fluidly, as you reach both legs to the right, sweep them down to the center, to the left, and return to the start. Repeat in the opposite direction
- Avoiding muscle tension or gripping in the upper body or thigh muscles. Begin with small circles and increase their size as your stabilization improves.
- The classical method suggests Pilates stance with heels together and toes apart, however a neutral stance works too.
- Keep the lower back on the mat. Circle energetically sweeping the legs around dynamically. The abdominals should never distend. To advance, you may lift the hips on the upswing of each circle, elevating the hips slightly each time. (Ungaro, 84-85)
- The Saw: The Saw stretches the body in a rotated, diagonal position.
- Your waistline works in opposition to your body as you reach forward to "saw" off your little toe.
- To increase flexibility, simply hold your position and breathe deeply, emptying the lungs as you elongate the muscles. (Ungaro, 86-87)