Mindfulness participants are encouraged to maintain a ten-minute home practice during the week (e.g. breath awareness, seated breath meditation, body scan). These exercises are provided in the booklet that was handed out in class. Should you be unable to attend a class during the 8-weeks, please follow along the booklet and carryout the home practice exercises that are described.
Pilates participants are also asked to practice exercises in their own time. The list of exercises is as follows:
Week 1. Pelvic tilt against the wall or on the back with knees bent feet on floor. Stand legs hip distance apart; soft bend in the knee; engage inner thighs; sacrum in contact with wall space at lumbar spine; the ribs and shoulders are in contact with the wall; there is a small space between neck and wall. Then slowly tuck the pelvis up and away from the wall and back again. Do this 20 times.
Week 2. Table top abs/powerhouse on back: Legs are 90 stacking knees over the hips; palms press into thighs and thigh press into the palms. Maintain neutral spine at all times.
Week 3. Single leg toe taps on back: with a neutral spine begin to lift the right shin parallel to the ceiling while keeping the inner unit (torso ingratiated). 6-8 reps on the right side, then change to the left.
Week 4. Leg circles on back: starting with a neutral spine press left foot into floor while extending right toes to the ceiling; moving from deep within the hip to make circles while maintaining neutral spine. 6-8 reps clockwise then counter clockwise, then change over to the other leg.
Week 5. Rolling like a ball prep or full- seated upright with low 'c' scoop: chin tucked in pelvic floor lifted begin to rock back and forth; can be a prep of small rocks or full roll on to the back and back in the start position. Stay tucked throughout the whole move.
Week 6.spine stretch forward: sitting upright and tall, legs extended toes pointed to the ceiling; arms extended forward; soft gaze over the fingers. Start with a lower 'c' scoop and articulate up along the spine; begin the chin tucks in toward the chest; then from the base of the pelvis begin to draw up and in towards an upright seated position.
Week 7. Swan prep: turning on to the front body, place hands on top of one another, elbows to each side of mat. Place third eye/ space between eyebrows on top hand. Shoulders slide down and back; hollow out at the belly button lifting it to lumbar spine; tuck tailbone under; lengthen the whole body press tops of feet into mat. Lengthen and lift torso 4-6 times anchoring legs and feet, then anchor torso down and lengthen through the hips to toes to lift them 4-6 times. Note: this posture is not about height but creating space in the spine.
Week 8. Mermaid: seated on right hip, bend knees and stack left knee over right foot over foot. Lift left arm up; side bend to the right centre; then place left hand on ground for support to stretch side body left 4-6 each side, then change to the left hip. The key is to be long and lifted on both sides at all times while stretching the side body hip to armpit and to wrist.