When I was told that practicing Pilates breathing would firm my “after-baby” tummy, I was a woman on a mission. I would lie in bed at night and inhale everything I needed for the next day and exhale everything that was not working in my life. I would take my inhale as deep as I could into the mattress and exhale dropping my belly button as deep as I could into the small of my back. It only took about 5 breaths before I was fast asleep. Maybe keeping up with an infant and a 2 year old helped too!
Pilates breathing became my active meditation. Of course I used my breathing during my personal training sessions twice a week, but I also used it when I took Water Aerobics, played with the kids, drove the car and even when I was washing dishes. My “A-Ha!” moment came about two months into Pilates when I was walking out of the grocery store. I was doing my Pilates breathing, pulling my navel to my spine, when all of a sudden I felt my “mom jeans” shift around on my waist. I kept walking but I was grinning ear to ear and I wanted to shout, “My jeans are loose! My jeans are loose!”
That was the day I became a believer in the power of Pilates breathing to sculpt and firm abdominals. Since then, clients have told me all sorts of funny stories about how they have included Pilates breathing in their lives; however, I need to tell you that you should never practice Pilates breathing while you’re having an MRI. It will jiggle the machine and you’ll have to reschedule your scan!