Does the diaphragm and how well it moves play a hugely important role for health and vitality that is not currently being recognized?
Can the common cue to “take a deep breath” have the opposite effect of what’s intended, particularly in trauma-sensitive population groups?
Is the way most yoga teachers instruct yogic breathing techniques and pranayama disconnected from the physiological reality of what they’re trying to achieve?
What are the three things we can do to facilitate healthier breathing?
In this free talk, yoga therapist Robin Rothenberg discusses these provocative questions, and goes into depth on just why we should be paying more attention to the breath and the way we breathe. We breathe 15,000 to 20,000 times a day, or more, if our breath pattern isn’t healthy, Robin notes. In healthy breathing, the movement of the diaphragm plays an additional key role, because the movement of the diaphragm creates a gentle massaging effect on the abdominal organs and the pelvic floor muscles. If we get stuck in excessive chest breathing or if the movement of the diaphragm is in other ways impaired, we lose this important benefit.
Robin further talks about why the common instruction “to take a deep breath,” is counterproductive and can actually create the opposite effect of what we’re trying to achieve. She explains the mechanics of how it can lead to greater agitation for some people instead of settling the body and calming the mind.
Indeed, Robin notes, the common approaches to teaching yogic breathing and pranayama are not alligned with the physiology of healthy breathing. She also offers her 3 key recommendations for settling the breath and making sure we enjoy the many benefits of a healthy breathing pattern.
You might also be interested in Robin’s course: Restoring Prana – Key Roles of the Diaphragm in Health and Vitality.