Setting the Pilates alignment
Relaxation position - Lie on your back, feet flat, hip distance apart with your knees bent, ankles, knees, hips are in alignment. The back must be in a neutral position, which maintains the natural curves of the spine.
To set this, make sure that you maintain the natural curve in your lower back without the back being pressed to the floor or tilting the pelvis.
The upper body holds posture without tension, allowing the chest to feel opened up and widened. Your chin should be in alignment with your chest, if necessary support your head with a small flat cushion to maintain this alignment.
Setting of Breath and the deep abdominals
This can be practiced from standing or lying into relaxation position.
Place one hand on the ribcage and the other on the belly. As you breathe in slowly through your nose, allow your ribcage to lift and widen, as you breathe out, softly through the mouth allow the ribcage to soften inwards and start to draw the stomach inwards beneath your hand. Feel the difference between the in breath (belly relaxes) and out breath (belly drawing in). Practice this a few times to become familiar with the feeling of the breathing movements.
Draw the stomach in as much as possible on your next out breath and notice
the tension created. Relax and then repeat. This tension is too restricting
and will need to be brought to about half of the amount of that to start
to work the abdominals correctly and effectively. To remind yourself of
this, imagine you have a waistband or belt around the stomach tightening
This will allow you to start the Pilates breathing control and once you
have practiced the exercises you will become used to judging the amount
of tension and control needed in the deep abdominals to perform each exercise