I have been reading an excellent book in preparation for my British Library staff classes coming up in early Sept; The New Rules of Posture, How to Sit, Stand and Move in the Modern World by Mary Bond. Ms Bond has trained in Rolfing techniques which is closely aligned with Pilates & she stresses the importance of correct breathing

360° breathing is very much part of Pilates, that is breathing into the ribs (back, front and sides of ribs), & belly. The rib movement when inhaling & exhaling is subtle, it facilitates the diaphragm to moves freely and do the majority of the work (as evolution intended). If the back or neck muscles are tight this can hinder the ideal breathing pattern, as can poor posture.

Correct breathing can help calm the nervous system, aid the reduction of stress & anxiety, it can also be linked to improved sleeping, digestion & posture; what’s not to love! How to go about improving breathing patterns takes effort & time, but as Joseph Pilates said “Patience and persistence are vital qualities in the ultimate successful accomplishment of any worthwhile endeavour”.  Mary Bond has developed a range of exercises based bringing awareness to the breath, how to relax & allow the diaphragm to work at full potential which she calls 3D Global breathing.

Lying down with a small hand towel rolled to support the lower back, she advises to notice the sensations in the body when breathing. To feel how inhalation fills the body from the head to toe and how exhalation shrinks the whole body. By relaxing and focusing on breathing tensions can be released and you begin the journey towards improved breathing and movement.