Clinical Pilates is taught at Southside Physiotherapy clinic by chartered Physiotherapists. It is ideal for those recovering from a back or neck injury or for those who want to improve their posture, flexibility and general body awareness. 5 Key elements form the cornerstone of clinical Pilates 1. Head and neck alignment; your forehead should be level with your chin when lying on your back. This can be achieved with the right head support. The amount of support needed depends on the shape of your neck and spine. Some people need little or no support while others need a thick cushion. Engage your core neck muscles by lengthening the base of your skull away from your shoulders. 2. Shoulder and shoulder blade alignment; your shoulder blades are 2 triangular bones that rest either side of you upper spine. Muscle imbalances where some muscles are tight and overactive while other muscles weaken can affect your shoulder blade position. Shrug your shoulders upwards to your ears and then slide them downwards to your feet. Now allow them to rest in a position half way between. Allow your collar bones to widen. 3. Ribcage alignment; in Pilates we try to avoid "rib flaring". This is when your lower ribs tend to slant upwards at the front. Rib flaring causes unnecessary tension in your long spinal muscles. When lying on your back with your knees bent aim to feel your lower ribs at the back making contact with the floor.