Contracting the abdomen while breathing out
While you breath out you contract your abdomen. You do this in various positions: in symmetrical and asymmetrical positions, on the back, on the front, on all fours, in side bending, in twists, with various positions for the arms. While breathing out you contract your abdominal muscles, but you also explore how it is to push them out instead. Similarly you contract the chest while breathing out, but also explore how it is to expand it.
There's more than one way to breath. In fact, breathing needs to adapt to what we do: we breath differently when we are at rest, when we do sports, or when we are upside down. In this lesson we will explore several ways to breath, in several different positions. The chest is like a box with six sides that can expand in these directions: up, down, left, right, forwards, backwards. We can produce changes in volume by moving the chest and its ribs, the abdomen, the clavicles with the shoulder blades, or the diaphragm. Even though there are so many possible differences, still, in the final outcome, air enters the lungs when the volume of the lungs increases; and air leaves the lungs as the volume decreases. Effects of this lesson will be an increased awareness of how you breath in different positions, and an increased awareness for the midline of your body.
Supine, lie on your back, stand both feet.
Supine, contract abdomen while exhaling
Feel the area of your belly below your ribs cave in.
- Exhale until you can't expel any more air.
The abdomen is the space between the chest and the pelvis. The diaphragm forms the upper surface, and it ends at the bones that form the pelvis.
Prone, lie on your front side, rest your forehead on your hands.
Prone, contract abdomen while exhaling
Pull your abdomen in to let air leave your lungs.
- Observe your clavicles, ribs, sternum, shoulder blades, stomach, diaphragm, the muscles of your chest, …
Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais painted a beautiful picture: „In any situation your breathing shouldn't interfere with the movement of your heart. Instead a rhythmic relationship develops between the two that permits your heart to expand without finding a chest that contradicts it.”
On your front side, let your forehead rest on your hands.
Notice on which side you lean more
Observe while exhaling.
- At the moment when your abdomen is lifting from the floor and you start to lean more on your small ribs, sense on which side you lean more. Is it your right side or your left?