Breathing

crocodile posture. First, to experience abdominal breathing, lie prone, with the feet apart, the elbows flexed, and the arms stretched out in front. Your hands should be pulled in enough for the forehead to rest on the bony part of the wrist. This is the most relaxed variation of the crocodile (fig. 2.23). The position of the arms restricts thoracic breathing, the position of the chest against the floor restricts diaphragmatic breathing, and the position of the lower abdomen against the floor restricts what we conventionally think of as abdominal breathing. Still, in a modified form, abdominal breathing is what this is, with the hips and lower back rather than the front of the abdomen responding to the rise and fall of the dome of the diaphragm.

Abdominal breathing in this sleepy, stretched-out crocodile requires a more active diaphragm than abdominal breathing in the supine position. Why? The weight of the entire torso against the floor in the prone position restrains inhalation more than the weight of the abdominal organs by themselves in the supine position—it feels something like breathing in the corpse posture with a lead apron spanning your entire chest and abdomen. If you make a nominal effort to breathe evenly, the diaphragm also has to work more strongly to restrain exhalation. At the end of exhalation, of course, it can relax completely, just as it does in the corpse posture.

Next, to experience an unusual form of diaphragmatic breathing, he in the more traditional easy crocodile with the elbows flexed and the arms at a 45-90' angle from the torso. The hairline should rest against the forearms. Adjust the arms so that the lower border of the chest is barely touching the floor. This arches the back and creates a mild backbending posture (fig. 2.24). Now we are entering complex and unexplored territory. The lower abdomen still cannot protrude because it is against the floor: thoracic breathing is restricted by the extreme arm position even more than in the previous posture; and the attempt of the diaphragm to descend is checked because the base of the rib cage and upper abdomen is still held in position. The only parts of the body that appear to yield for inhalation inhalation inhalation

Figure 2.23. A specialized type of abdominal breathing created by a stretched-out crocodile posture. The floor cannot yield to the descending dome of the diaphragm during inhalation, so the lower back and hips are lifted by default.

Figure 2.23. A specialized type of abdominal breathing created by a stretched-out crocodile posture. The floor cannot yield to the descending dome of the diaphragm during inhalation, so the lower back and hips are lifted by default.

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