Breathing is controlled by our autonomic nervous system. This part of your nervous system controls bodily functions that are largely involuntary, for example pupils dilating in dim light and sweating when you get hot.
When we are under stress our autonomic nervous system goes in to “fight-or-flight” mode. For our respiratory system this means an increase in our breathing rate and an altered breathing pattern, where we use our shoulder and neck muscles to take shallow breathing from the top of our lungs.
The good news is that we can consciously change our breathing with exercises like those performed by Sally in the video or breathing exercises in yoga/pilates/meditation classes. Science has shown that by deliberately slowing our breathing and breathing from the diaphragm we stimulate relaxation mood in our autonomic nervous system. This has the follow on effect of reducing our blood pressure, slowing our heart rate and inhibiting the release of stress hormones.
Additionally breathing correctly from your diaphragm;
- Improves core activation. Holding your breath while performing exercises is a prime example. Holding your breath means the diaphragm cannot be used to breath as it has taken on the role of the main core stabiliser, meaning inefficient use of the rest of the core muscles.
- Reduces neck and shoulder tension, as your neck and shoulder muscles are not working overtime to help you breath.
As you can see correct breathing is a vital foundation to all Pilates/yoga practice. Do not daydream through this part of class as with out mastering the basics of breathing you may risk going home from class more stressed, with a sore neck and little effective work performed on your core.
Welcome to freedom in movement!
Come along to our Physio led Pilates classes and “love the way you move”
Sydney North Shore: Roseville
(We are easily accessible for clients based in Willoughy, Lindfield, Killara, Artarmon, Forestville, Chatswood, Gordon and St Ives).
Sydney Eastern Suburbs : Darlinghurst
Phone Sally on :0404 366 363 or visit our website www.pro-align.com.au and enquire now!