“Above all, learn how to breathe correctly” Joseph Pilates
Why do we cue breath in every exercise during your Pilates practice? Pilates is governed by six fundamental principles – concentration, control, centering, flowing movement, precision and breathing.
“Breathing is the first act of life, and the last”: Joseph Pilates
If you aren’t breathing, you aren’t alive. Movement facilitates breath, breath facilitates movement. Movement animates life and breath eliminates fatigue. 90 per cent of Pilates is breath. All too often, people do not breathe correctly.
Breathing correctly will make your Pilates practice more productive. Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are a part of every Pilates exercise. Joseph Pilates continually emphasized that students should use very full, deep breaths. He spoke of complete exhalation as the key to full inhalation. “Squeeze out the lungs as you would wring a wet towel dry”, he is reputed to have said. Breathing in a conducive manner not only oxygenates the muscles, but also reduces tension in the upper neck and shoulders.
What then is the correct way to breathe? Pilates breathing is described as a ‘posterior lateral breathing’. That may be difficult for the regular pilates student/client to understand. This is why we use specific cues to help achieve Pilates breathing.
Some of the cues we use in Pilates to ensure correct breathing are:
As you inhale, widen through the sides of your ribs and deep to the mat. As you inhale, expand your back to the mat.
As you exhale, slide your shoulder blades towards your pelvis.
As you exhale, let gravity soften around the sternum.
The next time you practice Pilates, try to focus on the simple act of breathing. You will be surprised by the stability and core strength you will achieve with correct breathing. Better breath means more energy, which means a better quality of life.
“Above all, learn how to breathe correctly”: Joseph Pilates
Inhale good energy, exhale negativity – Nikita Chugani, PMA®-CPT