Erika Bloom is the founder and owner of Erika Bloom Pilates, a luxury holistic fitness brand tailored to the individual experience.
A former professional dancer, she has been teaching pilates in New York City for over fifteen years and in 2002 she set up her namesake brand. Over this time she has built up a long list of devoted clientele tuning into her holistic wellness, helping them to feel and look their best.
We’re living in particularly stressful times at the moment so Erika shows us four moves to calm the body and the mind.
Legs Up the Wall: Legs up the wall is a gentle inversion that incites relaxation through a shift in circulation and by allowing the muscles of fight, flight, and freeze, especially the diaphragm and psoas, to let go. Resting in this pose allows one to deepen the breath while releasing tension in the body. Lie on your back and slide your sitz bones as close to a wall as possible. If you have a bolster, blanket, or yoga block, place it under your sacrum. Reach your legs up the wall, rest your heels against it, and allow your legs to softly balance over your hips. Take deep, slow breaths. Hold for several minutes or up to 15 minutes.
Pontoon (Hip Opening Savasana): Pontoon opens the fascia of the front of the hips and the belly. It releases holding in the psoas, the hip flexors, and the fascia of the organs and diaphragm. These areas become tight when we embody stress and when we sit for long periods of time. Lie on your back and place a roller, bolster, yoga block, or blanket under your pelvis. Allow your legs to fully extend and relax. Soften your ribs back. Breathe deeply. Hold this pose for several minutes.
Articulated Bridge: Articulated bridge is a flowing Pilates exercise that opens the spine, the back diaphragm, and stimulates the organs. Begin on your back with your knees bent and your feet sitz bone width apart. Press into the feet as you exhale and curl your spine up one vertebra at a time. Inhale to lengthen then exhale to roll back down vertebra by vertebra. Think of softening your front body into your back body as you roll up and down. Perform 5-10 reps.
Double Leg Kick: Double Leg Kick opens the heart center, stretching the fascia of the sternum, the chest, the arms, the belly and the hip flexors while working the back body. It counters tension and statis that causes us to round and collapse into bad posture. Lie on your belly with your legs extended. Clasp your hands behind your back with your elbows bent. Inhale to reach back through your arms as you lift your head and chest and lengthen through your legs. Exhale to lower your upper body, re-bend your elbows, and bend your knees to bring your heels to your sitz bones like you are kicking your butt. Reach and lift everything back out to repeat for 5 to 10 reps.