Practicing proper pilates breathing patterns ensures that enough oxygen is flowing to the muscles you are using, and helps prevent unnecessary tension. A relaxed and full breath pattern encourages focus and concentration, and also promotes relaxation. The STOTT® PILATES breath pattern will also help you engage the deep abdominal muscles and stabilize your torso.
At Pain Free Posture MN you'll be taught and coached on how to perform a three-dimensional type of breath. The 3D (east-west) breath pattern causes an expansion of the rib cage out to the sides and back without allowing the shoulders to lift. The ribs will expand laterally (left and right) AND into the back. This type of east-west breathing draws air exchange into the lower lobes of the lungs where there is more efficient gas exchange.
Breathing into the upper part of the rib cage tends to overwork the superficial breathing muscles and causes tension.
Conversley, breathing low into the deep belly completely relaxes the abdominal wall leaving the back very vulnerable for injury. It is inefficient at best.
Benefits of East-West (3D) Breathing:
1. Oxygenation Releases Tense Muscles
When we breathe, effectively, oxygen flows into our blood which flows through our muscles. More oxygen in the muscles equals more relaxed muscles. The more, effectively, we breath in pilates the more we can release those tense muscles “trying to help out” in our exercises.
2. Heightens Concentration
In pilates there is a breath pattern specific to each individual exercise. One of the major benefits of this is the concentration we gain.
3. Activates Stabilizing Muscles
Exhaling deeply encourages activation of the deep abdominal muscles, which are essential in pilates. Breath and muscular stabilization should occur before movement for safety and efficiency.