A very important and frequently overlooked part of Pilates involves breathing. And with the stress of the Holiday season, your Pilates breathing can become your best friend. Most clients come in during the months of November and December, tired, stressed, and feeling overwhelmed. Reminding your clientele about the importance of breathing during this time will help them to be more relaxed and help their bodies be less tight and feel less stress.

As a reminder, here is a breath exercise that can help you and your clients during the craziness of the Holidays. This can be done lying down, sitting up or simply standing:

Take a long slow even breath in through your nose. Imagine the breath filling your ribcage three dimensionally. Imagine breath filling the sides of your rib cage, feel the breath all the way through towards the back of your ribs. If you are lying on the floor or leaning against a wall, try to feel the pressure of the inhalation against the wall or the back of the chair. Then, slowly, evenly,

exhale trough your mouth. When exhaling, hold your mouth in a relaxed position and try to contract your ribcage to exhale the air. You can use the image of your diaphragm as a three dimensional mushroom that you can expand and make bigger with your inhalation. Try to count up to 10 on your exhalation, so that it is a slow and even exhalation. Let the exhalation last as long as you can.

Some places where the three dimensional breath of Pilates can really help are:

1. Waiting in line at the stores while shopping.
2. While in traffic.
3. During any frustrating time or situation.

Our breath helps to center us, helps us feel more in control and helps us to slow down. Just breathe, and enjoy the wonders and miracles of the holiday season!