There are 7 Pilates principles but I will be featuring the first one and that is “Breathing“. Not only can proper breathing be used to decrease stress, lower our blood pressure it can also help to facilitate movement and increase out mobility in exercises.
I always teach the following the breathing exercises to my Pilates clients: Belly Breathing, One lung Breathing, Lateral Breathing and Sniffing Breath. I will briefly explain each one and share a few exercises that we use them in. I have also included the purpose/objective of each exercise for those of you that like to know why we perform each one.
Place you hands on to your stomach and take a deep inhale so your belly expands like a balloon, on the exhale draw the abdomen in towards the spine expelling all the air. This type of breathing is used while performing Footwork on the Reformer. The footwork is a fundamental move used following the warmup exercises before transitioning to the other exercises in the sequence.
Objective of the Footwork: to strengthen the hip extensors, knees extensors, the feet, to align the foot and leg and to develop pelvic lumbar stabilization.
Lateral (intercostal )Breathing:
This is when you breathe into the back and sides of your ribs, without allowing your abdomen to expand. This type of breathing often used in the Pilates Hundred exercise.
Objective of the Hundred: to strengthen the abdominal muscles and for pelvic lumbar stabilization.
One Lung Breathing:
This type of breathing is as it sounds, breathing into one one side of your lungs at a time. This type of breathing is used while performing the Mermaid.
Objective of the Mermaid: Teaches spinal movement to the side, scapula stabilization, spinal mobility and stretches the quadratus lumborum, internal and external obliques.
This is when you take really small breaths through your nose and you exhale through pursed lips. This type of breathing is used while performing the Side Leg Series.
Objective of the Side Leg Series: To learn and develop disassociation at the hips and to stabilize pelvic lumbar area.
Remember to Breathe!
Have a fabulous Friday.