Without it we wouldn’t last more than a of couple minutes, yet we don’t take the suggestion to focus on our breathing very seriously. This month I have chosen Breath as my point of focus because it’s been proven not only to reduce stress but also to calm the nervous system. Breath is essential to your Pilates Practise.
I begin every class by drawing my clients’ attention to their breath: where and how they are breathing, and if they can take slower, deeper and more intentional breaths with focus and purpose. We breathe to bring awareness to our bodies and to release any tension, gripping, or holding we may not be aware of.
Breath control helps to deepen your abdominal work and can help you to achieve greater range of motion and ease of flow in your exercises. Feeling stuck in your ab curl? Take a deep inhale through the nose and direct it into the back and sides of your ribs. Get that little extra boost to curl up and over!
I like to translate breath work to everyday life too. Try taking a deep breath and pausing a moment before opening email after the holidays or before answering the phone. Taking those moments to focus on my breath keeps me in my body, and helps to keep my stress levels from becoming overwhelming.
If New Year’s resolutions aren’t for you (and even if they are), try making simple choices to to take better care of yourself right now. This month in class, at work or at home take a minute for yourself and inhale a new fresh breath of air and exhale the old and stagnant. Let your chest burst with new energy and then let it soften with ease. Give yourself space for breath this month and let me know how it affects your practise and everyday life.