Accessing the force of the accessory muscles of breath expands the lung volume and increases the turbulence of air in the respiratory passageways. As with postural muscles, we are generally not conscious of these accessory breath muscles until awakening them consciously. Focusing on contracting these muscles brings them under conscious control with profound effects. The following pages illustrate this process in siddhasana, virabhadrasana II, tadasana and utthanasana.
Begin awakening the accessory muscles of breath by drawing the scapula towards the midline. Hold this position and then attempt to roll the shoulders forward by contracting the pectoralis minor. This closed chain contraction lifts and opens the lower ribcage like a bellows and expands the lung volume.
Begin by practicing in siddhasana and then apply this technique to other postures such as twists that constrict the volume of the thoracic cavity.
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