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Pilates Exercises and Cues to Improve Breathing

When we combine movement with deep breathing, we feel a sensation that Joseph Pilates called an "internal shower". Maybe you've noticed it in exercises like the Hundred. The whole body warms up and feels energized. This is one of the many reasons we feel so great after class.

Deep breathing...

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How to Cue Neutral Spine in Reformer Footwork

In previous posts, I discussed the breathing pattern in Footwork, and I explained how your breath moves the spine.

Today we’ll discuss the best way to get you(r student) to maintain a neutral lumbar curve and stable lumbo-pelvic region during the bending and straightening of the legs.

First...

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The Most Effective Way to Improve Kyphosis (It May Suprise You!)

When trying to correct a kyphotic posture you have probably learned to use extension exercises. It sounds logical: since the spine is bending forward, strengthening the spinal extensor muscles by bending the spine backward will help it return to normal/neutral, right?

Well, when working on...

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How Your Breath Moves Your Spine

The inhalation naturally extends (arches) the spine. The exhalation naturally flexes (rounds) the spine. You can use the breath to either use this natural tendency to help you perform a desired movement better or prevent an unwanted movement. Here are two examples of how the breath can be used to...

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Which Way Are You Breathing In Footwork On The Reformer?

"I breathe in when I push out and I exhale on the way in."

Great. This breathing pattern will help you control the carriage on the way in, and by cueing to inhale into the back ribs you can melt your rib cage onto the carriage, hence helping keep the front ribs together and the abdominals engaged...

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How Can I Stop Flaring My Ribs

Q: I have a hard time pulling my ribs in. I love to flare them. How do I overcome this? How do I help my students to keep their ribs down?

A: Let's look at a little bit of anatomy first. Which muscles attach to the rib arch? Internal obliques, external obliques, rectus abdominis and the...

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How Do I Encourage Focus in My Students Without Sounding Like A Hippie Guru?

Q: When I begin a class with breathing it sometimes feels more like a yoga or meditation session than preparing for movement. How do I get clients to leave the world outside behind and start to focus on the class? How can I help them stop the mind from wandering without sounding like a hippie...

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Are You Breathing Correctly? Try Breathing With A Strap!

Did you know you can get stronger and more stable in your core just by breathing correctly? I know; too good to be true. (I hope this news makes your day!) Take a breath right now; feel how it moves through the body. Notice how and where it goes. In Pilates, breath has a very specific function:...

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