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Breathe from your Heels and Live to be 800yrs Old!

Breath from your heels and live to be 800 years old
By Dawnna Wayburne


During the summer our thoughts generally turn to beaches, the French countryside, the seashore and other resort areas as we plan our vacations. This means that we often get the opportunity on vacation to take the time to stop and take a breath of fresh air. Even when we are not on vacation and back in our exciting but polluted Hong Kong, we can employ good breathing techniques which undoubtedly benefit our health and well being.

In the Tao Te Ching Lao Tze says that "The wise man breathes from his heels" and the story goes that the famous Peng Tzu lived to be 800 years old, following specific breathing techniques. The conclusion one might draw is that there's more to breathing than air just going in and out your lungs.

If you do nothing else except learn to breath well in your Pilates or Gyrotonic session it will dramatically improve the quality of your life as breathing is one of the most important portals to relaxation, rejuvenating sleep and graceful ageing

Along with your heartbeat, breath serves as an important metronome for the optimal functioning of your body and sometimes the stresses of HK life interfere with this all important rhythm. Doctors nowadays report that up to 90 percent of the population does not use their diaphragm fully when breathing; they take shallow breaths instead. Not using the lungs fully is tantamount to starving the body of vital rejuvenating oxygen and nutrients so, if you're busy or out of town this month and not doing your Pilates Hundreds then, at least take a walk along a beach and take deep breaths of fresh ocean air. If you are in town then make the most of your sessions by focusing on breathing "from your heels" and enjoying the aroma of your freshly brewed coffee!

Here are a couple of simple exercises for you, which will help you focus on your breathing.
Ask your Iso Fit instructor for extra guidance if you feel you need to.


  1. Sit cross legged with the towel wrapped around the lower ribs using a cross hand grip.
  2. Inhale and feel the back of the ribcage expand into the towel and the hands move away from each other.
  3. Exhale deliberately (forced exhalation) drawing the hands closer towards each other and encouraging the obliques to lace and funnel the ribs downwards and towards each other.
  4. Repeat- with the towel around the waist to get good diaphragmatic movement.

Roll Down

  1. Commence seated in a long diamond position arms parallel to the floor drawing the towel taut.
  2. Exhale and curl back away from the thighs.
  3. Inhale to return to an upright position lifting arms overhead

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