Lateral Breathing Benefits
Breathing is key to getting the most out of every movement in Pilates. The most common kind of breathing we practice is lateral breathing. Lateral breathing supplies ample oxygen, connects with your movements, and engages your muscles more effectively than regular breathing does.
Lateral breathing is largely confined to your torso. During movements, you exhale as your spine flexes or rounds forward, or when you need a strong abdominal contraction. You inhale when your spine is extended, meaning when your back is arched. A very common rule to follow is that you exhale on effort. This is how lateral breathing facilitates your muscle movements!
Trying a different way of breathing as you exercise may seem overwhelming, but all it takes is a little practice and effort. Once you learn lateral breathing, you’ll find that it naturally complements your Pilates exercise and leaves you feeling empowered and fabulous!
About the STOTT PILATES® method
Q. What is the STOTT PILATES® Method?
A. STOTT PILATES is a contemporary approach to the original exercise method pioneered by the late Joseph Pilates. Co-founders Moira and Lindsay G. Merrithew, along with a team of physical therapists, sports medicine and fitness professionals, have spent over two decades refining the STOTT PILATES method of exercise and equipment. This resulted in the inclusion of modern principles of exercise science and spinal rehabilitation, making it one of the safest and effective methods available. This clear and detailed approach forms the basis for STOTT PILATES training and certification programs. It's used by rehab and prenatal clients, athletes, celebrities and everyone in between.
Q. Why are you touted as the "Professional's Choice"?
A. Since its inception over 20 years ago, STOTT PILATES has grown from a small studio into the world's most respected Pilates brand. While much has changed since we first opened our doors in 1988, our mission of promoting the ongoing benefits of mind-body fitness worldwide remains a constant. Our full-service company provides all the training, equipment and ongoing support you need to build a strong and successful Pilates business. Whether your goal is to establish Pilates group exercise programs, take your personal training to the next level, set up a fully equipped studio, or train to become a certified instructor – we go the distance to help you succeed. STOTT PILATES' mission is to fulfill the needs of Pilates enthusiasts everywhere and that's why we're the number one source for everything Pilates – spanning equipment, education and media.
Q. What is the difference between the STOTT PILATES Method and other Pilates techniques?
A. STOTT PILATES incorporates modern exercise principles, including contemporary thinking about spinal rehabilitation and athletic performance enhancement. For example, some approaches may promote a flat back, whereas STOTT PILATES exercises are designed to restore the natural curves of the spine and rebalance the muscles around the joints, placing more emphasis on scapular stabilization. As well, there are more preparatory exercises and modifications to cater to many different body types and abilities, making it applicable to everyday life.
Q. What are the benefits of STOTT PILATES?
A. longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
improves postural problems
increases core strength, stability and peripheral mobility
helps prevent injury
enhances functional fitness, ease of movement
balances strength & flexibility
heightens body awareness
no-impact, easy on the joints
can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
complements other methods of exercise
improves performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating etc.)
improves balance, coordination & circulation
Q. What are the principles behind the STOTT PILATES Method?
A. STOTT PILATES exercise improves core strength and balances the muscles around the joints, improving the way your body functions, looks and feels. The Five Basic Principles focus on:
Rib cage placement
Head & cervical spine placement
Q. Is STOTT PILATES exercise like Yoga?
A. In some respects Pilates is like Yoga. Both are considered mind-body type methods of movement; both emphasize deep breathing and smooth, long movements that encourage the mind-body connection. The difference is that while Yoga requires moving from one static posture to the next, Pilates flows through a series of movements that are more dynamic, systematic and anatomically-based incorporating resistance equipment. The goal with STOTT PILATES exercise is to strengthen the postural muscles while achieving optimal functional fitness.
Q. Will I grow by doing STOTT PILATES?
A. Much of Pilates exercise requires you to look within, focus on your breathing, and feel the subtle differences within your body. Many people come to a very meditative state while doing Pilates, and therefore will grow mentally and spiritually over time through this type of exercise. By strengthening the postural muscles people have learned to maintain good posture thereby appearing taller.
