Breathing... We do it continually, we must to survive, but do you ever find when you turn up for your Pilates class that you're learning to breathe for the first time? The Pilates method promotes better health and Mr. Joseph Pilates was very adament that good breathing was integral to the benefits of his exercises:
'Above all, learn how to breathe correctly. "squeeze" every atom of air from your lungs until they are almost as free of air as is a vacuum'.
(Return to Life, Joseph H. Pilates)
This vacuum he speaks of is the deep connection of the muscles needed to fully breathe out. Try this - breathe in through your nose, then open your mouth and let your air come out and when you think you're empty of air keep breathing out, and keep breathing out and eventually you'll feel that vaccum. Don't go looking for it, don't purse your lips or blow, just let the hot breath escape from the depths of your lungs. (It would feel less like blowing out a candle, and more like fogging up a mirror with your breath). Repeat a few big, full breaths like this and get used to how amazing this full breathing can feel.
Next time you're in your Pilates class apply this breathing technique and you'll find you can connect to your movements so much easier. It's the foundation of Pilates and it's amazing benefits. So breathe and enjoy!
"When I first started at Pilates Centre I was constantly aware of my back pain due to a disc injury. Within no time of taking a couple of classes a week I started to forget that I had a back problem at all! It's just great."