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I was reading (and doing the breathing and pre-exercises in) this Pilates Method book I have.
It's actually a combination of pilates, yogo and dance elements (balletic movements and stretches). I was just amazed. The breathing exercises... very simple things, make you feel sooooooo much better.
Well, okay, they make *me* feel so much better.
Basically, this is what they are:

Kapalabhati the breath of fire, the foundation for the Hundred breath and warming up (short, invigorating bursts of breathing)
Retention with the three locks, to increase lung capacity and strengthen the heart (I never thought I'd read a fitness book that tells me to constrict my perineum)
Ujjayi the smooth concentrated breath for all yoga poses (my favorite)
Basic inhalation and exhalation with abdominal contraction for all the Pilates exercises
Alternate nostril breathing for final meditation (heheh.. this is goofy, but effective)

The book is Jennifer Kries' Pilates Plus Method and I reccomend you pick it up just to be FREAKED OUT by really really simple things like... feeling every muscle in your arm.. really *feeling* them, but in a non painful way.
I did the breathing things last night before bed and I slept like a rock.
I never sleep like a rock.

I think I'm going to continue this and see if it continues. Because anything that helps me sleep is very very worth it and after I'd done the exercises I was *so* very relaxed.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 30th, 2002 11:12 am (UTC)
That sounds like an awesome book. I'll look for it next time i'm at Borders.
Aug. 30th, 2002 11:13 am (UTC)
People have no idea how important breathing is, seriously. We breathe so shallowly most of the time, unless youre conscious of it. We used to about 20 mins of pranayama (breathing exercise, most of the same exact ones you mention) after every yoga class.
Aug. 30th, 2002 09:11 pm (UTC)
I posted about how I was exhausting myself at work, even in short little shifts.
And while I'm tired tonight, it's not *nearly* what it has been and I think a big part of it was my increased awareness of the breathing. I actually took time to make sure I was breathing deeply while I was working and the difference is really noticeable.
You just have more energy and feel more centered and calm when you're getting more oxygen.

Sep. 6th, 2002 12:17 pm (UTC)
(pardon the late reply, its been "one of those weeks") i've heard a disturbing report that the only time cig smokers inhale properly is when they're taking a drag. the only time! guh!

also, i know a guy who went through the window of a moving volvo and basically sat around and breathed (with focus) for several weeks. he healed faster than anyone thought possible.
Aug. 30th, 2002 01:20 pm (UTC)
pilates rocks. i took a class a year ago, and i swear, i felt taller after the first class. i would love to take it over and over, but it is so freaking expensive.

good for you for checking out the book. i wish i had enough oomph in me to follow along with a book. i need someone actually harassing me publicly to make me do those things. i also tried a tai chi class. i must be a complete spaz, but i didn't like it and found the positions to be challenging. but the one thing i loved about it was the breathing. but pilates! yippee!
Aug. 30th, 2002 09:09 pm (UTC)
I hate the idea of someone harassing me.. hehe.. so the book is sort of perfect. After I pick up a mat and clear some more space I'll move beyond the little pre exercises and the breathing.. but I really think I'm going to like this. ::nods::
Aug. 30th, 2002 04:57 pm (UTC)
and centre
dizzy hippy chick
discovers buddism.

i really must try that myself sometime.
Aug. 30th, 2002 07:58 pm (UTC)
Re: and centre
Dizzy yes, chick, yes... hippie? nowhere near close.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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