Centring in Pilates is all to do with the engagement of the core muscles. These muscles are those that are located between the lower ribs and pubic bone. As you learn to engage (and release) these muscles you will be able to actively create a stable base from which to move.
Pilates is a mental as well as physical practice and the principle for centring can also apply to the mind. To fully benefit from the exercises, you really need to be 100% present. So, the first couple of exercises in any class are aimed at bringing you mind into the “room” to connect with your body, work out what it feels like today.
Did you know that 80% of the adult population will experiences lower back pain at some point in their lives? I didn’t until I took a course all about Low Back Pain [more on that in later weeks]. 80% that’s high, most of the causes are due to people twisting or reaching awkwardly. Or even just sitting in an unsupported way. You’ve deviated I hear you say – not really. Our core is what we use to support us even when sitting and we’ve all been doing far more of that in recent months.
Have a look at yourself now – are you using your core to support you? [I’ve just sat up a bit taller ?]