Q. What kind of results can I expect from doing STOTT PILATES?
A. You can expect an increase in strength, flexibility, mobility, balance, and body awareness, as well as a decrease in back pain or other general pains.
Q. How long will I have to do the workout before I see results?
A. The average active person doing 2-3 classes per week should see some results within 10-12 classes. This will vary depending on each individual and other factors such as the number of classes a person takes each week, whether they are private or group classes, whether they participate in other physical activities, and whether they have any existing injuries. It is also important to work with a well trained Certified Instructor.
Q. I have a bad back. Will I be able to do Pilates?
A. Although you should always consult your physician before starting any fitness routine, a Pilates workout is gentle and controlled with no sudden jarring actions. It is therefore more important that you work with a qualified instructor to ensure that you are doing the movements correctly. An experienced instructor will be able to modify the exercises to accommodate your limitations, continually challenge you within your range and monitor your improvements. If you commit yourself to a consistent workout schedule you will certainly feel results.
Q. Will I get the same results with a mat workout as with a Reformer or equipment workout?
A. Mat-based workouts are very convenient and can be done anywhere. Adding light equipment and the larger resistance equipment will place more emphasis on your outer limbs and add variety and intensity to your program.
Q. If I'm doing Pilates, should I still do my regular workout?
A. STOTT PILATES exercise is a musculo-skeletal conditioning program. It's ideal in combination with some kind of cardiovascular exercise (walking, running, aerobics, aqua fitness etc.), and a great complement to your weight training program.
Q. How can STOTT PILATES be different than weight training or other resistance exercise?
A. Pilates is three-dimensional
(i.e. exercises can be performed using all movement planes)
spring resistance more closely resembles muscular contraction
emphasis on concentric/eccentric contraction for injury prevention
STOTT PILATES exercise is customizable for special needs
in Pilates exercise, emphasis is placed on rebalancing muscles around the joints
Pilates corrects over-training and muscle imbalance that leads to injury
Pilates emphasizes balancing strength with flexibility
(for injury prevention and more efficient movement)
STOTT PILATES exercise leads to an improvement in posture and body awareness
Weight training and STOTT PILATES can be combined in your fitness program and are a great compliment to each other.
Heather Crosby is owner and director of EveryBody Pilates. She discovered Pilates in 1995 living on the West coast. After a traumatic car wreck and hours of physical therapy she found that Pilates was the only form of exercise that made her body feel like it used to feel. She wanted to share this powerful insight with others. She became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in 2001 and began teaching at Studio One Pilates and STOTT PILATES® Certification Center in Springfield, Missouri. In 2002 she introduced Pilates to Ozark by opening EveryBody Pilates and received Best Instructor Award at the Midwest STOTT PILATES® conference two years running. Heather loves helping others achieve greater self confidence and feel better in their bodies.
Denise Wilcock was a choreographer and dance instructor for 16 years before entering the wonderful world of Pilates. Her teaching was headquartered in New York City and she was often recruited to teach workshops in Japan and Europe. She was initially exposed to Pilates at the original Joseph Pilates school in Manhattan in the early 1990's and always had a great respect and appreciation for the training. After traveling the world she longed to return to her family and roots and bring back some of the skills she acquired through her experiences. Pilates has been the answer! Denise started working with EveryBody Pilates in the winter of 2006 and became a STOTT PILATES® Certified Instructor in January 2007. She feels so honored to be serving as a Pilates trainer for the studio and her clients. Denise is inspired as she watches the amazing results and benefits it provides for folks from all walks of life.
Jessie Cowen is no stranger to the world of performing arts. She began singing at the age of 4 and dancing at the age of 6. A seasoned stage veteran, Jessie worked for 12 years as a professional singer/dancer including a season for Carnival Cruise Lines. Jessie became Barre certified in 2013 and began teaching full time this year. "Health and fitness is a passion of mine. It always has been. I'm thrilled to be able to share that with others!"