Joseph Pilates said ‘Above all learn to breathe correctly’
In Pilates we breathe laterally, the rib cage opens fully as we breathe into the back and sides of the rib cage, the main reason for this whilst moving we want to remain connected to our centre and trying to keep this connection and breathing into your abdomen effects your ability to keep this strong centre connection.
With most Pilates exercises the greatest effort is on the movement so we use the exhale as we move and the inhale to hold and adjust our alignment and prepare for the next movement.
Stress is one of the biggest negative factors on our modern-day life, it effects most people at some point and effects your physical and mental wellbeing. The World Health Organisation in 2012 predicted that stress and anxiety would be the number 2 health burden globally by 2020 I am guessing with COVID-19 this may have come true!
Pilates breathing and being mindful of taking time for YOURSELF is going to help counterbalance stress.
Pilates Breathing Technique:
- Standing or lying down. Place your hands on the sides of your ribs take an inhale through your nose for roughly 5 seconds
- Feel your back and sides expand into your hands, if you feel your shoulders rise you are breathing too shallow
- As you exhale try and make your exhale last for 7 seconds, to expel all the air from your lungs and get a natural deep in breath next time
- It should be natural and not forced and takes some practise!
Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.
- It works your whole body, not isolated muscle groups, this is how your body is designed to move and therefore strengthens the deep postural muscles as well as the global muscles on the surface
- Because all the muscles and connective tissues are constantly working with just the right amount of support and force required, there isn’t a lot of downtime so you will burn calories whilst seemingly not working up too much of a sweat
- Pilates improves your posture; good posture is the foundation to good movement.
- Joseph Pilates was adamant that Pilates was “the complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.” When you practise Pilates, your whole attention should be on the move, bringing a wonderful connection between your body and mind.
- Pilates gives you more energy – by focusing on breathing you move the air around you body waking up your circulation system making you feel energised
Try this 30 minute Pilates stretch routine to unwind your body.