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I love this time of year! There is a certain excitement in the air – everyone seems to be rushing around with a sense of purpose, an urgency to get things done in time for the holidays when they can finally sit down and relax with family and friends.


I love the aromas associated with this time of year – especially cinnamon and apple spice! I love the sense of accomplishment felt when the tree is up and decorated. And the relief when all the presents are bought, wrapped and placed under the tree.


This hustle and bustle can however elevate out stress levels and make us more absent-minded. Caught up in this whirlwind of things to do, places to go, people to see, we might inadvertently become complacent.


Rushing around doing errands, we are less mindful of our surroundings. Have you noticed that there are more car accidents and petty thefts during this time of year? Be smart, be safe. Pay more attention when you drive, pay more attention to your personal belongings when out and about. And most importantly, don’t forget to breathe.


Joseph Pilates said


“Above all, learn how to breathe correctly.”


“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it. Since we cannot live without breathing it is tragically deplorable to contemplate the millions and millions who have never mastered the art of correct breathing.”


”You must squeeze every atom of impure air from lungs until they are almost as free of air as a vacuum”.


“Lazy breathing converts the lungs, literally and figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying and dead germs as well as supplying an ideal haven for the multiplication of other harmful germs.”


“The lungs cannot be completely deflated at first without considerable effort. With perseverance, however, the desired results can be accomplished and with increasing power, gradually and progressively develop the lungs to their maximum capacity.”


In the book ‘The Pilates Path to Health’, author Gary Calderone writes:


“Full and thorough inhalation and exhalation are a part of every Pilates exercise. Pilates breathing brings insight to qualities of attention like concentration, control, and precision which create a pathway to find a natural breath. Today, allowing the body to breathe in a conducive manner, practitioners assert, not only oxygenates the muscles, but also reduces tension in the upper neck and shoulders.”


So, my advice to you during this busy holiday season is “Keep Calm and Do Pilates!” Wishing you a happy, healthy, stress-free holiday season,

Nikita Chugani, PMA®-CPT


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