Pilates is a very complete exercise that helps you regain the flexibility of your body and keep all your muscles toned. Contrary to the popular belief that Pilates is a soft and easy sport, we are faced with a very demanding sport that is quite difficult for beginners to follow.
Pilates is based on three general principles. The first of these is the one that refers to the abdominal and lumbar area of our body. It is about strengthening, at all times, these parts of our body and therefore we must keep them tense throughout the training. Relaxation is the second of the basic principles. All exercises should be performed calmly and leisurely.
You have to try to maintain a state of continuous relaxation throughout the Pilates session. Finally, the last pillar on which this sport practice is based is breathing, which is what we are going to focus on in this article. Breathing is one of the most important parts of all exercises and during its performance you must try, at all times, to breathe deeply and calmly. In this way, our body’s respiratory channel must be open at all times to facilitate our breathing. Here are all the keys to how to breathe in Pilates.
What do you need to breathe in pilates?
- A quiet place
- A yoga mat
Instructions for Breathing in Pilates
- The breathing that you must perform in Pilates is called diaphragmatic breathing. In this breath you should try to introduce as much air as you can to the lowest area of your lungs. If you are not able to perform this type of breathing, you should just practice following the tips below.
- Relax. Lie on the floor on your back and try to relax. Close your eyes and avoid thinking about anything.
- If you want, you can help relax by lighting some scented candles and putting on some very soft music.
- Breathe through your nose and try to send the air into your stomach area. Put your hands on your belly and feel it rising. Don’t elevate your chest area, just your belly.
- When you can’t keep breathing, expel all the air from your lungs. You’re going to do this through your mouth. To help you expel the air, you should squeeze your lower abdomen. This way you will notice how your belly sinks downwards. Practice for several minutes until you are able to automate this type of breathing.
- As soon as you’re able to do belly breathing, try doing it while doing Pilates. Remember that relaxation is the key.
Tips for breathing in Pilates
- Learn much more about Pilates here where you will find much more information
- If you notice that when doing Pilates, you have a hard time maintaining good breathing, you may not be used to breathing properly. This shouldn’t alarm you as it’s very common in adults. Infants and young children usually perform diaphragmatic breathing naturally. However, as we become adults, we tend to change this type of breathing. This happens because breathing is a process that we do automatically without stopping to think about how we do it and although we are born naturally breathing with the diaphragm, over time we transform our way of breathing. This is mostly due to bipedalism. When standing for so long or standing with our upper body vertically, we tend to breathe with the upper part of the lungs. In this way the breathing is much shallower and we get much less air. It should be noted that this type of breathing is not bad in itself since we are able to acquire the air, we need but when we make efforts, such as a Pilates session, this air is not enough and therefore it is convenient that we relearn to breathe with the diaphragm as we did instinctively when we were little.
- If you have a hard time following your breathing in Pilates, you could dedicate some of your time to relaxing and meditating. These exercises will allow you to control your breathing more and more.