Breath is one of Contrology's (what Joe Pilates called his exercise method) fundamentals. It is also one of 6 Pilates principles adhered to by any competent Pilates teacher today. Joe taught that life began with an inhale and ended on an exhale. Master teacher Kathy Corey remarks that life longevity is simply always following an inhale with an exhale.
One of my clients recently observed that he would have to learn how to breath all over again in his study of Pilates. It is likely that we all need to learn how to breath again to enhance our feelings of vitality and well being.
Mary Bowen shared that we are all "sipping and sucking." These are really tied to infantile behaviors and they prevent us from optimally oxygenating the body. Ron Fletcher and Pat Guyton teach me that the inhale must be so filling as to press the ribcage out to the sides and back, that the exhale returns the ribcage to so that it encircles the spine and organs. The chest should lift rather than the shoulders and the belly does not protrude. Ron admonishes, just as Joe did, that the inhale should match the exhale in depth and length.
Breath isn't something attended to when one is meditating, relaxing or exercising. Breath is the physical expression of life. Breath is literally life.
Really breath today.
Really feel the ribcage open and close in symphony with the lungs expanding and contracting.