Pilates Breathing

Pilates Breathing 

Joseph Pilates was asthmatic and therefore was understandably focused on proper breathing. He advocated inhalations that filed the lungs entirely and exhalations that emptied the lungs to the very bottom, cleaning the bloodstream and purifying the body of toxins. The Pilates method as performed today follows a simple breathing technique known as lateral breathing.

Your lungs lie nestled without our rib cage. As a general rule, women are upper chest breathers, elevating your shoulders and your upper body with each breath. Men tend to be more diaphragmatic breathers, filling their belly with each breath.

In Pilates, you should practise lateral breathing. This technique allows you to hold the abdominals gently and simultaneously keep your upper body relaxed. Before you embark up a Pilates programme, take a few minutes to practising your lateral breathing

Lateral breathing.

  1. Actively exhale, collapsing the ribs as far as possible and feeling the sides of your rib care coming together.
  2. Breathe in, allowing your ribs to push outwards, laterally, into your hands without expanding your belly.

Try this breathing exercise:

  • Align yourself in standing or seated with your feet hip-distance,
  • your pelvis in neutral,
  • your shoulders down,
  • place your hands on your ribcage with your hands spread across your ribs.

Take a  deep breath in through the nose and allow the air to slowly expand and fill up your lungs in the ribcage (not the abdomen).

Imagine you’re creating a little space in between each rib as the air comes into the thoracic (ribcage) cavity.


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Try and get your fingers to separate or move apart from one another on this wide in breath. Now, breathe out through the mouth slowly, as though you’re blowing out through a straw, letting your fingers touch once again.

Repeat this 4 or 5 times.

DON’T let the chest rise, the rib cage lift (it’s widening laterally, not lifting) or your shoulders to come up towards your ears.

When you are breathing well – notice how are you feeling

A little more refreshed?Perhaps more open through the back?

Do you feel a little more refreshed?

Perhaps more open through the back?

Did you manage to keep your shoulders relaxed?

If you would like to practise Pilates in the comfort of your own home click here


Find out what others have to say about Adele’s Pilates…

young older women in yoga

I began pilates classes with Adele a few years ago, seeking a physical reconnection and confidence boost after finishing a degree in dance and then having two children.

After a few months, I began running again, finding a much-needed balance in my life – in more ways than one! I felt stronger and more flexible and the world was a brilliant place once again. But then disaster struck! Work commitments meant I had to stop going to my pilates classes. Before too long, I felt the familiar weakness in my back that I hadn’t felt for years, and my running took a turn for the worst.

I contacted Adele for advice and was delighted to receive these DVDs in the post. This box set of Pilates and Cardio DVDs is not only excellent value for money but caters for every energy level and satisfies every workout desire. The workouts are short enough to do every day before or after work, and give your body and mind a real boost. They are fun and quirky, sitting comfortably within everyday life.

They come across as being personal too; as if they have been choreographed just for you. It’s like having Adele in my very own lounge. And, yes, I am very pleased to say that everything is back in place (love the pun) and I feel like I have found my very own tool kit, just in case I need it.

Shelley Tape Pilates & Cardio 4 pack DVD 19th January 2018


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