What NOT to Teach!

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Several Leading Pilates Instructors Are On a Mission to Stop This!

Here’s a great example of how too many of us Pilates teachers are making Pilates far more complicated than it needs to be!


I hate singling out this well-meaning Pilates instructor – we’re all well meaning – but this kind of wordy instruction is getting Pilates in trouble by turning-off beginners – our bread-and-butter! – making Pilates too time consuming and expensive to learn.

Pilates and breathing

In Pilates there is special focus on the breath as it is the basis of our movement.

Forget breathing only through your nose during class, although I’m not saying it’s wrong or right, but in Pilates we adopt a very specific method of breathing.

Breathing is a big part of Pilates and will help your everyday practice become stronger.

How many of you have been stressed and it was those couple of deep breaths that got you through the day?

I know… too many of you! So that is why we all need to learn how to breathe properly.

Pilates adopts the following principles on breathing:

The most important practice is that you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.

Let’s stop here a moment! Nope! Pilates does not require any particular way of breathing! Sure there’s research that shows that inhaling thru the nose creates more oxygen intake, but Joseph Pilates never insisted on any particular breathing techniques says his long-time student and one of the few remaining Pilates Elders Mary Bowen.

OK let’s look at more of this instruction.

The exhalation should last longer than the inhalation.

When you exhale you have to feel the oxygen leave your body completely and at that point you should feel your deep abdominals glue to your spine.

Here’s the thing you should know: think of a three-dimensional type of breath; the ribs will expand laterally (left and right) and also posteriorly.

Anatomically you should know and feel that whilst inhaling, our spine slightly extends and our ribs open a little and whilst exhaling our spine flexes a little and our ribs move inward and downward….

This ‘lateral breathing’ is a natural phenomenon that happens whenever one strengthens the core. No need to teach it. In fact, all this just muddies the waters for beginners! We have to stop doing this! We need to be better teachers.

For the rest of this post go to http://www.freemyme.com/blog/yoga/pilates-breathing/.

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