Your Core Strength

 Awhile back I did a blog on my first Pilates experience and my epiphany about breath.  For those who did not read this blog, it was a light bulb moment for me in regards to how much holding of breath I had been doing while moving versus using my breath mindfully while moving. The difference in how my mind and movement felt was night and day.  I call those light bulb moments!  That awakening began a 15 year journey to date on mindful breath and movement - Pilates fitness is all about this!

Today I will talk about breath in regards to core strength.  Core strength involves all of the muscles affecting your spine.   That is a lot of muscles folks.  I personally believe that even the feet affect our core muscle contractions as we are one continuous chain of connections. (that is another blog to come!)  
In Pilates we teach the clients how to access their deepest core muscles using imagery. Did you know that your inner thigh muscles when contracted con-contract your pelvic floor muscles (deep muscles inside your pelvis), and they in turn co-contract your lowest and deepest abdominals called your TA and so on up the chain. it is quite fascinating how brilliant the body is. Once you learn how to find these long lost muscles  (for some), we can work on strengthening them so that you can use them in your everyday life without even thinking about it eventually.  All movement should start from these core muscles!  Then, we ask you to breathe while these muscles stay engaged, yikes! Not easy. This core breath when mastered gives you many benefits, but it doesn't happen overnight for sure!  This is very patient work.
Pilates Breath allows the spine to decompress.  Just walking around with gravity creates compression, not to mention all the other crazy things we do with our body in a given day over time. The good news it it can all be balanced out with mindful breath and movement folks!