The A-Z of Pilates - B for Breathing

Breathing is one of the original six principles of Pilates and is known as lateral thoracic breathing – or LTB. Breathing is actually the foundation to Pilates exercise as it helps to coordinate the movement, rhythm and control associated with each exercise. It also helps the mind to focus, releases tension, fills us with well oxygenated blood and helps in keeping our lower abdominals drawn inward and upward – our core connection.


How do I do it?


Well….it can take a little practice as we are more used to breathing where there is a natural rise and fall of the abdominal area. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this breathing pattern at all, but in LTB we are attempting to draw the breath upward and into the back and sides of the ribcage. Take a look

1. Standing in neutral alignment (see my post on A = Alignment) place the hands at the front of your ribcage with your middle fingers meeting.


2. Take a deep breath into the sides and back of the body feeling your ribs opening and expanding sideways so that your hands and middle fingers draw away from each other.


3. Breathe out so that your ribs contract again and your hands and fingers draw back towards each other to where they started, and the ribs become ‘closed’. This also helps to focus on the ‘zip and scoop’ of the pelvic floor and lower abdominals to get the all important core connection as well bringing the shoulders and arms into the correct alignment.




Cheerio for now. Enjoy practising!

This entry was posted on October 9, 2017