Shortly after I started doing Pilates I was writing a letter at the kitchen table and I noticed that my shoulders were up by my ears. As I slowly released them I felt the power of my shoulder blades sliding down my back, and, as it turns out, strengthening my core. I’ve since been in workshops where we have done exercises designed to increase awareness of where we carry our strength and where strength can “leak away” from the powerhouse.
One exercise that I find very helpful is to sit comfortably and shrug your shoulders three times. On the third shrug let your shoulders gently float down to a quiet rest. That’s a pretty good indicator of where they should be during your Pilates workout (and when you’re writing letters at the kitchen table).
Now you’ve taken a very important step in downloading your upper body strength to your core. The next time you’re stressed, take a “Shrug Break” and reconnect the power of your upper body with your powerhouse.