Yoga and Pilates have long been a favorite amongst women the world over and can have fantastic effects on your entire respiratory and core muscle system.

Here, we look at combining the best of both worlds and bring you fantastic techniques and ways to get you in a perfect state of mind, body and soul.


Deep breathing and meditation can alter our psychological state and help us to put things into perspective. When in a relaxation mode, our heart rate can slow down and the feelings of anxiety experienced during stressful situations are calmed. Breathing is an involuntary action, which done deeply can induce a relaxation response which can positively affect our metabolic rate, respiratory function, blood pressure, emotional state, hormones, aging, and our appetite.

It can:

  1. Revitalize the immune system (rid the body of toxins)
  2. Transform apathy and depression by oxygenating the brain
  3. Improve blood circulation, awaken the cells in the body which aid to carry away metabolic waste
  4. Address stress related ailments – such as lower back pain, headaches and muscular tension
  5. Improve metabolic rate – the speed in which the body burns fat – Dr. Kyrin Hall specifically encourages the use of Couture Curves to help speed up the natural process of the body’s metabolic rate.

Breathing Exercise

Get comfortable, ideally lying flat on your back with knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Consciously relax your face, especially around your eyes and mouth. Place your hands on your abdomen, next to each other, then practice breathing outwards and towards your hands. Observe the quality of the air as it enters and leaves the body. Keep the mouth closed and breathe through the nose. The ultimate aim is to slow the breathing down to two breaths per minute.

Deriving its roots from the ancient teachings of India, the word yoga originates from the Sanskrit word yuj meaning “to unite”. Yoga integrates the body, breathing, and the mind. There are many styles ranging from Hatha yoga, gentler stretching to Asthanga (a more cardiovascular exercise) and strengthening practice. The teaching of yoga is often accompanied by a meditation practice and can invigorate your mental state drastically.


Pilates is a series of exercises that also teaches awareness of breathing and the alignment of the spine. Started by Joseph Pilates during the first world war, Pilates aims to condition the body by strengthening core abdominal muscles, using the control of the breathing techniques with flowing movements. This can be done on a reformer (machine) or a mat.

It can:

  1. Be suitable for women with low bone mineral density, who are prone to osteoporosis **
  2. Improve postural alignment – achieved through the strengthening of the core muscles
  3. Promote mind-body awareness, releases endorphins – feel good energy
  4. Good for weight loss, stimulates connective tissues which helps to breaks down fat
  5. Tones the body in a uniformed manner

Check out for more info or to get in contact with Dr. Kyrin Hall.

Pilates Exercise – The Hundred

Lie on your back with knees bent and maintain a neutral spine. Extend the legs forward along the floor, without the lower spine lifting off the mat. Take your arms alongside your body and lift your legs off the floor. Gently pump the arms up and down a few inches, in unison with your breath. Keep your abdominals scooped inwards. Do a cycle of 10 full breaths. Each cycle is five short inhalations and then five short exhalations. The Hundred requires the coordination of the breath with the movement and it is often used as a dynamic warm-up for the abdominals and lungs.

Daily Tip: Imagine you can tie your navel to your spine – this will improve core postural awareness and thus increase your metabolic rate.

Engaging in a practice of Yoga or Pilates helps to promote strong mind-body connection. Aid one in developing mindfulness and the realization that we are working not just on our bodies but also on our minds, which enables us to develop qualities like focus, patience, discipline and gratitude.

©2009 Kyrin Hall. All rights reserved. Republished with permission.

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