In 2017 I wrote a few articles for Valley Life magazine focusing on some of the principles of Pilates. Here’s an article I wrote about Balance:
Balance is a fundamental principle in Pilates and crucial in everyday life when performing activities such as sitting, walking, reaching or carrying something as well as in sports activities.
When thinking about balance we often relate it to our ability to orientate ourselves to the space around us, however in Pilates, balance relates to orientating the body in relation to itself as much as to the world around it. Through finding balance and coordination the body can function and move in a much more efficient way. Within Pilates we look at balancing movement through the left and right side of the body, the relationship between equal strength and effort through the front and back lines of the body and synchronizing and organising the upper body in relation to the lower body.
Try this: Stand with both feet on the floor. Notice where your weight is through your feet, are you standing with more weight towards your big toe, your little toe or your heel? Imagine a triangle of support through the foot that spreads the weight between the heel and across the front of the foot. Take a rise, pressing down through the front of the feet and lift your heels off the floor. Keep the weight spread through from the ball of the big toe to the little toe.
Notice what happens in the body as you do this. When the front of the foot is pressing down in to the floor this creates length through the front of the ankles and hips. This downward pressure through the front of the foot has the opposite upward movement effect in the heel, which is going up. When you find good balance in this rise it is due to finding balance not just through the feet but through the whole of the body and finding equal forces and pressure in opposite directions.