t may seem like a silly question, of course you can breathe, right? Sure, but are you breathing right? Maybe not...
Take a moment out of your busy day to focus on the way you breathe. Many people breathe through the middle and upper lungs, not getting air all the way down to the bottom of their lungs. This can cause the muscles between your rig cage and spine to become tight.
Breathing increases the amount of oxygen in your body creating calm and focused relaxation.
The focus of breathing in Pilates is to help isolate your abdominals and pelvic floor muscles, which help with spinal and pelvic stability. This is essential for injury prevention and ensures you maintain an upright posture.
So, back to the question:
Can You Breathe? Not so sure now, are we?
Well, let me teach you..
Lie on your back with your knees bent and hip width apart.
Find a comfortable position for your lower back.
Place one hand at the bottom part of your rib cage and one under your chest.
Breathe IN through your nose getting the air into the bottom part of your rib cage (diaphragmatic). It is also important to focus on the side and back parts of your ribs during breathing.
Breathe OUT through your mouth, relaxing the ribcage. Let all the air out of your lungs. Take 2-3 times longer to breathe out.
Did You Know?
Many Pilates’ exercises have set breathing patterns.
This stops you from holding your breath, which can cause you to become dizzy or lightheaded. Breathing also gets your abdominal muscles working!
The “in breath” or “inhale” helps you prepare for the exercise.
The “out breath” or “exhale” helps to activate the deep abdominal muscle called transverse abdominis or “core muscle” which is used during the effort part of the exercise.
If you are new to Pilates it will take a few sessions to get used to using breathing as part of your exercises. Don't worry though- with time it will get easier. After all, practice makes perfect!