I used to be a heels addict. I seriously lived in them.Being married to a man who is over 6 foot meant I pretty much had to in order to get to a sensible height beside him. I found heels themselves quite comfortable but when in flats for too long I always got back ache…. now I know why and what I was doing to my pelvis and hamstrings – they were TIGHT!
So after giving birth to a small one and then launching into a Pilates business I have had no time to wear my heels and little need for them. I know now why… it’s not just the fact that I am either chasing a toddler around the place, crawling on my hands and knees or barefoot in the studio…… Pilates itself has stretched me. I’ve literally grown 4cm! Yes really. I was dubious and made the nurse check 4 times, however I’ve been trained in taking heights and she was doing it perfectly. I’ve gone from 164cm to 168cm in 2 years.
Suddenly I can see why I feel comfortable without my heels. It’s certainly not the main reason most people would take up Pilates but it is a good by-product if you want a little extra height 🙂
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!