March is coming in like a lion, but spring is in the air! A lot of exciting things are happening at the studio this spring! We are excited to announce that Touchstone Pilates will be the featured studio of Gratz-Pilates (“Gratz”) this April! We recently completed filming our video for Gratz, and we are really excited to share a clip with you in this edition of the “Scoop”! We are also eagerly awaiting the arrival of our new Gratz equipment this month, and we will be adding new group equipment and reformer classes. Stay tuned.
In This Issue
Exercise of the Month: In this edition of the “Scoop” we will be sharing a clip of our new video instead of the exercise of the month.
Did You Know: In this edition of the “Scoop,” we discuss the Pilates principle of Breath.
Shashi On Sale: Don’t forget to pick your new pair of Shashi studio socks on sale in the studio. We will start carrying TOESOX in the near future. They are our new favorite workout socks. We will let you know when they arrive!
Exercise of the Month
Check out a clip of our “featured studio” video that we had professionally filmed with our friends at PostScript Productions.The video features our own Heather Bartley and our clients Carol, Katie and Torey.
Did You Know?
This is the third installment of our discussion of the six governing principles of Pilates. In our last newsletter, we discussed the principle of concentration, which is so important in connecting the mind to the body. Today’s installment discusses the importance of breath.
We typically think of breathing as a given, right? But when exercising, it is surprising how many of us hold our breath! We don’t even realize it until it is pointed out. We tell our clients (especially new clients) all the time about the importance of breathing when doing Pilates. It is so important to get oxygen-rich blood flowing through the body and into the muscles when doing Pilates or any type of exercise. Without it fatigue sets in quickly, form and muscle engagement go out the window, and movement through the exercise is impeded. As a result, it is harder to safely experience the full effect and benefits of the work, i.e. strong, toned Powerhouse/core.
Joseph Pilates advocated thinking of the lungs as bellows, using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise. Pilates saw this as cleansing and invigorating. Proper full inhalation and complete exhalation are key. To achieve the correct rhythm, one must inhale at the beginning of the exercise to send fresh oxygen to the muscles when they need it, then exhale completely, wringing air out of the lungs as you would when wringing a wet towel dry. Pilates breathing is described as a posterior lateral breathing, meaning the practitioner is instructed to breathe deeply in to the back and sides of the rib cage. Why lateral breathing? It allows engagement of the deep abdominal muscles during both inhalation and exhalation while performing Pilates exercises. Proper breath also helps the exercise flow with rhythm since holding the breath can actually inhibit movement, increase blood pressure and cause strain and stress in the wrong places.
While these breathing patterns may seem at first to be counterintuitive, they just take practice. Once mastered, proper breathing actually improves performance and flow and can lead to faster results.