If you wish for good health and want your body to function properly, you need to have a balanced diet and should exercise regularly. Pilates is a great way to keep your body fit. It engages your core, your glutes, and helps build stability and endurance.
Deep breathing is an essential part of Pilates. It cleanses your body from within. In fact, it is the easiest way to cleanse your organs. We all know that oxygen is part of every chemical reaction in our body. Be it burning calories or any daily chore,you need oxygen. Breathing is involuntary, but deep breathing requires you to do it voluntarily during Pilates. Deep breathing helps your body to get rid of carbon dioxide. It also stimulates your organs. When you focus on your breathing, it calms your mind, reduces stress, and gives you a sense of control. Breathing as you exercise also makes your workout routine more efficient.
When you practice Pilates, a specific form of breathing pattern is required to aid the movement of each exercise. It encourages correct muscle activation and also maximizes your efficiency while working out. You need to focus on breathing through the diaphragm and oblique muscles. It is important to focus on breathing from the ribs as it helps to keep the abdominal muscles activated as you perform Pilates. Breathing through the ribs also prevents shallow breathing, which can be the root cause of your muscles around your shoulders and neck to tense. Ensure you do not hold your breath throughout the exercise as it stresses your cardiovascular system.
In Pilates exercises,mindful breathing helps to lengthen and decompress the spine. As you inhale and exhale, your muscles contract and relax.
What is the difference in breathing compared to Yoga?
Primarily, Pilates focuses on exhalation as it helps in activating the abdomen. The muscles must stay active at all times. Breathing plays a crucial role in this. The focus is on breathing out through the mouth as it allows forceful exhalation. A forceful exhalation enhances your abdomen and activates your oblique muscles.
How does it work?
In Pilates, you use up all of your breathing space available.
Usually, when people think of deep breathing, they fill up their upper chest. In Pilates, however, we want to use all of the breathing space we have available to us. Correct breathing patterns are essential to achieve the best results from Pilates. Of course, a Pilates band and a mat can help you reach maximum efficiency, but a good breathing pattern stimulates your organs from within. You also need to have the right postures and movements, after which you should focus on breathing.
A proper breath takes place in three significant ways. It consists of the expansion of the body moving forward, backward, and sideways along with upwards and downwards as well. Many of us are used to holding our stomachs in and breathing mainly through our chests. This is called shallow breathing, and it creates tensions in your muscles and restricts movement.
This is why proper breathing techniques, while you practice Pilates, is so important – it teaches you how to breathe in the right way where the rib cage moves around, and the abdomen expands a little. Such breathing techniques can improve the mobility of the spine, reduce stress, and boost digestion.
When you practice Pilates,you typically do it by inhaling through the nose, directing the breath into expanding the ribs, and exhaling through the mouth while closing down the ribcage. It is necessary to be aware of the position of your rib cage as you practice Pilates. You need to ensure while inhaling your ribs stay in and not move forward. And as you exhale, the ribcage needs to be drawn down towards the hips. When you are lying down, you should feel like your ribcage is lying on the floor. Here are some types of Pilates breathing:
· Diaphragmatic Breathing
The diaphragm separates your abdominal and chest cavities. It contracts when you breathe in. When you breathe in, the abdomen rises slightly. The name says it all, you breathe as you focus on the movement of your diaphragm. It also allows the belly to expand and deflate as you breathe.
· Lateral Breathing
Lateral breathing involves focusing on your rib cages to its full potential to allow the complete intake of air.
You should also learn howto apply these breathing patterns when you move while performing Pilates.Generally, you inhale to tighten the T-zone and exhale when you bend forward or when the abdomen requires to work harder. Here’s one way you can practice this:
Practice your breathing regularly:
Lie down with your feet flat on the ground. Put your arms by your side as you look up at the ceiling. Ensure that your shoulders are relaxed. Try to keep your spine straight. Relax your abdomen and your lower body.
Breathe in through the lowest part of your lungs, feel your back being pulled as you breathe. Focus on your ribcage expanding wide and as you breathe out, focus on your ribcage getting drawn in, here, you need to breathe out through your mouth and let out as much air as possible. Concentrate on relaxing your body as you do so.
Once you have mastered the art of deep breathing, you can achieve maximum benefits for your next online Pilates session!