Take a deep breath, does your chest expand and your shoulders rise up under your ears? You my friend, are not breathing properly…No offense. Why should you care?
The diaphragm is the muscle in the middle of the body, located underneath the rib cage. The diaphragm is the primary muscle used in inspiration (inhalation).
The correct inhale is a 360 degree fill of the waist. In yoga you will hear me cue fill your belly like a balloon, send breath deep into the bowl of the pelvis, fill the room with your ribs; all flowery ways to say: contract your diaphragm. When the diaphragm contracts it descends down into the belly region providing space and a pressure gradient to allow the lungs to fill up and do their gas exchange thing. With every breath there is a special delivery of important nutrients and oxygen to all of your expectant cells. Without full breaths you’re robbing your cells (self) of all the ingredients for life. If you’re not breathing you’re dying.
Breath is also an important core activator. The Core is everything within the cylindrical middle of your body, abdominal muscles but also neck, glutes and pelvic muscles. In yoga and in the gym we often initiate movement on an inhale breath and finish on an exhale. If you are breathing into your chest you are not adequately building pressure within the abdomen and cannot brace; you could injure yourself.
The body is an amazing machine, in our day to day we should be able to count on it to protect us against daily stressors; but how many people do you know who “tweaked” their back doing something mundane like taking out the garbage or getting out of the car? “If you don’t own breathing you don’t own movement” – Karel Lewit, So your body says: “NOPE”.
Everything in our body is connected. The electrical impulse highway from our brain that is our nervous system, the circulatory plumbing from the heart and the fascial safety net that hugs all of our muscles and bones. The diaphragm is connected fascially to many individual muscles that make up our Core including: Psoas, Transverse Abdominus, Obliques, Quadratus Lomborum; which means an ineffective breathing pattern can create an inefficiency in all of these muscles too.
Dr. Perry Nickelston of Stop Chasing Pain has coined the Core as Zone 1 of force production; which means it is highest priority to me and I want you to have access to the Core for your everyday. Come in to see me and we’re likely checking your breathing and working on diaphragm!
Contact Me to put your breath back in charge.