SOOTHING DIAPHRAGM BREATHING
Although I prefer to work directly with people (versus writing words) so that I may place my hands on them as needed, see how they respond to my words, and respond to them, I will here give a written explanation of a version of a basic soothing diaphragm breathing exercise.
This is a soothing breath pattern. PLEASE DO NOT POWER YOUR WAY THROUGH IT. This breath will help bring you out of a “Flight or Fight “ response, and into what I call “Rest and Reset”.
1) In order for breath to be taken into our lungs – as we inhale - more space must be made for that incoming breath. This happens at the base of our lungs, where the breathing diaphragm is located.
2) When the breath is expelled – as we exhale – the inner space becomes smaller, pushing up from the breathing diaphragm.
3) The breathing diaphragm is, when functioning well, a pliable, strong, muscle, that is continuously changing its shape as we inhale and exhale. This change of shape does many wonderful things for us, and when our diaphragm is restricted and these things do not happen, our body functions at less than optimum health.
4) The breathing diaphragm is located along the inside of the lower half of the ribs, all the way around. The edges of it are, basically, attached to the ribs and the base of the breastbone.
5) The central area – the area closer to the middle of your body versus the edges of the diaphragm – MOVES UP AND DOWN AS YOU INHALE AND EXHALE.
6) As we INHALE, that central area moves a bit downward, into a smile shape, and the entire diaphragm widens all around. As we EXHALE, the central area releases that downward smile, and comes slightly upward, into almost a rainbow shape.
So….. Come into a comfortable seated and well – supported position, and bring your awareness to your breath as you inhale and exhale, just “watching” or paying attention to the breath as it comes in and goes out. Keep an awareness of your feet on the ground, and your bottom and backs of legs being supported on the surface you are seated on, so that you remain “grounded”.
As you inhale, imagine the central area of your diaphragm moving a bit downward into a smile shape, and widening all around as it does.
As you exhale, imagine the central area of your diaphragm releasing a bit upward, turning into a rainbow shape.
IF AT ANY POINT WHILE DOING THIS YOU FEEL DIZZY RETURN TO NORMAL BREATHING!!
IDEALLY when beginning this only take 3 or so of these breaths at a time.
Practice this when you are not in rush nor in the midst of noise, and can focus on what you are doing. The more often you practice this, the easier it becomes.
Once you have become used to this breathing patter, you can access it and reap the benefits anywhere.
I hope that you enjoy practicing this breathing pattern.