Pilates with Julie Regan

PILATES can help flatten your stomach, release tight shoulder and neck muscles, and generally help with ridding you of numerous aches and pains.

If you are a complete novice to Pilates, it can be difficult to know whether you are doing the exercises correctly.

This is why I always advocate starting with a beginner’s course or investing in a 1-to-1 session with a qualified Pilates instructor.

Joseph Pilates’ initial work was for bed-ridden, sick and injured souls.

He realised that working on the very deep muscles that support your spine enabled you to align your joints properly, allowing your vital organs to work to their optimum and hence promote extremely good health.

If you are hunched over in a not-so-great position all day, just think of how this might hamper your lungs to work properly.

This will then not only have an effect on your breathing, but will also make you feel sluggish and inevitably cause backache as your diaphragm becomes tight (because it is attached to your spine) and so the painful chain of bad events goes on.

Should you be interested, I will be running a four-week Pilates course for complete beginners in August in Petworth.

If you would like to learn more about enhancing your posture and gain knowledge of how you can help yourself to get rid of cumbersome aches and pains, then do get in touch.

In the meantime, here is a great exercise to help to boost your energy levels as you open up your chest and allow the oxygen to flow freely through your body.

Lie on your side with palms together and knees bent (foetal position).

Now reach your top hand towards the sky and allow your body to turn as you let the back of your hand touch the floor behind you. Keep your knees together and take a big breath in, feeling your chest begin to stretch.

Bring your hand back to the start and repeat six times on each side.

Email me at julieregan1@btinternet.com or follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/ReganMethod or Twitter @ReganMethod