Joseph Pilate wrote, “Correct breathing exercises under the dominance of mental control, would undoubtedly…accomplish more toward attaining and maintaining maximum health standards, than all other remedies combined.”

Pilates argued that if you did not know how to breath properly, you could do nothing to your fullest potential. While to some degree we have proven him wrong, his words are something to consider. Oxygen fuels our brains and our muscles. These are important tools we use every day. If we got more oxygen to the brain, perhaps we’d think better and with more ease. Solving problems might become simpler. Getting proper oxygen to the body is obviously important when exercising.

While I may not go to the extreme Pilates takes when it comes to breathing, there is no doubt humans take breathing for granted. Since this weeks exercise is a simple (and yet not so simple) breathing exercise, take a moment to focus on your breathe. Try to breath normally. Don’t attempt to change what you normally do during a given task or while working at the computer. No one is watching. Only you will learn something about yourself.

Ask yourself these questions: Where does your breath naturally go? The shoulders is a common place. Does your chest lift? If so, your breath isn’t very deep. Does your stomach extend? Why is that? Have you trained in yoga or does that come naturally to you? Have you been training in Pilates so that you’ve started naturally breathing into the sides and lower lobs of your lungs?

A deeper breath will no doubt produce better results.

If you know someone with a baby, watch the baby breathe when she’s asleep. Innately little babes take belly breaths. They don’t have to be taught to breathe. Ask someone to watch you breathe while you’re asleep. How do you breathe when you’re completely relaxed?

The answers to these questions are worth finding out. Even if breathing isn’t as important to productivity as Pilates makes it, it is vital to life. And in a world where we all search for the fountain of youth and eternal life, we might want to stop and think about whether or not we are fueling our bodies with the oxygen they require.