A Breath of Fresh Air

If you’ve ever taken a class with Mariska, you’ve probably heard her say “Hold… But not your breath.”  Fuse Ambassador Heather Burchfield takes a moment (and a deep breath) to talk a little about why…breathing

Stop what you are doing. Take a second and assess your breathing. Whether you are trying to make a deadline at your office, taking a break from folding laundry or in-between play dates for the kiddos, I’m willing to bet you will discover that your breathing is shallow and barely noticeable. Similarly, have you ever found yourself periodically taking large gulps of air? Not a yawn, but an exaggerated inhale?

If you are like me, you are guilty of both, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we are starving our bodies of the healthy oxygen that keeps us physically and mentally balanced. Worse, we are trapping carbon dioxide and unhealthy toxins in our bodies. There are dozens of medical journals and articles out there that address the physiological and psychological significance of regular, meaningful breathing, but it doesn’t take a medical degree to feel the restorative effects of oxygen and to see that the culprit of our breathing anorexia is stress.

It seems simple enough, right? Inhale and exhale more deeply and consciously. But most of us don’t have the time and brain space to remember if we turned off the coffee pot in the morning let alone to take calm, deep breaths all day. And let’s be honest, between politics, traffic and heavy workloads, stress abounds in DC!

Lucky for my body and sanity, I discovered that I can get an hour of concentrated and meaningful breathing and an unparalleled derriere-kicking workout at Fuse. Each Fuse class begins with bringing awareness to your breathing. Fuse instructors diligently guide you through each exercise, ensuring that you take corresponding deep breaths with each move. You will quickly discover that when you breathe properly as instructed, you are able to tackle the most challenging exercises with more ease. Exercises that seem impossible become possible as oxygen fills your body and gives you renewed energy and mental clarity.

Also, foundational to each Fuse class is proper posture. Why is this essential to your breathing? Correct posture provides more room for your lungs to expand, which allows for more oxygen to enter your body. “Sit up tall, roll your shoulders blades down” echoes throughout the Fuse Playground. If milk does the body good, then Fuse does the body great, wonderful, fantastic. What can be more beneficial to your overall health than an hour of inundating your lungs, brain, and cells with oxygen rich breaths, while simultaneously releasing trapped toxins and stress through heart pumping and sweat inducing Fuse exercises?

Even after my most hectic workday, I know that I will leave a Fuse class feeling a little sore, maybe taller, certainly less stressed and 100% invigorated.

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Posted in Exercise science, Fuse Pilates, Student Perspective and tagged , ,

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