I believe a postural analysis is important when starting Pilates to equip your Instructor(s) with the information to create a tailored practice for you! The practice will based on what we uncover during your postural analysis (may include injuries, weakness, poor posture, lack of range of movement, muscular imbalances) or other physical goals that have led you to Pilates.
There is a lot of information which can be gathered through the observation of one’s physical structure.
It's important to note: No one individual is perfectly symmetrical. Each of our unique deviations from a “neutral” alignment are important in understanding how we move and ways we may be compensating. These compensations may be the cause of current or future injury or result of previous injury.
How Is A Postural Analysis Performed?
It is performed by observing your posture from the front, side and behind, particularly looking at the spinal curves, ribcage and pelvic alignment.
Lower limb and foot alignment will also be observed observed to see whether the distribution of weight is aligned through the centre of the hip, knee and ankle joints or deviates which places greater load on the joint structures and requires more muscular tension. The way your shoulder blades are positioned and arms hang (usually asymmetrical depending on your dominant side) is also observed. The way you hold your head, whether neutral or with a forward or retracted head posture, shifted laterally or strained by muscle bulk/lack. Muscular development is overfed as well, and whether one side is built more than the other, again indicating imbalance and less than optimal functional movement patterns.
We gather this information and structure exercises that address your imbalances and deviations from the optimal posture which our skeletal system is designed to balance. Our bodies are tensegrity structures, whereby optimal joint alignment and muscular balance allows for the greatest functional movement capacity with minimum effort. Therefore, our aim is to use specific exercises to improve and enhance your functional ability through strength, flexibility, and coordination.
Thank you to the - Art of Pilates Blog for creating a wonderful explanation!