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New Exercise of the month by Louise Nightingale – Stott Pilates Instructor

February 05th, 2018

Welcome to my first Pilates Exercise for The Woodbridge Complementary Health Centre.

This months Exercise is most importantly “BREATHING”.

There are many ways to facilitate a full breath but I like teaching it as part of the warm up in the following way.


Start laying on your back on a mat in, what we refer to as, a supine position. Bend your legs and have your feet hip width apart on the floor. If you feel more comfortable then place a small cushion or head pad under your head. Ensure your neck is in a nice neutral position ensuring the neck is not arched.

Place your hands on top of your rib cage with your finger tips gently touching towards the middle of your rib cage. Relax the arms and shoulders. Feel your back melting in to the floor and keep your spine in it’s neutral (natural) position.

Take a deep breath in through the nose and feel your fingers gently part as your ribs expand laterally as your lungs fill with air.  Ensure you breathe into your chest and not your abdomen.  Exhale slowly through pursed lips feeling the lungs emptying as the rib cage draws back and closes and your finger tips gently touch again.  You want to feel your breathe permeating deep into the lateral lobes of the lungs refreshing your body with oxygen.

Repeat 8-10 times or as much as you like.  This can be used as a precursor to your exercises or as a relaxation technique.


The benefits of this are huge, but for Pilates principally this is to prepare the body for exercise, reduce stress/anxiety, improve focus, clear out the lungs by filling even the deepest parts and helping to improve lung capacity and performance of your lungs.

By taking deep breaths you effectively force more oxygen into the cells of the body in turn having a beneficial effect on your energy levels and heart rate.

Not only is Breathing an essential part of life it’s essential when performing exercise including Pilates.  By focusing on your breath it enables us to perform our exercises to the maximum ensuring our posture is maintained correctly.


For more information on Pilates, private tuition and classes please contact Louise Nightingale at the Centre on 01394 388234.



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