Updated: May 5
Besides helping with well-being from a physiological stand point, the way we breathe also affects us from an alignment stand point.
Breathing Better for Better Alignment
Did you know that our breathing muscle, the diaphragm is part of our core musculature? Our core includes local muscles, which are the most internal muscles helping with stability, and global muscles, which are the bigger muscles that moves us around. We often think about the importance of a strong core, but having local muscles engage in a timely way is very important to avoid injury. If we are very concerned with the outside of a building but haven't given much consideration to the supporting structure, we will run into issues. This is where the breath comes in. The diaphragm is one of our core muscles, and so if we don't have a good breathing pattern our core stability will suffer. The diaphragm works with our pelvic floor during every breath. when we breathe in, the diaphragm descends and so does the pelvic floor, muscles can move and organs are massaged in the process. Additionally, when the breath is not ideal then the auxiliary breathing muscles will come into the rescue and become overactive in the process. Such muscles can be some neck muscles and create tension in the neck area and misalignment in general. An exercise that I love to prescribe to my clients is the three dimensional breath in which you think about breathing up towards the shoulders armpits and neck and down to the pelvic floor, then we think about breathing into the front of the body and into the back and into the sides of the ribs. Bringing awareness of the three dimensionality of the breath is a wonderful start to a better breathing pattern.