5 Breathwork Benefits For Your Pilates Practise

Sep 10, 2021 | Uncategorized

Pilates is designed to strengthen the body and relax the mind, and breath work plays a huge role in this.

We all know that breath is vital to out survival in the most basic sense. You may have also heard of the importance of breath work in terms of providing enhanced deep core muscle activation and therefore body stability through movement. But did you know that breath work offers so many other benefits? 

 

5 Less Common Benefits of Breathwork During Your Pilates Practise:

 

1. The Mind Becomes Clear, Calm and Focused

Deep breathing clears the mind and relaxes the body. By taking full relaxed breaths, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system or the system responsible for deep relaxation. Stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol accumulate in our tissues and often sabotage our wellness efforts. Relaxed controlled breathing helps to increase oxygen uptake experienced by shallow breathing – this is what we do when we are stressed is triggered when we feel stress or anxiety and sends out spikes of cortisol and adrenaline. Therefore, by consciously deepening the cyclical rhythm of the “breath”, we divert attention away from flight or fight hormones allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to aid in relaxation, enhanced digestion, and clearer thinking. 

2. Pain is Lessened 

Deep breathing allows the mind to focus entirely on the breath itself. When this is performed correctly, pain becomes lessened. The practice of deepening the breath sends a powerful message to the body that it is OK to slow the heart rate. Many times, when we are in a state of chronic pain, the body signals the autonomic nervous system flooding the brain with fight or flight chemical responses. This works very effectively if you are being chased by a scary looking bear; however, we don’t want out bodies to be flooded with adrenaline and cortisol under normal circumstances. As mentioned above, conscious breathing paired with intentional movement stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system. Activating the PSNS aids in lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate, and easing pain symptoms. 

3. Releases Endorphins

Endorphins are the feel-good hormone and are stimulated by deep breathing and coordinated movement. Additionally, endorphins allow for renewed vitality and assist with pain control. Our endorphins help improve overall mood and play a role in helping our bodies adapt to stressful situations. 

4. Stimulates the Lymphatic System

The continuous rise and fall movement of the diaphragm during repetitive deep abdominal breathing contributes to the return of lymphatic fluid back to the bloodstream. This combined with co-ordinated Pilates movements, further activates the diaphragm muscle and stimulates the return of blood back to the heart. This is important because the lymphatic system is a resource for cleansing the body of waste products. 

5. Detoxifies the Body

Deep breathing removes carbon dioxide from our bloodstream and other harmful components that impede wellness. 70% of the detoxification process is performed via deep breathing. The other is achieved through normal urine and bowel emptying. Deep breathing performed In conjunction with Pilates in the form of intentional movements, can indirectly support these detoxification processes. This might also indirectly aid in quicker recovery times, improvements in digestion, and overall enhanced metabolic function.

Pilates is founded upon the principles relating to coordinated breathing through intentional movement. There is a wide range of health benefits Pilates brings to the body and the mind. The physiological benefits of the breath alongside how it can aid in overall core awareness and control is something that is discussed in depth in the signature 100hour PEA Pilates Matwork Teacher Training course. If you have been dreaming. about becoming a Pilates Instructor, reach out to the team to discuss your training options!

 

References: 

  1. https://www.thepaincenter.com/news/breathing-exercises-to-calm-pain
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/relaxation-techniques-breath-control-helps-quell-errant-stress-response
  3. https://www.stress.org/take-a-deep-breath#:~:text=Deep%20breathing%20increases%20the%20supply,head%20and%20quiets%20your%20mind.
  4. https://www.hegghc.org/benefits-of-deep-breathing/
  5. https://www.innisintegrativetherapy.com/blog/2017/11/21/calming-a-wigged-out-autonomic-nervous-system-using-the-vagus-nerve

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