The type of breathing that I encourage during our classes is called Diaphragmatic breathing. Think of it more as ‘breathing deeply into your belly, rather than shallowly into your chest.’ 

The Diaphragm and the Pelvic Floor are two of the main groups of muscles that we focus on when doing this type of breathing. Think of the Diaphragm  as a muscular dome that attaches to the inside of your ribs and to the spine; and think of the Pelvic Floor as a muscular ‘basket’ that attaches to the bottom of your pelvis (see the image attached ).

When we INHALE the Diaphragm  expands into the ribcage and lowers into the belly which inturn lowers the Pelvic Floor downwards. When we EXHALE the Diaphragm and Pelvic Floor both contract back up back up to their original positions. You see, it all works together!

Bringing awareness to this breathing pattern and to the movement of these muscles will help strengthen the muscles themselves. After all, they have been found to contract involuntarily prior to movement, so doesn’t it make sense that we help to make it as strong as we can? 😉

This type of breathing has also been found to have many benefits such as:

  • Increased relaxation
  • Reduces stress
  • Improved balance
  • ability to tolerate intense exercise
  • slows rate of breathing

So, it really does make sense to practice Diaphragmatic breathing on a regular basis; after all it’s your body and you are in control of it! 

Cited Papers: Stephens RJ, Haas M, Moore WL 3rd, Emmil JR, Sipress JA, Williams A. Effects of Diaphragmatic Breathing Patterns on Balance: A Preliminary Clinical Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2017 Mar-Apr;40(3):169-175. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2017.01.005. Epub 2017 Mar 1. PMID: 28259495

Talasz H, Kremser C, Kofler M, Kalchschmid E, Lechleitner M, Rudisch A. Phase-locked parallel movement of diaphragm and pelvic floor during breathing and coughing-a dynamic MRI investigation in healthy females. Int Urogynecol J. 2011 Jan;22(1):61-8. doi: 10.1007/s00192-010-1240-z. Epub 2010 Aug 31. PMID: 20809211.  

Image: https://mammothmemory.net/biology/organs-and-systems/the-pulmonary-system/the-diaphragm.html

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