The Breath- Engaging the Core
One of the most common mantras in Pilates is the command, “Pull your navel to your spine.” In order to do this, you need to engage all of the core muscles or the “powerhouse” from the base of the pelvic floor to the bottom of the diaphragm. (Brian Alger) Pilates uses the lateral breathing technique to keep the abdominals deeply contracted or pulled in during the inhalation and exhalation processes. Breathing deeply, all the way down the spine and into the pelvic bowl, we work toward expanding the breath into the back and sides of the ribcage. Benefits of this type of breathing include improving circulation, increased focus, and rejuvenation and restoration of energy by providing more oxygen to the muscles and brain. The most significant benefit of this breath, however, is that by correctly using the breath to engage the core, our spine is protected and we are given extra support through each exercise. The core strengthens with the use of the breath to support, protect, and move us with effectiveness through the exercises.
As we continue to look at the path that Jesus would take to the CROSS, we see how awareness of His purpose and His continued alignment to it would be followed by the engagement of His CORE by the BREATH of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 3: 21-23
“When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven; ‘You are my son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.’ Now Jesus was about 30 years old when he began his ministry.”
Jesus’ awareness of His role and His alignment to God’s will would require a steady Breath that would continually circulate through and refresh His body, focus His mind, revive and restore His energy as He flowed with precision through the movements-the path- set before Him. At His baptism, Jesus receives this vital breath from His Father in the form of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit would hold Him firmly in God’s Will- as He walked toward trials and temptations on the way to the CROSS, He would be supported and protected by the Strength of the CORE.