Pilates breath is three dimensional. Are you being instructed to focus on those deep abdominal muscles as you breathe? Why all the attention to breath? Well, if you are not breathing correctly you are creating tension throughout your neck and shoulder area.
If you are tense or unstable in one area of your body it will have a knock on effect.
Breathing is three dimensional and when we bring our attention to this we begin to make that body mind connection. The transversus abdominus, or TVA, wraps around our torso between the ribs and pelvis like a corset. It has the ability to flatten the abdominal wall and assists in stabilizing the torso.
Breathing correctly, as we have mentioned before, helps to activate the deep abdominal muscles. When we inhale the diaphragm moves downwards and helps to relax the back. When we exhale the diaphragm lifts. The lifting of the diaphragm causes the abdominal muscles to engage. Pulling up gently on the pelvic floor helps to connect muscles from the pelvic floor upwards through to the abdominals.
Never hold your breath when you are exercising or stretching. Breathing helps to create a rhythm to your Pilates moves. You can challenge yourself by changing out your breath pattern. It is especially important not to hold your breath should you have high blood pressure. Avoid isometric exercises if you have high blood pressure.
Breathe through slightly pursed lips and this will help you obtain a deeper contraction of the abdominal muscles.
Breathing and exercise go hand in hand. Do not hold your breath when you are exercising even if you are concentrating!