Well, here I am AGAIN! I use to have a blog. It was read by many people years ago and I gathered a good following … until I freaked out. The reality that real people were actually reading about my life scared me and I shut the whole thing down. I began again a few years ago but never posted, and then again I started and again never posted. It was a little merry-go-round for a bit. But then I woke up and decided what the F?$! and here I am. This year is all about trust and facing fear and BREATHE every moment of every day mainly because some days it is about all I can manage. Life can be hard. It can mess you up and throw you around but in that mess we can learn some pretty great things if we are open to it. Of course those beautiful miracle moments of growth only happen if we can be aware and if we are closing our eyes and holding our breath we will easily miss them. I am not perfect (I mean REALLY NOT perfect) and I often forget to breathe and often close my eyes waiting for the scary part to end but sometimes I remember to breathe and let BE and it really is not so bad. I mean I’m still here.
- Body: “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it”-Joseph Pilates. A Pilates Principle: Joseph Pilates emphasized full breath in his exercises called three dimensional breathing. On the inhale the lungs expand front, back and laterally, on the exhale the abdominals aid in emptying the lungs. He taught that the lungs should be activated strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Using the breath properly is an integral part of a Pilates workout.
- Mind: When you feel overwhelmed or blocked deep controlled breathing can help move the energy, releasing blocks and welcoming in flow. It can help us in those moments in a workout that we need to “dig deep” and also in those moments in life when we feel like closing our eyes and waiting for the good part.
- Spirit: This is a 7 minute meditation with Baron Baptiste. It took me years to begin meditating and I still struggle (you will hear more about that in another Blog entry). I found a Baptiste DVD during a bad moment (bad months really) and there was something about his voice that helped ground me and hold me in the moment. It may or may not feel the same to you but it’s only 7 minutes. And really we can do anything for 7 minutes. So here is a meditation by Baron Baptiste on presence and breath.
Pilates Breathing Exercise
I do not have access to a full Trapeze Cadillac but I love using the Balance Ball and it adds an extra bit of effort for my Glutes and Hamstrings. I am showing here both the roll down bar and an option with a Theraband.
- Alignment is key here. Do a quick body scan and feel your spine grounded to the mat or floor. Push into the bar or outward with the Theraband to feel the Serratus connection (those armpit muscles)
- I have my feet in an external rotation (slightly turned out with heels together). I find this helps turn off the hips and quads so my focus can be my Glutes and Hamstrings, however if you feel you need more inner thigh and Quad work see how working parallel feels for you.
3. Inhale. Press into feet and arms to lift the body upward. Hold your inhale for 3 counts and then lower back to start.
There are so many great ways to train our breathing.
Have fun. Experiment. Find the right way for you.