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DEAR LITHE {LOVE LETTERS}. 26 Mar 2013

Love letters

Hi Lauren,

I have been hoping to run into you between the Rittenhouse and Olde City studios but our paths haven't crossed. I have to tell you how I've come to recently realize the importance of the Lithe Breathing. I will admit, it must have been the hardest concept for me to wrap my mind around when I first started Lithe over a year ago. The method of breathing, and the importance of the pursed lips, and inhalation weren't very natural to me - and I imagine, others may have the same sentiment. We breathe every day, but not in such a pattern that requires such thought and purpose.

After taking a few 101 courses, I felt I had the knack of everything and off I went, happily immersing myself in all of the classes I could take. Honestly, I found myself more focused on making sure I tucked enough, and checking out my rear in the mirror as evidence of my tucking. (Praying each time that my booty would magically look more toned, lifted and smaller.) Tucking aside I also had to worry about my lunges - always checking to make sure my knees weren't over my toes. And I can't forget stiletto - I still find myself more often than not erring on the side of flat footed routines than stiletto, in an effort to retain proper form. Wide second? Please - let's not even talk about how my knees just love to turn in - I blame it on my lack of flexibility in my hips and overly tight hip-flexors.

OK - so where does that leave me? It leaves with the one constant through all of Lithe Method: the Lithe Breathing. In the beginning I wasn't doing it often enough, on cue, or strong enough. Why? Because I was focused on too many other things (a few of them mentioned above). Slowly over time my confidence grew and I knew my lunges and tucks were better, so much that I didn't need to obsess about checking my form all the time - in that same moment, I realized that I had slacked on my breathing.

Over the past few months I made it a goal to push through every routine as hard as a could, with the best form I could maintain and regardless of anything else going on around me - STICK WITH THE BREATHING!

I swear - it has made a huge difference on my abdomen and strength. I feel abdominal muscles - all over!! I know they are there because I can literally move my fingers around and pick them out as if I had a "clear as day" pack of abs. Unfortunately, I have some "fluff" as I affectionately call it (aka fat) overlaying them, but that is besides the point.

The point is the breathing truly does force you to contract and stretch your abs, working them throughout the entire class. It's easy to let your abs just go along for the ride and remain unengaged - but there are no benefits to that. The benefits to the pursed lips (and occasional spit on the mirrors): rocking abs, without doing 100 crunches every morning and night.

It's incredible and I can't emphasize enough how important it is for other Lithers to get on the band wagon and purse those lips! I used to be self conscious about being the only one in my area of the studio making noise while breathing, but heck - there is no looking back! I love knowing what is hiding under my "fluff"! :) 

XO, AC

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AC you really hit the nail on the head! I try to really focus on my breath and letting my abs do the work the entire time- it totally changes everything. If you aren’t using the Lithe breath, you are really missing out. Keep breathing loud, it somehow always syncs perfectly with the music :)

I'm a former Lither who's moved away (<3 Lithe! The world is waiting Lauren!) and the Lithe method breathing is something that has stuck with me because it makes such a difference in form, focus and stamina. I might look (or sound) the fool being the only person at the gym doing it, but it makes all the difference.

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