Day 78 - The Diaphragm Dance
This morning when I woke up I told myself I couldn’t get out of bed until I took 20 diaphragmatic breaths (see yesterday’s post if you are already lost).
It took me about twenty minutes. Maybe more. I would get to breath 4, breath 6, and then I’d start thinking about something else and I’d have to start over because I had lost count. I am training my brain to focus, and so I’m not going to reward it by plowing ahead even though it doesn’t remember if I am on 3 or 4. No, sir. We are back at the starting line, Brain.
The diaphragm actually works in conjunction with the pelvic floor which is its own kind of diaphragm. When you inhale, both diaphragms are pushed downwards, and when you inhale they are pulled upwards (think kegel). You can imagine this sweet dance if you want to try to do the 20 a.m. breaths along with me.
It’s a wonderful way to get grounded, to feel yourself in your body, and to remind your body what a deep, present breath looks like in your imagination as you imagine the diaphragms working together.
I’d love to say this was pretty easy for me after I figured out how to focus enough to keep count, but what surprised me was the way this breathing contrasted with my normal breath which felt more like the way someone would breath if she were hiding in a closet and afraid of being discovered. Very shallow chest breathing. When I’m not out walking, I breath as if I’m scared.
My body/mind fought me when I was doing these breaths. It wanted to stay in the quiet, disappeared place, so often I felt like I was trying to push through mud as I breathed. I also felt as if my chest diaphragm wasn’t working evenly. Some parts seemed to inflate or move more evenly or smoothly than others.
Breathing felt like work.
I guess I can say I’m fully employed now. I’m going to get business cards that say BREATHER.
See you tomorrow.
If you want to read more about this subject, here’s a link: https://corewalking.com/the-pelvic-floor-and-the-diaphragm/