How to Practice Side Breathing on the Arc Barrel

Side breathing on the Arc barrel sounds easy enough. We’ve just practiced Breathing on the Arc barrel, so it should be pretty similar, right? Wrong! This exercise is surprisingly choreography-filled. Take your time and read the directions carefully to correctly practice this exercise that involves more than just breathing into your side.

Side Breathing on the Arc Barrel

  1. Place the Arc barrel so that the curve seems like a bump in the road on your mat.
  2. Sit so that the outside of your left hip is along one side of the barrel. Move your legs into a “Z-sit” position. This involves having your left leg bent in front of you with your knee along the edge of the barrel and your left foot in line with your right shoulder. Your right leg should either reach straight to the side or slightly in front of your body with your knee bent at a ninety degree angle and your foot reaching behind you. Ideally, you want your thighs running perpendicular to each other. However, if you find that you can’t get into this position and sit up straight, just stack your legs on top of each other. Do what you need to in order to be able to sit up tall.
  3. Place your left hand on the barrel. Sit tall and send energy through your fingertips.
  4. Inhale and start reaching your right arm above your head. As your arm moves, start curving toward the barrel.
  5. side breathing on the arc barrelExhale to lower your side completely onto the barrel.
  6. Inhale and hold here.
  7. Exhale and rotate your chest toward the barrel. Make sure to keep your arm in place and only rotate your upper body.
  8. Inhale and hold here.
  9. Exhale and rotate back through center into rotation the other direction. Again, keep your arm in place and try to only rotate your upper body. Rotating this way will make it more challenging to keep the hips in neutral, but it’s still important.
  10. Inhale and hold here.
  11. Exhale and rotate back to center.
  12. Inhale and reach your right arm toward the ceiling.
  13. Exhale and reach from your right knee through your right fingertips to help you roll up to the side one vertebra at a time and return to your starting position.
  14. Practice this exercise two or three times on this side.
  15. Then, switch sides.

Finding the Best Arc Barrel

If you’re in the market for an Arc barrel, I recently compared the top five Arc barrels on the market. Here’s who made my top five list and which barrel I’d buy.

Side Breathing on the Arc Barrel Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

It’s a lot of choreography, but I love this way to get some spinal rotation into my Arc barrel workout. What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.