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Re-Defining Core: Is Your "Powerhouse" Partnering or Fighting with Gravity?


Updated February 04, 2013

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Lower Core Awareness Exercise - Toe Sitting
Re-Defining Core: Is Your "Powerhouse" Partnering or Fighting with Gravity?

Heather Hopkins shows Toe Sitting with mat under thighs and ball of foot. Toe sitting on the reformer. Example of how toe sitting relates to Pilates exercises.

(c)2012, Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, licensed to About.com

Area of Body: Helix/Dome of each Foot to Pelvis.

In the Lower Core we can ask the question: "How does opening and releasing the tension in my feet allow the flexion and extension patterns in my body to balance, recalibrating my spinal curves?"

The foot has a double function: it is an adaptive structure that transmits weight from the body (above), along with the irregularities from the ground (below); it is also a supportive structure responsible for our quality of movement in all activities. Feet are mirrors for the rest of the body. Tension in the feet translates as tension in the body. If there is weakness in the feet, there is weakness in the body. Waking up intrinsic support is key.

Exploration: Energizing the Helix/Domes of your Feet in TOE SITTING
This primal posture recalibrates the spinal curves and opens your feet for internal lift from foot to head

  • Can you release into gravity's support "Down the Back" from the waterfall of the shoulder blades, sitting bones, tailbone, to the tripod of the feet.
  • When you give yourself enough support to rest down on your heels, you will feel an internal lift naturally happening "Up the Front" - inner ankle, inner thigh, internal belly along the front of the spine to the inner ear.
  • Discovering this interrelationship empowers a deeper understanding of "opposition" from foot to head and hand, freeing the hips and legs for movement.
Think “Down the Back” and “Up the Front”. Let the spine drag. Picture it extended like a dinosaur’s tail, but keep the front wall of the body up. The spine travels the whole length of the back, while the whole front of the body is suspended from the spine and head, directly and indirectly, through connecting bone, muscle and other soft tissues.
– Mabel E. Todd, The Thinking Body, 1937

Next, Central Core

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