Contributed by Liza Borja, Pilates Encore
Last weekend I was at a beach barbecue when Kelly’s mom kindly said, “Liza, you need to come to terms with the fact that you’re short and wearing heels isn’t fooling anyone.” I laughed as I slipped off my 4-inch wedges; yes, I was wearing heels at the beach. I’m 5’2, and I’m always the shortest amongst my friends (except when I’m hanging out with their kids!). Heels are always on my feet, except when I’m teaching or running around town–even my flip-flops have wedges! Though being tall is something that cannot be entirely faked, one thing that I’m certain gives me the illusion of added height is my posture. Thanks to Pilates, improved posture not only gives the appearance of tallness, but it also affects the muscles and the body’s internal organs.
At the studio, we spend a lot of time working on symmetry by engaging movements that work not only the left and right side of the body, but also to the front and back. Pilates corrects many postural problems, which in turn helps to reduce pain in joints associated with the neck, shoulders and low back. Here’s a checklist to evaluate how you stand up:
- Head is stacked directly on top of neck with the middle of the ear over the tip of shoulder
- Shoulders are level — not excessively elevated or rolled forward
- Ribcage is stacked directly over pelvis
- Hips are level and stacked below shoulders
- The front of the hip bones are stacked directly over the pubic bones
- Knee joints are vertical
- Ankles are centered below hips
An erect carriage has a slimming effect, making you appear taller! It also conveys a lot about your attitude and confidence. An added bonus: it even makes your clothes fit better!
If you want to get great posture like me (I actually regained 3/4 of an inch in height at 39 because of Pilates), give Pilates Encore a call at (714) 288-1168 for private lessons or duets with a friend. She’s fabulous!! -Kelly