In Pilates, proper breath is a big focus. We are working to get people habituated to expanding the rib cage taking in their air in and then exhaling to get every last bit of air out, included the recycled air. Some people breath forcefully in class, as I often did, to get this rhythm down. As I studied further I began to encourage a more relaxed breath noting some would tense their necks during breathing. I was recently was told by my Functional Neurologist that by forcing the breath excessively we engage all the secondary breathing muscles to our own detriment, causing tension and overwork. Breathing should come naturally, but we have to work on it!