As we enter autumn & the weather starts to cool after our amazing summer, I find myself curling my shoulders inward to keep myself warm (perhaps I need to swap to my winter wardrobe) against the cold wind. This hunched position, if not careful, can become habitual, creating tension which can feed into your state of mind.
When the shoulders are hunched, the chest feels crowded & compressed, tension builds which can make you feel slightly uneasy, anxious or mildly depressed. Stretching & opening the chest muscles, broadening the upper back, drawing the collar bones wider, as the yogis say, to open the heart chakra which improves physical & mental well-being. In Pilates world we open the shoulder girdle to encourage better posture for optimal joint placement. This ensures we work the body in good alignment & not build strength on poor alignment patterns. Perhaps it’s time to add the Leg Pull Back exercise from the Pilates classical sequence into my classes or just put on a jumper.