So much depends on who you are asking! But in the Pilates Garage lately there has been a lot of refinement of what the direction Up means to the body. In our combined knowledge of Pilates, Alexander and from Caroline Feig, our PT and Feldenkreis practitioner, Up means awareness of the body in multiple dimensions and movements.
One thing is clear: Up doesn't pull you down.
Here are three experiments you can play with at home or in the studio:
1. Standing on the floor. Notice if your pelvis is dropped or weighted down on your legs. Ask your legs not to pull down on your pelvis. You could also ask your pelvis to float on your legs.
2. From standing, lift up your heels or releve up onto your toes or the balls of your feet.
(You can place one hand on a wall for balance) How did you come up? Did your pelvis push forward first? What is it to come straight up rather than hanging forward in your lower back or hips? What needs to shift for you to go straight up?
3. Lie prone on the floor. Tuck one set of toes under. Begin to straighten that knee using your low quad muscles just above the knee. Notice if you stay balanced in the pelvis as you straighten or if your pelvis drops and presses down as you extend the knee. What would it be like if the knee extension gave a support up into the hip and all the way up through the top of the spine?
We look forward to exploring all about "Up" in the upcoming workshop.
Workshop: WHAT'S UP? Monday June 6 at 7.30PM
Owner of studio Margi Douglas and senior teacher Theresa Squire will co-teach a 1.5 hour workshop using mats and equipment to help clients explore finding more buoyancy, ease and support from the ground up. Participants will be learning through movement so come prepared to work out and get lighter.