"Above all, learn to breathe Correctly." - Joseph Pilates
Oh, you didn't know there was an incorrect way to breathe? Welcome to the world of Pilates, where it is opposite day every day. Check your ego at the door and surrender to the fact that you don't know how to do anything. Breathing included.
How do I breathe correctly you ask?
First step: You breathe with your nose and kiss with your mouth. Shout out to Romana for that one.
Can you eat through your nose? Yes. Do you eat through your nose? Not typically. Just because you can doesn't mean you should, (said in a parental teaching moment tone).
Second step: Breathe with your lungs, not with your stomach.
Take a deep Breath in (through your nose). Do you feel your stomach expanding out? Rookie breathing mistake. See image below for the proper breathing technique.
Breathing properly can be hard work, you may even feel like you have to engage your muscles in a new way (gasp!). Just keep at it. Muscle memory is legit and mindful practice of proper technique leads to mindless execution of movement. Now stop holding your breath, exhale, and repeat. There is a method to the madness. You're Welcome :)