Having a mixed vocabulary between yoga, spinning, pilates etc. I integrate the latter and apply it into the others as they apply. Whenever I teach Spin classes I always have riders asking me about their alignment and here’s one method I use to help their bio mechanical set up.
I operate very similarly when it comes to any Yoga or Pilates discipline as there are many principals and elements which are able to enhance each other when utilized to their best! The gifts that are from these 3 and multi faceted methods/lineages is priceless. Whether it’s anatomically, energetically, spiritually or indescribable… being able to help educate other people in their overall embodied alignment and nervous system is a true blessing.
I begin with the ground up as we learn foundation is key and this means breaking down the lines and joints of the lower & upper body :). I find when I describe the anatomical skeletal body to students as the primary 3 joints (Ankle, Knee, Hip) then 4 corners “rectangle” (hip points & shoulder heads), the 3 primary upper body joints (shoulder, elbow, wrist) and the stacking of head over the neck- there’s an ability to deconstruct it overall.
Further more, I correlate the alignment on the bike as if you are doing downward dog in the upper body and chair pose in the lower body, like a thunderbolt shape. This allows the joints to be stacked, stabilized and neutral, it bring the hips back in the saddle and tips the pelvis anteriorally (forward) which helps the pelvic floor lift tone and gather. This now weaves into bandhas from yoga and depending on ones background- UPAs from Anusara yoga.
Then the breath comes from the nose and I use Pilates based posterior lateral ribcage as the focal point. With the diaphragm able to fully complete it’s cycle, I enforce a more in/out and equal 5 count breath cycle as I’ve been learning most lately in my studies. When the adrenaline is escalating it can be challenging to keep a neutrality or homeostasis in the total body, hence when there is the INTERNAL as primary focus, one’s spirit, heart and soul energy can flow through the living beings they are!
I continue to thread my background of mental health and mindfulness into my own practice and it’s from these tools in which I’ve experienced transformation in my life in all forms. Like anything else this is just an approach, not saying it’s right or wrong, but it has certainly worked for me with my spin/yoga/pilates practice as a student & teacher 😎.
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