Yes, as I said, I was too simplistic, messed up and didn’t told the whole story. Not every arching exercise I learned to do exhaling, as I explained to you. But not holding the breath was a bit new for me. Needless to say, I think all of your explanations makes sense!
By the way, that part of “inhaling like taking a line of coke, and not a long one” cracked me up!
Since we are having this discussion, I started studying more in the RTL book, and applied both the Joe’s guidelines and yours to my training. I don’t know if I’m coming up with the correct pattern every time (except on the mat, because the instructions are very detailed), but here is some impressions so far:
Exercises that requires maintaining the torso stabilized got REALLY better! Long Stretch with one spring and without spring felt like a breeze compared to doing it with a random breathing pattern. (I actually was holding my breath a lot, and not only in this exercise). Other exercise that really improved was Mermaid on the Wunda Chair, the version done on top. Inhaling while lowering the pedal made my torso SUPER lengthened, and I could lower the pedal much more. It was SO GOOD because it opened A LOT the sides of my body. Jackknife was another exercise that changed completely, my hips floated easily from the Mat, and the end position got really strong. And I didn’t faded out as I did the exercise, because I wasn't holding my breath like I used to.
Paying attention to my breathing made everything easier to do. After the training, I felt invigorated, but relaxed at the same time. My neck loosened up. The perceived exertion got down. And I shaved off 4-5 minutes off my advanced sequence on the Reformer. That was big.
I am trying to find out what is more natural to do, and honestly, I didn’t find it too difficult so far. That thing is really straightforward. I don’t know if it’s supposed to be that way, though..
Still, there are some exercises that I didn’t figured out, mostly those that have a faster pace.
Footwork: I still can’t find natural inhaling and exhaling on the same repetition. I found that inhaling and exhaling on a full rep is more natural;
Table Top on Wunda Chair: Coming up inhaling makes sense, but the pumping with the legs are obviously faster. I inhale/exhale every 5 pumps;
Those are the ones I remember…
About the V or not to V question: But the knees shouldn’t be opened just 2 inches wider th… Just kidding!
I learned just like you said, avoiding opening the knees wider than shoulders while in V position (like Footwork, Frog, Double Leg Stretch), and also avoiding opening the legs too wide when doing Spine Stretch, for example. Most of the exercises you exemplified I learned in parallel, excepting “Running”.
But it’s nice to see that it is not a rule written in stone. Rather, it seems to be a tool. But I can’t keep discussing too much about it without experimenting in my our own body.
Anyway, I thank you for explaining more of it! This thread has been eye-opening for me. It is always exciting knowing that there is a lot to see, learn and experiment.
PS: Thank you VERY MUCH for those images, they are really cool and instructive! I’m amazed to see how complex are the intricacies of the exercises, but how simple are their instructions for proper execution. Joe didn’t left any stone unturned on his work…