Principles of Pilates
Pilates is a form of exercise that connects the mind and the body. It teaches the body to move in a more efficient way. It is a method of movement designed to rebalance all of the muscles that become imbalanced during participation in sports or simply moving through regular life.
In order to truly reap the full benefit of a Pilates workout, one needs to understand the basic principles of Pilates. These principles are:
Rhythm and Flow
Increase Oxygen Saturation
Each of these principles deserve sufficient explanation in order for one to fully appreciate it’s importance. This month we will focus on the first principle, BREATHING. Joseph Pilates once said “Breathing is the first act of life and the last.” That pretty much sums up the importance of knowing how to breathe properly.
The average person takes approximately 20,000 breathes each day. You would think that we would have enough practice by now to do it correctly. However, the majority of the population rarely takes a deep enough breath to fully benefit from it. The benefits of breathing include oxygenating our body, filtering out the toxins and debris from our body and reducing stress, just to name a few. Many of us fall into bad breathing habits such as shallow breathing or even holding our breath without even knowing it.
Slower, deeper forms of breathing as done during Pilates and Yoga has been proven to reduce shortness of breath, increase oxygen saturation in the blood and improve exercise performance.
Breathing is the basic fundamental of any Pilates practice. It is required to completely connect the mind with the movement. Pilates uses a posterior lateral rib cage breath. That means when you breathe, you direct the movement of the breath into the sides and back of the rib cage.
Mind and Body
Proper breathing technique is critical for achieving the proper alignment and focus in your Pilates practice. However, just like all exercises, it can take practice to retrain your mind and body to breathe the correct way. The move of the month this month is the Pilates Breath. Practice it daily and you will see an improvement in your Pilates practice.