At Pilates Integration Mind. Body. Spirit. we will educate you on how to restore your pelvis and spine back towards it's natural "blue-print" design, and then help you isolate and engage the correct stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine (lower back) in either a neutral or an imprinted position. STOTT® PILATES emphasizes stabilization of the pelvis and lumbar spine (lower back) in either a neutral or an imprinted position throughout all of the movement patterns.
You will be clearly coached at all times whether you are in neutral or imprint throughout your pilates practice. The pelvic girdle holds the largest percentage of the body’s weight load and responds directly to the function of the four major load joint; therefore, it is important to grasp the idea of stability and mobility in this region.
1. Neutral Placement: Maintains the normal curve of the lower back. This is the most stable and shock-absorbing position that we can put our pelvis and lumbar spine in; therefore, it is the ideal position for us to be in, not only in pilates class but also in our daily life. When lying on your back, front of hip bones and pubic bone should lie almost parallel to the mat, and your lower back should not be pressed into the mat. This is the most stable and optimal shock-absorbing position for your back.Y ou will see a slight curve in the low back, this is normal. Our natural anatomical "blue-print" design has a slight curve in the lumbar region.
2. Imprinted Position: This pelvic placement is often used at the start of a pilates practice to ensure stability of the pelvis and lumbar spine region if neutral position cannot be maintained. This position is also great for stabilizing weak abdominal obliques, with neutral being the ideal placement goal.
The lower back is moving toward the mat as the rib cage and pelvis move closer toward one another. You will be taught how to avoid pressing your lower back all the way into the mat or tilting the pelvis too far by overusing the abs or glutes. You will also be taught to know where your personal spacing is between the lumbar spine and the floor as the amount of contact between the lower back and the mat is different for everyone.
The key is not to jam the low back into the floor; but rather lengthen it almost parallel to the floor through the proper engagement of the core musculature.