Breathing is critical to activating the deep inner unit or ‘core’. This exercise is about observing your own breath, recognising your pattern of breathing and how this affects your spinal health. By understanding your own breathing patterns you will be more effective teaching breathing and deep inner unit activation to your clients.
Start by lying on a firm surface, knees bent and allow the legs to fall together. Your head should be supported so that your chest wall is relaxed and lower rib cage resting in its natural position rather than ribs tilting upwards. Place one hand on the sternum and one hand on the low belly. Notice if your shoulders have any tension in them, they develop tension with an unhealthy breathing pattern. If they do, are you able to let this go?
Now observe the breath – it’s rate, the sounds you make, where the movement happens in your body, whether you breathe in through your nose or your mouth. Notice the pattern of your breath. The breath should come through the body to the lower belly, not the chest, and through the nose and not the mouth. if you breathe into the chest are you able to let that go and allow a natural breathe to fill the lower belly?
Now, place your hands around the lower rib basket and see if you are able to expand the ribs into your hands using your breath. Do you hold a lot of tension in your shoulder while you do this? – this is representative of an upper chest breathing pattern.
This is a fact finding mission to become aware of your natural breathing patterns and habits that may affect your deep inner unit or ‘core’ activation and ultimately your spinal health and sense of well-being.