Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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  • My Bloggey Past

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Posts Tagged ‘Remo Williams’

Nose And Nose, Nose And Mouth

Posted by terrepruitt on July 16, 2013

A post or two ago I wrote about how breathing is good.  I mentioned that it is very common to hold your breathe while exercising and/or concentrating.  I shared that I was reminded of that recently by my husband (and Remo Williams). I briefly shared a few situations in which people might breath differently.  Of course, I had to mention Nia Sounding.  In my post What IS PiYo?, I mentioned yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  Generally they are a bit different.

Simply put yoga breathing is done through the nose.  Both the inhale and the exhale.  Depending on what type of yoga you are doing, you may move as you inhale and exhale in a flow.  It is almost as if the breath can work as your metronome.  Or the flow is done where on certain moves you just inhale or exhale, timing your breath to your moves instead of your moves to your breath.  You can just breath normally and move through the poses as you want with no regard to the pace of your breath, but you still move with your breath.  As with most exercising the exhale is on the effort whether you are doing poses in a flow or at your own pace unrelated to your breathing pace.  While breath and breathing is related to movement in yoga, it does not always set the pace. In addition to the breath entering and exiting through the nose the breath affects the belly.  On the inhale it is the belly that expands.  On the exhale the belly compresses.  This is called diaphragmatic breathing.

To put Pilates breathing simply, it is done through both the nose and the mouth.  Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth.  And even though ALL breathing utilizes the diaphragm Pilates breathing expands the thoracic/chest area.  When I was first learning Pilates I was taught it was called “Back breathing”.  This name helped me to concentrate on the change in shape of my upper body and not pull the breath down into my belly.  As with yoga, breathing is a large part of Pilates and breath relates to movement, but the area of the body with which the breathing is done is different.

Both yoga and Pilates breathing are done fully and completely.  So whether the air is flowing into the lower part of lungs and you are allowing your belly to expand or whether the air is going into all of the “corners” and your chest is expanding it is a full breath.  I like to practice allowing all the air that my lungs can hold to enter, to the point where I know there is no more space, then exhaling completely, until I know there is no more air left in my lungs.  This expelling completely is done with either type of breathing practice.

So in general that is the difference between yoga breathing and Pilates breathing.  As you practice either yoga or Pilates there are many details that you will learn and experience but that is it in a nutshell.

As I said, I like to practice full and complete breathing.  In addition I like to practice BOTH types of breathing.  I think they each have different benefits.  I think it is very important — no matter which type of breathing you are doing — to make the breaths FULL and COMPLETE  – as much in as you can as much out as you can.

If you were to report on your breathing you are doing right now, which type would you say it more closely resembles?

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Breathing – It’s A Good Thing

Posted by terrepruitt on July 11, 2013

Many people hold their breath while working out.  Or even just concentrating.  I was recently learning something and concentrating really hard and my husband said, “Are you holding your breath?”  I burst out laughing because I was in fact holding my breath.  I didn’t even realize it until he asked.  I thought it was funny that I was holding my breath and I thought it was extra funny because I remind people to breathe all the time.  Exercising and concentrating are two things that make people hold their breath so if they are concentrating while exercising it makes sense that it happens.  Also people tend to hold their breath when lifting something heavy.  This type of  maneuver or effect is called the valsalva maneuver or valsalva effect.  While some people who do heavy lifting claim it is good to do the valsalva maneuver and that it helps with the lifting others say it is not good and it does not help.  For me and my students breathing is ALWAYS in order.  How you breathe depends on what you are doing.  If you are lifting weights or doing exercises your breathing is different from when you are doing a cardio workout, such as Nia.

Breathing allows oxygen get to the muscles.  The muscles need that.  For me, I find that when I breathe I can move better.  That was actually the point of my husband asking me if I were breathing.  He could tell by the way I was moving that I was not breathing.  He was across the room and he could tell.  Even though the movement I was doing was very small by holding my breath my movements did not flow and were very sporadic.

One of my husband’s favorite sayings is “If you do not breathe correctly, you do not move correctly.”  He got that from a campy film called  Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins from 1985, but, I’ll be darned if it is not 100% accurate!

One way trainers and instructors ensure breathing is to have the client/student talk.  When you are talking you are breathing.  In Nia we sing, laugh, shout, and in general make all types of noises.  In Nia we call it sounding.  By engaging in sounding we are ensuring we are breathing.  It is necessary for the body, but it is also fun for the spirit.

A sound made my a sharp exhalation helps both with stabilization of the core, but to me it seems to do a better job of engaging the core muscles than just holding my breath.  This method could be utilized during lifting or an agility move.  Sometimes when doing an exercise that is challenging it can help to pant with either your tongue out as an animal would or with semi-pursed lips.  Also when a muscles seems fatigued it often helps to take that extra deep breath.  No matter how you breathe remember it really is important to do so.  And even though it might sound silly that we “forget” to breathe, it is a common occurrence.  So practice remembering to breathe.  Breathing is a good thing!

Do you ever find yourself holding your breath?  When?

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