Welcome to the world of Pilates Lifestyle.Your one stop resource for Free tips, exercises, news about Pilates and Lifestyle. Pilates Lifestyle News is about whats happening within the field of Mind Body practices. We will explore most of the popular practices in this field, for example Yoga,spirituality,Tantra,Health and much more. There will be features on exercise, healthy eating, super foods,sexual health..."how to give your partner ultimate pleasure" ,energy and Vitality.
Friday, 15 October 2010
Pilates Breathing Exercises for the Soul
Breathing is a fundamental of the Pilates Method. Unfortunately, the breathing also seems to be one of the things that many people find the hardest to do well when they workout. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
* When you concentrate on the movements you stop breathing
* If you think about your breathing you stop moving
* You have trouble coordinating your breathing with the exercises
* You can’t pull your powerhouse in and breathe
When I start working with people for the first time I tend not to focus too much on their breathing. This is how I was taught, and through experience, I have seen this approach work very well. One reason for this is that you will eventually remember to breathe. I haven’t seen anyone pass out because they were thinking about their powerhouse so much they forgot to breath. I have, however, had people think so much about their breathing that they completely forget about their powerhouse! Another reason is that when you are worried about your breathing you stop thinking about everything else. That is why focusing on the breathe is a tool used in meditation. So if the breathing is one of many things that you are struggling with, drop it in the beginning. Focus on your powerhouse, then pick up your breathing.
When you first start learning to move your body with control and precision, thinking too much about your breathing can get in the way. But once you have started to gain control, using your breathing will lift your workouts to a high level of beautifully balanced, functional control, that will feel free and strong.
When you first start working with the Pilates Method, I highly recommend that you don’t worry too much about your breathing. When you start to get comfortable with the movements you can then start paying attention to what feels natural. You will start to feel a rhythm to the way your body is moving and when it feels right to inhale and exhale throughout the exercises.
The next step you will find useful is to pay attention to the dead spots. Be aware of all the places in your movements where you stop breathing and are holding your breath. Try to get rid of them.
Once you can comfortably be aware of your breathing and keep moving, there are a couple of general principles that will help.
1. Breath in and out through your nose.
A great anecdote I once heard from Romana Kryzanowska was that Joseph Pilates used to say the nose was for breathing and the mouth was for eating and kissing! Your nose is for breathing, and being able to maintain exercise without opening your mouth is an indicator of your fitness level. The better your stamina, the more workload your body can sustain without needing to gasp for air.
2. Inhale at the point of exertion
This can be a tricky one to understand in terms of practical application. Often it may feel like the wrong thing to do. But you will find that as you move through the Pilates Method and your strength, flexibility and control improve, what felt like the point of exertion to begin with will change. This is something that I suggest you play with. Just remember that your breathing should flow with the exercises.
3. Exhale when your chest contracts, inhale when your chest expands.
The movement of the rib cage will effect how much air you can get into, and out of your lungs. The movements of Pilates are designed to assist the functionality of the body, so when you roll forward, exhale, when you lift up tall, inhale. Allow the flow of air in and out of your lungs to correspond with the natural movement of your body.
In your everyday activities, just remember that when you are slouching you can’t breath well. Sitting tall with an open chest allows a good flow of oxygen through your body, and will help with your levels of vitality.
So take a deep breath, smile, and breathe again!