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How you breathe affects your brain, sleep, digestion, posture, energy levels, nervous system, ability to focus, muscle tension and more.
There are many details to breathing and entire courses dedicated to different techniques and methods.
This program will focus on awareness of your breathing mechanism and stretching/strengthening the muscles that help you to have the most efficient breath.
Be patient with yourself as you practice the videos in this module. I recommend doing the breathing exercises when you can have several minutes of uninterrupted time to focus.
Your breathing awareness will eventually overlap into your other workouts in the Posture and the Balance modules.
Joe Pilates famously taught that “Above all things, learn to breathe correctly,” and the Pilates method has many exercises that work the muscles of breathing.
👉🏻Just having an awareness of what happens when we breathe, how the diaphragm works and how to control the breath and keep it moving will be helpful in all of your activities.
Breathing Awareness: What happens when you breathe?
You breathe all day long and probably rarely think about it. In this video I explain how the diaphragm moves when we breathe and why that matters for movement. At about 5:13 we do a diaphragm awareness exercise.
Stretches for Breathing
The stretches in this sequence help to open up and mobilize the muscles around the thoracic cage and diaphragm to help you to be more aware of your breath and take deeper breaths.
Global ELDOA, spinal torsion and relaxation breathing
Global ELDOA is a very relaxing, balancing movement for the body. It is an ELDOA, the only one that is moving. I added it here as a wind-down, relaxing treat for the body before the twisting stretches and TV eldoa with some deep long breaths. This would be a great way to decompress your body and mind before going to bed.
Transverse Abdominis Awareness
This is an awareness exercise to help feel, strengthen and relax the Transverse Abdominis (TA) muscle. This muscle is the deepest of the abdominal muscles and plays a big part in breathing, core strength and balance. Finding this muscle is key to performing core exercises (including Pilates exercises) safely.
Diaphragmatic Breathing Awareness
This is an exercise to bring awareness to the movements of the diaphragm. With this exercise we hold the breath as we move the diaphragm. This should give you a sense of how it moves when we breathe. Awareness of the diaphragm helps to improve breathing and pelvic floor function.
Pelvic Floor Strength and Release Breathing
This exercise helps bring awareness to the tension in the pelvic floor. In order for the muscles in the pelvic floor to be strong, they must be first able to completely relax. This exercise helps build strength and elasticity in those muscles. It can be done anywhere!