One of areas of difficulty I regularly observe in my clients is in the shoulders and neck.
Many people are habitually tense in the shoulders. The head is often held forward, out of alignment with the cervical spine. All those hours staring at a smartphone, doing computer work – or slouching starting with the lumbar spine – take their toll.
Muscles at the back of the neck and shoulders tend to become elongated while others at the front get tighter and shortened.
It takes good focus and practice to release and drop the shoulders into a good place, while releasing upwards through the very top of your skull.
Carrying a weight on the crown of the head as many African women do out of necessity for essentials such as water is luckily not asked of us in our privileged lives. But we can learn from how these women move. Imagine you are carrying a basket of roses.
The disciplined shoulder and neck movements of pilates really help to rebalance our elongated and shortened neck muscles. Over time, pilates restores equilibrium.
Where pilates really helps is with getting an ongoing sense of your posture. It is not a quick fix but something that grows and becomes part of your everyday being.