Pilates exercises have a long history of being practiced in bed.
The origin of exercises and equipment in the work Joseph Pilates did occurred in and around bed as we know he helped to rehabilitate fellow detainees on the Isle of Man in WWI and injured soldiers after the war.
Many of the principles can be practiced in bed upon waking-up or if ill or injured or to calm oneself down.
Done dynamically, they wake up your circulation and nervous system after a long night’s sleep.
On your back, lengthen your arms and legs, your back and neck, and take control of your breathing. Feel the ribs expand sideways as you inhale, counting slowly for five seconds until your lungs are full. Exhale evenly, closing the ribs and pulling the abdomen in, squeezing out all the air. Repeat this nine more times.
Pilates Tendon Stretch Exercise Adapted for Bed
Bring your heels together and push your heels away as you stretch your toes toward your head for three seconds. Then point the toes away from you. Repeat nine more times.
Pilates Double Leg Stretch Exercise Adapted for Bed
Bring both knees into your chest and hold onto your ankles, stretching your lower back. Hold the position for ten long, deep breaths — pulling in the abdomen on the exhale to massage the inner digestive organs and to release the gas from the intestines.
Pilates Single Leg Circle Exercise Adapted for Bed
Raise your right leg straight up. If you can, hold the toes with both hands. If you cannot hold your toes, hold onto your calf or thigh and reach your heel to the ceiling. Lengthen the left leg away from you. Hold this position for the ten count breath. Release your hands, and place your arms and hands long by your sides. Make ten small circles in each direction with your extended leg to hydrate the hip joint. Repeat on the other side.
Pelvic Tilt Exercise
Bend your knees and have your feet on the bed hip distance. Curl your pelvis towards your ribs, squeeze your buttocks, and lift your lower body for a count of five seconds. Slowly lower your back down to a count of five seconds, imprinting the spine into the mattress. Repeat nine times.
Hip Opening Exercise
Bring the soles of your feet together as close to your torso as you can, and let your knees open up. Rest there and breathe deeply. Picture your breath circulating through each muscle of your body, waking up to prepare you for the day ahead!
Written by: Stephanie Mullinos (instructor @ My Pilates, Dunkeld West Studio)