• Ashley Ritchie

What is the value of breath?

What is the value of breath? Without it, there is no life. It is the reason you are able to be present and read this article. And the reason you are able to contribute to the health and well being of others as a pilates instructor.


Breath is used to create a mind-body connection, feed the heart and soul, create a rhythm, abdominal pressure and stability to the lumbar spine.


Use the breath correctly to recruit the deep stabilisers of the core; As you begin to exhale, simultaneously, draw the pelvic floor muscles up gently and transverse abdomenus in toward the centre of gravity to stabilise split seconds before the movement. As Theo van der Riet Botha calls it “the movement before the movement". With this, you will be able to maintain the integrity required for each exercise to achieve the precision BASI Pilates requires.


“Lazy breathing converts the lungs, literally and figuratively speaking, into a cemetery for the deposition of diseased, dying and dead germs.” Even when we're exercising hard, only about 50% of the air in our lungs gets expelled when we breathe out. Joseph Pilates believed that the air left in our lungs was a “haven for the multiplication of harmful germs,” and sought through his exercises to purge lungs, thus cleansing our systems.

This, he said, “is the equivalent of an internal shower.” Elaborating on the theme, he once said: “As a heavy rainstorm freshens the water of a sluggish or stagnant stream, so does the Pilates method purify the bloodstream.”


Joseph Pilates said

“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.”


Breathe in fully, breathe out fully - and make every breath count and feel the flow of life!


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