Focusing on your Pilates and breathing can help to release tension and relax your body. Bringing focus to your breath and posture can help to re-connect your mind with your body. Sitting and focusing on your breath can be quite relaxing and calming. If you are relaxed when you exercise, there is less chance that you will injure yourself.
Most of us do not breathe correctly in our every day lives. Breathing correctly is not something that we focus on as move through our day. We take quick shallow breaths, we are tense or stressed. We sit and stand with bad posture. Posture can affect our breathing and in return breathing will affect our posture.
When you exhale fully, you are expelling old stale gases from deep within your lungs. You are then able to fill your lungs with fresh air and fully oxygenate your blood. Pilates breathing will help you achieve the full expansion of your rib cage. Breathe deeply as you move through your Pilates positions.
The Pilates breath is a LATERAL POSTURAL BREATH. You are trying to activate all the muscles involved in the respiratory process, especially the deep abdominal muscles. Your breath should also expand the sides and back of your rib cage.
You can try this at home with a flex band. Ask someone to hold the flex band around your rib cage area and as you inhale feel the flex band expand around the back of your ribs and the sides. Focus on expanding these parts of your rib cage that usually you ignore.
As you move through your Pilates exercises focus on your breath. Inhale expanding the back and sides of your rib cage. Breathing out through pursed lips, exhale fully.
Think about how you are breathing right now.
Are you breathing high up in your chest area only?
Take a moment now to calm your mind and breathe!