Joseph Pilates was passionate about the benefits of learning how to breathe efficiently. He said:

“Before any real benefit can be derived from physical exercises, one must first learn how to breathe properly. Our very life depends on it.”

Breathing for Pilates

In Pilates, we practise lateral or thoracic breathing. This is to encourage the expansion of the lower ribs into the sides and into the back. The breathing patterns specified for each exercise are to facilitate movement and aid stability. Effective use of the breath can also help the mind to relax, focus and recharge.

Breathing to Relieve Back Pain

With persistent back pain, muscles often feel tense and tight. A breathing exercise, such as breathing in for a count of 7 and out for a count of 11, can calm the nervous system so as to relax tense muscles and prevent sudden spasms of back pain.

Breathing for Insomnia

If you suffer from poor sleep, a deep breathing trick can help. A US expert recommends the 4-7-8 method to help you relax and fall asleep. The trick is holding the breath for four seconds, breathing out then holding for seven seconds. After that exhale completely for a count of eight. The steps are then repeated between two and four times. Read more in this breathing trick can induce sleep article from The Telegraph.