If you live in NYC like me chances are your apartment is the size of a postage stamp! Recently a friend of mine on Twitter told me she hadn’t been doing Pilates because she had no room in her tiny abode. Nonsense!!!! You can easily do Pilates right where you lay your head with extra benefits! I’m calling it Pillow-lates!
The softness of your bed creates even more resistance and puts you deeper in your “powerhouse” or core. Any of the Pilates repertoire can be done above the covers but here’s a 5 minute routine you can do to get you started!
Start lying on your back. Bend your knees into your chest. Curl your upper body off the pillow. Stretch your legs out 45 degrees and begin pumping your straight arms up and down, beating your wings like an angry bird. Inhale for 5 counts. Exhale for 5 counts. 10 sets of this make 100. Keep your eyes focused on your abdominals pulling your abs in and up the whole time.
The Half Roll-back:
Begin seated with your feet flat on the bed, legs together, knees bent at a 45 degree angle. Place your hands behind your knee creases and tilt your tailbone under, to the back of your knees. Start to round your lowest vertebras toward the mat behind you as you straighten your arms, without moving your hands. Keep your gaze on your abdominals and pull them in and up. Round back forward keeping your tailbone tucked under and your abdominals pulled in tightly. Repeat 5 times concentrating on leading with your lower back and not your shoulders.
Rolling like a ball:
After your last half roll-back, sit forward on the bed so you have plenty of room behind you. Begin just like the half-roll back, this time lifting your feet off the mat once you’ve rounded your lower spine. Dive your head between your knees and make sure you are behind your sit bones. Pulling back in your abdominals roll this ball shape back and then back up with minimum momentum. Make sure your feet don’t touch the sheets when you come back up. If you can’t roll with a rounded spine, practice just the balance.
Partial Ab Series:
After rolling like a ball, lie back down and bend your knees into your chest. Curl your upper body up off the mat and look into your abdominals.
Single leg Stretch: Place both hands on your right knee, pull it into your chest as you stretch your left leg out on a 45 degree angle. Switch. 6 sets.
Double leg Stretch: Pull both knees into your chest, head off the mat. Stretch both legs out 45 degrees as you reach your arms long by your side. Inhale, then as you exhale return to your beginning position by bending you knees back into your chest. 6 sets.
Scissors: Knees into your chest again, head off the mat- extend both legs up to the ceiling placing both hands behind your straight right leg. Lower your left leg to 45 degrees. With both legs straight, switch them or scissor them back and forth grabbing behind each leg and pulling gently. 6 sets
Cat and Cow: Finish this basic routine by coming up to your hands and knees. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. As you inhale, arch your back, lifting your chest forward and your tailbone back. Exhale and round your spine looking into your abs curling your tailbone under. 5 sets and finish the last one by sitting your sits bones back to your heels and rounding your spine like a yoga child’s pose.
Want to get the full experience of Pilates? Visit FORM Pilates NYC for a customized Pilates workout that includes working on the apparatus in a private boutique environment. Get started for just $250 here. Don’t live close enough to visit. Grab our Beginner Mat DVD for the studio experience right in the comfort of your home.