Mindful Monday

Pilates and the power of  BREATH 

Joseph Pilates said, ‘Breathing is the first act of life. Our very life depends on it. Millions have never learned to master the art of correct breathing’. as published in Professional Fitness UK, Spring 2008

Why do we need to breathe?

All cells in your body require oxygen. Without it, they can’t move, build, reproduce and turn food into energy.  You get oxygen from breathing in air which your blood circulates to all parts of your body. Like fuel for your car, proper breathing ensures that enough oxygen flows to fuel muscle action.

Breathing in Pilates

The STOTT PILATES® breath pattern involves inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth with slightly pursed lips. This technique facilitates full expiration and should allow the release of unnecessary tension in the body, particularly in the neck and shoulder areas. It encourages breathing into the lower ribs three dimensionally. During inhalation, we focus on expanding the ribcage sideways and backwards.  During exhalation, we cue the activation of the deep support muscles by engaging the transversus abdominis first and then the oblique abdominals.  Proper alignment of your body, having all your bones in the correct place, allows the diaphragm to move freely and uninterrupted. Pilates restores that neutral alignment and helps you get strong enough to maintain it.

Conscious breath is a powerful tool to accentuate movement, to fuel the body for strength and stability, or even to calm anxious nerves in moments of high stress. Learning how to breathe properly is one of the benefits of Pilates which will enhance your mind and body connection, allowing you to reap the full benefits of any physical activity.

Just breathe,

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Yoga on a reformer!

Not a Yoga person?

Neither was I until I was introduced to ZEN•GA™ – Vinyasa on the Pilates Reformer, brought to you by the people at STOTT PILATES®

I’ve spent a lifetime studying dance and the art of teaching it, thinking I had found my passion. Many years ago I stumbled on a Pilates class and was immediately taken by how athletic it was and yet artistic at the same time. Pilates also flowed  just like a dance class and was choreographed to work from the center of my body outward.

Recently, I stumbled on ZEN•GA™, something even more intriguing. Vinyasa is a generic term that refers to any type of vigorous yoga exercise derived from Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa on the reformer is a fascinating blend of yoga inspired movements performed on a Pilates reformer to provide support to the Vinyasa postures. By holding postures against the spring-loaded resistance of your reformer, you will engage every muscle, enhance mind-body connection and increase your range of movement like never before.

This new class combines the flow of dance, the form of Pilates and the mindfulness of yoga. What could be better…

Join me Fridays at 11:30 or Sunday at 11:00am starting June 7th

ZENGA 1

STOTT PILATES® photography © Merrithew Corporation

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