My Story

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health coaching

+ breathing

Free, easy to learn and not requiring any special equipment, breathing exercises are a simple yet effective way to improve wellness.

 

Breathing deeply can achieve a relaxed and clear state of mind, it is exceptionally calming and energising and can alleviate stress-related health issues ranging from panic attacks to digestive issues. Wondering how? Focusing on our breath helps to reduce stress by sending a message to the brain, and then the rest of the body, to calm down – so long increased heart rate, fast breathing and high blood pressure!

 

Inspired to try some breathing exercises?

  • If you’ve never done any breathing exercises before, start with belly breathing.

  • Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position, putting one hand on your belly and the other on your chest.

  • Take a deep breath in through the nose and let your belly push your hand out (your chest shouldn’t move).

  • Breathe out through pursed lips, as if you were whistling, feeling your hand go in and using it to push the air out.

  • Repeat this 3 to 10 times, taking your time with each breath – notice how you feel at the end!

pilates

+ breathing

Breathing correctly in Pilates helps to improve the range of movement, use the right muscles and prevent body tension. It may sound simple, but the most important thing is just to remember to breathe! Rather than holding your breath, focus on the movement first and then add the breath in when you feel ready.

 

The Pilates breathing technique:

  • The fancy name for Pilates breathing is ‘lateral thoracic’ – this essentially means breathing deeply into the back and sides of the ribs.

  • Try to imagine you are blowing out candles on a birthday cake – there should be a little noise and resistance behind each breath (this helps to activate the core).

  • Asthma, poor posture and stress can all lead to ‘chest breathing’. If you often experience shortness of breath, headaches and tense shoulders, chances are you’re a chest breather – you can also tell by standing in front of a mirror and breathing deeply. If your shoulders rise and fall a lot, this is probably shallow chest breathing.

  • A way to counteract this is to place your hands around the bottom of the ribs. Focus on breathing into the ribs whilst trying to push your hands apart and keeping the shoulders relaxed – this can be done lying down if standing is a struggle.

  • If you find the breathing tricky in Pilates, just make sure you breathe, don’t hold your breath and try not to worry too much about getting it right all the time.

personal training

+ breathing

When it comes to cardiovascular training, you generally breathe in and out through the nose and then through the mouth when intensity ramps up. If you’re weight training instead, the rule of thumb is to inhale on relaxation and exhale during exertion.

 

A few breathing tips to try when exercising:

  • Tend to hold your breath? Try counting each rep out loud instead.

  • Prone to side stitches when running? Exhale during the left footfall.

  • Struggling to catch your breath? Stand tall with your hands behind your head to open the lungs.

  • If you can’t speak, you’re in the high intensity range. If you can hold a conversation, the intensity is low to moderate.

  • Deep, slow breathing helps to calm the body and aid recovery when cooling down or stretching.

Breathing Life into the Business

It’s easy to take the breath for granted, but it’s an aspect that underpins everything we’re passionate about here at Breathe – so it’s perhaps no wonder why the business is named after it.

 

The way we use the breath may vary for Personal Training, Pilates and Health Coaching, but it’s an important tool in maximising the health benefits for both body and mind.

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About me

Hi, I’m Danni, a Health Coach, Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor currently living in Hertfordshire with my son, daughter and cats George and Louie. I grew up in the county, but my career has taken me from London to Dubai! Passionate about health and fitness (but also balance!) when I’m not working, I love being outside in the sunshine (as much as I can in the UK), and enjoy relaxing with my children, eating delicious food and drinking the odd G&T.

 

I’ll let you into a secret – I’ve spent a long time working on the relationship between food and my body. I tried every diet, read every book and listened to every podcast under the sun (or rain, it is England after all), before realising that these methods weren’t working. Fast forward to the present and I’m the happiest and healthiest I have ever been! I’ve finally started to find the peace I was seeking, through nurturing my body, diet, mindset and lifestyle every single day.

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Already mastered belly breathing?

Try 5-5-7 breathing:

  • This exercise increases in power with practice – try to do it at least twice a day, it’s impossible to do too frequently.

  • It can be done in any position, but when you’re first practicing try and sit with your back straight.

  • Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest, before taking a deep, slow breath from your belly.

  • Silently count to 5 as you breathe in through your nose.

  • Hold the breath and count from 1 to 5, then breathe out completely through your mouth as you silently count from 1 to 7.

  • Repeat 3 to 7 times or until you feel calm – notice how you feel once completed.

  • Having trouble holding your breath? You can speed things up, but make sure you stick to the ratio of 5:5:7. Over time, you’ll be able to slow it down.

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