By Tarannum Nasser
Our posture can be affected by many things such as surgeries, injuries from falls, accidents and habits. How we breathe can also impact our posture and alignment. Breathing – is often not given the importance it deserves, particularly diaphragmatic breathing. Inhaling through the nose is highly recommended as it is the pathway through which the air we breathe is filtered, warmed and moistened so that it can be used by our body efficiently. Gentle breathing exercises can aid in restoring our alignment, decompressing our body and calming our minds, especially when we inhale and exhale through the nose.
Research shows that inhaling gently through the nose can increase oxygen uptake by 20%. Belly breathing, as well as upper airway breathing, are non-optimal strategies. Quick, shallow breaths can cause tightness and discomfort in the joints, especially in the upper back, neck and hip area, while deeper, longer 3-Dimensional (Diaphragmatically) breaths can alleviate tightness and pain. Breathing 3-Dimentionaly can go a long way in improving our posture and alignment.
Our diaphragm and pelvic floor muscles are dome-shaped and among the most important muscles used while breathing. They work together when we inhale and exhale. These two domes flatten and move as we inhale and exhale. When these muscles dont function as well as they should, we experience tightness in our joints.
How to Breathe
Take a scarf or a yoga strap and wrap it around your chest.
Hold it firmly as you try to inhale into the chest area; keep your arms relaxed
It may take a few gentle breaths to feel the movement of the chest area. Slow down your breath; maintain a slow, gentle, steady inhale and exhale.
Practice this a few times a day. You will begin to feel yourself breathing into the side and the back ribs. Finally, try and feel your breath from your chest to your hips which is the best way to decompress your body and protect your joints.
Benefits of 3-Dimensional Breathing
Increase mobility in our joints
Increase overall flexibility in our joints
Promotes better balance
About the Author
Tarannum Nasser is the principle owner of Toronto Pilates and Integrative Movement. She is a Pilates instructor and an Integrative Movement Specialist, with 16 years of experience in her field.
Her keen interest in how the body moves brings her Pilates sessions to the next level.
Subscribe to her informative newsletters at www.tpim.ca.