A focus on breathing is essential to the core philosophy of Pilates. While breathing properly is important for any type of exercise, the intent of purposeful breathing in Pilates is a little different.
Pilates strengthens your body, but in a way that’s different from say running or weight training. With those types of exercises, you’re breathing to perform. With Pilates, you’re breathing to live.
If you’re planning on beginning or growing into a deeper Pilates practice, the intent of your breath is key. Here is everything you need to know about why deep breathing is so essential to the practice of Pilates.
Pilates, Breath and Health
Let’s talk for a minute about what breathing really does. The obvious thing here is that it keeps you alive because you’re not going to make it very long without it. But, let’s look at how proper breathing supports your health.
With each breath, you take in oxygen that’s necessary for almost every single chemical reaction that takes place in your body. From cell renewal to burning off last night’s dessert, you need oxygen. You also need a lot of it.
A focus on proper breathing in Pilates makes sure that you’re taking in enough oxygen to facilitate all these processes. It doesn’t do you any good to strengthen your core, if your muscles don’t have enough oxygen to repair themselves.
Since your lungs are the first stop along the way, they’re going to take the oxygen that they need first. Improper breathing means that other parts of your body miss out. As your body responds, this can lead to fatigue, stress and even illness, all of which are counterintuitive to Pilates.
Breath and the Spirit
Granted, Pilates doesn’t have the same spiritual association as yoga, but anyone that’s ever done Pilates knows that there’s a definite connection that occurs between the mind and the body.
Take for example, someone who does Pilates to grow stronger. As their body changes, so does their mental outlook. The same is true for someone who enjoys Pilates as a way to relieve the physical effects of stress and tension on the body.
No matter what brings you Pilates, a mental or emotional connection to your spirit is always involved. Proper breathing plays a significant role in this connection.
Breathing fully and consciously requires us to pay attention to our bodies and the connection to the world around us. Proper breathing connects us with the rhythm and vibration of our surroundings. With each breath, we center the spirit, clear the mind and re-energize the body.
Proper Breathing Takes Practice
Many people who come to Pilates for the first time are surprised that the most difficult part is learning to breathe. It’s something that we take for granted and rarely give thought to. Changing your approach to purposeful breathing takes time and practice.
That’s why attending a Pilates class is always recommended for beginners. A qualified instructor can teach you proper breathing techniques and help you learn how to keep your focus on your breath.
We offer Pilates options for everyone. Contact us at Yogacorefit for more information about Pilates class schedule today.