We discussed abdominal breathing in the supine corpse posture first because in that pose we find the simplest possible method of breathing: the diaphragm is active in both inhalation and exhalation, the intercostal muscles act only to keep the chest stable, and the abdominal muscles remain completely relaxed. Abdominal breathing in sitting postures is quite different. First of all, when we are upright, gravity pulls the abdominal organs mferiorly instead of pushing them higher in the torso, and this is what
112 IM TOMi l)F HA THA YOGA
causes the shift in expiratory reserve volumes from approximately 500 1 1] in the supine posture to about 1,000 ml in the upright posture. It a! o means that the diaphragm cannot act as purely like a piston as it can n supine and inverted postures.
The other major difference between supine and upright abdomi d breathing is that when we are upright we can choose between exhal ig actively or passively We can simply relax as we do when we sigh, allow ig the elasticity of the lungs to implement exhalation, or we can as st exhalation with the abdominal muscles, which we do in many yoga breath ig exercises and for all purposeful actions such as lifting a heavy weigh! ir yelling out a command. A quiet breathing pattern with relaxed exhalati is is simpler, so we'll look at that first .
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If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”