RELAXATION. Take a few minutes at the start of the class to release unwanted tension from your body. Try to park up the stresses of the day at the door and focus on emptying your mind.
CONCENTRATION. Clear your mind. Focus on your body. Concentrate on each and every movement and feel aware of your body.
ALIGNMENT. Use your concentration to ensure that you are correctly placed for the exercise. Be aware of your spine, and keeping all limbs in a good postural alignment. Always aim to work from a neutral position.
BREATHING. Use lateral breathing. This is breathing into the ribs. Breathe in wide and full into the ribcage, sides and back. As you breathe out, allow your ribs to close down and your breastbone to soften. Breathe in to prepare for the exercise and feel your spine lengthen. Breathe out as you go into the exercise (start to move), keeping your core and pelvic floor engaged. When you breathe in at the rest phase, remain “engaged” or “zipped up and pulled in”.
CENTRING. As you breathe out, zip up from the pelvic floor and hollow the abdominals back to your spine. Think of pulling your tummy button back towards your spine and taking the surrounding muscles with it. Maintain the strong centre as you move and as you breathe in. Ensure a strong centre before you progress into the exercise.
CO-ORDINATION. Co-ordinate your alignment, your breathing and your centring with your movements. Practise on simple exercises and progress to sequences.
FLOWING MOVEMENTS. Control your movements, lengthening away from a strong centre. Move without strain or stress, keeping the rhythm of the exercise. Aim to feel weightless in the limbs with a smooth flow.
STAMINA. Challenge your stability to improve endurance and build your stamina slowly. Resist the temptation to move onto difficult exercises too soon.