I’ve had a couple of people mention to me lately that since starting Pilates they have grown from 1cm to 1.5 inches taller. Initially I laughed at this, but then I happened to re-height myself and guess what? I’ve grown too, one whole centimetre.
It got me thinking. What’s this about?
Pilates helps with alignment and posture. Over time either the principles of neutral alignment become a bit like second nature or you end up with my voice nagging in your head…. “stand up tall with a piece of string pulling you up towards the ceiling, shoulder pulled round and down in your back, pelvis in neutral, core engaged….” So it does make sense that over time, the practise of standing tall whilst using your core can make you taller.
The normal ageing process affects our height, as the disks in the spine lose hydration and elasticity they start to shrink. Sitting at a desk hunched over a computer screen leads to the back becoming stretched, the shoulders and chest tight and the hamstrings shortened. To me this shows how much we need to focus on stretching and on proper alignment. If your muscles are tight and short it leads to pain.
Strengthening the back and stretching the shoulders and chest whilst remembering to lengthen through the neck can correct this and make you taller!