Are you hearing heavy breathing?

Perhaps you've been to a Pilates class where the woman on the mat next to you sounded more like Darth Vader than a girl just looking to get in a good workout.  Is this necessary?

The good news is you don't have to sound like a Jedi Master from the Dark Side to get the benefits of breathing in your routine.  What's important is an attention and continued focus on breathing, a principle that guides and informs each Pilates exercise you engage in.  Here's why:

  1. Focusing on breathing helps you begin to connect your mind with your body, making your more alert and aware of your movement while exercising
  2. Exhaling deeply helps to engage the deep, stabilizing muscles
  3. A good breathing pattern helps release tension from the body
  4. Exhaling helps facilitate spinal flexion.  Sometimes you will exhale to help assist in an exercise where spinal flexion is necessary.   Sometimes you may be challenged by inhaling at this point instead
  5. Inhaling assists with spinal extension. Sometimes you will inhale to assist in extension.  Sometimes exhaling during spinal extension may be suggested instead, as exhaling helps to engage the stabilizing muscles needed to support your body as you extend the spine.
So there is a method to the madness.  Take note of your breathing.  It will deepen your practice.

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