MOVE With Your BREATH
For years I would take on a new group of people starting Pilates and would tell them at the beginning of their Foundation course:
“You’ll here me cueing ‘breath in’ and ‘breath out’, BUT do not worry if you find yourself breathing in the exact reverse... For now it’s my way of reminding you to breath, and try to get you
into a habit to breath while you move and also start to understand the connections between breath
This was with very small groups teaching in the studio.
We would start, like I start any class, with settling down the body (and mind) using the breath,
but from that point on, with the understanding of not to get stuck with how/when to breath,
we’ll continue into moving through the journey of the class and the course.
Don’t get me wrong.
Breathing and Pilates go hand in hand.
Breath is very much part of the Pilates system
and you can Joseph Pilates himself in the photo
[right] demonstrating the breath wheel
(sometimes it's called BREATH-A-CIZER). My
point is that breath is not necessarily where I
would start people coming into the studio for
their first Pilates class. Getting people to MOVE
and WEAVE IN THE BASICS as we go on, was
my way to get people started.
You see, when you start Pilates there’s so much
to learn, understand and pay attention to it’s
really hard to get it ALL straight off the bat. Too
much information, too much to think about – it’s
really confusing. There’s a steep learning curve
at the beginning.
Once you become a bit more familiar with what
you’re doing, understand what is being asked
from you and your body and getting a sense of
why you’re doing what you’re doing (or being asked to try something in a particular way), the HOW just gets more and more “discovered” layer after layer – and the layer of BREATH will always be there for you to explore.
Nowadays, BREATH is taking Centre-Stage.
Nowadays there’s no in-person teaching going on in the studio.
Nowadays I teach and people do Pilates On-line.
The online is, and always will be, different than in-studio and so how to start Pilates, or even
how to start a class is changing with the different circumstances.
You are at home.
You did not physically change location and there was no transition time to get to the studio.
You are at home and not in a purposefully built and organised space that brings you into the
Pilates world (the “bubble”) where I usually teach - the studio.
Nowadays to start Pilates or, even start a more advanced class, I focus more on the BREATH.
- It’s through the BREATH that we make the TRANSITIONS that are now missing in the online world.
- It’s through the BREATH and the built-in MOVEMENT that lies within this physiological process, that you can find your whole body movement when your teacher is on screen and
you appear on the screen of your teacher.
The two part workshop FIND YOUR ENERGY that I ran in January focused on the breath and the movement it brings to the body.
This week’s FREE movement class is in that theme: MOVING with BREATH.
[Not so much theory like the workshops, a lot more movement with breath]
The Movement of Breath
We usually tend to think of breathing as something that is happening in our upper trunk, and mainly within the rib-cage that incases the lungs.
It is very true that every muscle that is attached to the rib-cage have the potential to take part in breathing, BUT - - -
- Did you know that your front body your Neck,
Shoulders & Upper arm muscles attach to the ribs?
- Did you know that your Abdominal Muscles attach to the ribs?
- Did you know that your Back Muscles attach to the ribs?
- Did you know you have muscles that Wrap Around your Side conecting to the ribs?
Each INHALE and each EXHALE involve a lot of movement in your WHOLE TRUNK and since all your parts are interconnected, the potential of movement goes right up to your NECK & SHOULDER and down to your PELVIS & HIPS.
Internally all organs in the abdominal cavity move too and it’s the casing of those organs –
from connective tissue to muscles and bones – that move & shift to allow that breathing
process that literally keeps us alive.
If you’d like to see a video clip showing organ movement during breath click HERE.
(Please note this video is on Facebook so you need to login to your FB account to view)
All muscles attached to your ribs have the potential to take part in breathing.
As you can understand, that is A LOT of muscles and connective tissue.
Exploring the potential of how much you can move your body just by working with the
awareness of conscious breathing is such an amazing way to actually extend, stretch,
strengthen almost your entire body despite pain, injury or any other issue.
It’s Your Body’s Own Breath!
Your breath, your lungs, your body are all connected to your brain.
Your brain always takes EVERYTHING into account, any issue in any tissue within it, any regulation of any organ - when your move with your breath you are moving in a SAFE way that will always work for you without risk of injury or agravating any inury.
This way you’re SAFE to ‘work your body’ without the expert teacher right next to you.
This way you begin to build TRUST in your body.
This way you can get UNSTUCK in your body and feel exactly where you need to MOVE MORE to feel mobile again, flexable again, strong again.
This way you can focus on where your body needs help most.
You can find the flow and effortless smoothness of moving your body.
It’s this flowing motion that gives you ENERGY so that you can get back into action (whatever that action is!).
So let’s BREATHE. Let’s MOVE.
You sure can do it!