By June Scharff
As you move forward in your Pilates classes you may hear the instructor refer to lines of energy. Lines of energy are a visual aid used to help the mind tell the body to work in ways that are subtle yet very much there. These lines of energy are also consistent throughout the work.
This is how it works: A line of energy moves in a direction and continues to move into infinity. You never want to feel like you are directing a line of energy to a specific destination. The head for example, you would not direct the line of energy to the head; you would direct the energy in the direction of the head, and into infinity. A line of energy never stops; it is continuous.
Here are some basic lines of energy:
The front of the torso: The line of energy moves from the pelvic floor toward the head. The image is of the energy and the muscles in that area moving beyond the head into infinity.
The back of the torso: The line of energy moves from the sacrum toward the head. You will not notice as much going on with this one, but it is extremely helpful in exercises with the shoulders off the mat.
The back side of body from hips to feet: The line of energy moves from sits bones to heels. Using this line of energy while using the front line of energy from pelvis to head will provide pelvic lumbar stability and balance.
The sides of the body: The line of energy moves from under the armpits toward the feet.
The Lower center of the body: From the feet to the pelvis you want to feel as if your inner legs are reaching toward each other without the legs moving.
The Upper center of the body: The energy becomes more of Kegel squeeze starting at the Pelvic floor; the image of the squeeze continues toward the head, and into infinity.
A side note: You may have noticed I did not use the terminology “up or down”. Sometimes we are upside down as in a standing roll down, and the line of energy still goes toward the head in the front and back of the torso.
There are other types of lines of energy, but these are the basics. I love the line of energy imagery because it helps us to engage using our muscles without gripping and forcing them. To me it helps to give us a bridge from focusing mainly on one muscle group to being able to engage all of the muscle groups at the same time. When they learn to work together, your tasks will take much less effort. At that point, you will say…”Ah, how cool!".