(1) Learning Pilates from other than a real live instructor is not easy,
and does carry some slight risks. You should (in addition to these notes)
attend a course of certified Pilates mat sessions.
This is the safest way to learn, and it's also a lot of fun!
(2) Please ensure that you are competent in "Pilates Contrology".
(free pdf e-book).
Setup for Rest Position:
Action for Rest Position.
- From the "table top" position (knees slightly apart, or just wider than your
hips), scoop your abs, anchor your shoulder blades to your ribes, and sit back on your heels.
- Lengthen your arms over your head.
- Scoop deep, and breathe normally for 3 breathes.
- Take the opportunity to check your alignment, and to experiment with using the position to stretch your buttocks,
and the muscles around your shoulder joints.
Diagram: Alternative rest position for if you have DDH (see "Modifications").
(Classical Pilates Cueing: The Rest Position, Scroll right>>>...)
Classical Pilates for Beginners:
The Rest Position
Level: Beginner, Repetitions: 1 - (three breathes)
The The Swan/neck roll-
(In classical Pilates Exercise, The Swan/Neck Roll preceeds the Rest Position).
The Shoulder Bridge-Prep.
Roll over onto your back with knees bent and feet about 9 inches away from your hips...
Classic Pilates Cueing:
- Breathe into the sides of your ribs and upper back!
Classical Pilates Technique: The Rest Position, © Bruce Thomson, EasyVigour Project
- Stretches the gluteal muscles and thus "makes space" behind the hip joint - corrects any tendency for the
femoral head to move forward in its socket.
- Stretches the lower back & around the sacrum.
- Can be used as a stretch for the shoulder joints and/or the upper back.
- Stretches the shin muscles.
Don't let an injury or weakness stop you!
There is always a modification. Take your time and find the right one for you.
If in doubt, seek advice!
- Keep feet, knees and buttocks in aligment (diagram to right gives an example of
poor aligment due to tightness in the left buttock).
- Work the "powerhouse" and keep the shoulder points back and shoulder blades down.
- Hip replacements - do not sit back, but remain in the table top position - (check with your surgeon!).
- DDH - Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips with symptoms of hip pain -
perform this exercise with knees apart.
- Pain in groin or knee, rock back as far as pain alows, hold and relax.