Updated: Oct 14, 2019

"One of the New Zealand Natives' legacies was the haka, a traditional Māori posture dance with vigorous movements and stamping of the feet, to the accompaniment of rhythmically shouted words" (wikipedia). Unless you are a rugby fan (no, I'm not,) or perhaps have been part of a community that thrives on sports (Hi fellow ACSians), you probably wouldn't have come across the ALL BLACKS. It's a national pride.

My post isn't about rugby, though.

Breathing- an involuntary action, natural to all living things; seems pretty challenging to most people these days. People just don't breathe. Sometimes when I get focused on the task at hand, I catch myself stopping short of it as well.

It becomes a deliberate reminder to self that it takes a couple of minutes to regather, in order to refocus. The brain needs oxygen; our biological processes requires oxygen to convert energy in the body. Not breathing sends a defense signal that the body is in stress, and it is especially dangerous when exercising. It could cause muscles to tense up and potentially lead to other compensations and injuries.

Last Saturday I had my usual mat class at the guild house, and I have a relatively new member who always grits his teeth when he does exercises. I can teach him to modify an exercise, I can teach him to breathe initially (deliberate pacing); however, when we combine both together, I am pretty certain he might at some point strain his neck.

That was how the "All Blacks" cue came about. "Pushing your tongue to the roof of your mouth" didn't work, neither did "sigh your breath out", so I spontaneously said "even if you open your mouth and stick your tongue out it works too, as long as you are breathing." My long-term sporty member cheekily did it and it reminded me of the Maori haka dance where they stick their tongues out. XD We all burst out laughing.

How do you get your class to engage in proper breathing mechanics?

I will write more about the nerd stuff in the upcoming post(s). Meanwhile, share and comment!

#breathingmechanics #breathingtechniques #justbreathe #sports #pilatesmat #journeyofapilatesteacher

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