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Breathing while engaging corset

ryeyoo
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Breathing while engaging corset
Hi, I enjoyed reading your book, and I was kind of curious about the section on the inner corset and your chest moving during breathing.  I thought breathing from the diaphragm was the best way of breathing:  http://www.cchs.net/health/health-info/docs/2400/2409.asp?index=9445  <--I've seen similar info before, which seems to emphasize moving the stomache instead of the chest.  Is diaphragm breathing just for a different purpose or have I misunderstood the mechanics?   Thanks
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We don't believe that you should try to restrict the breath anywhere. (For a few purposes, like singing or playing an instrument, it is useful to be able to control the breath, and you do have more control when you are belly breathing - so that's the one exception.) When the chest is open because you have good architecture and your shoulders' default position is open and back, breath will be able to expand into the chest. You should not feel like you have to force the breath anywhere. Consider the fact that when you are doing something demanding, like exercising, it is crucial that you use your inner corset to protect your back. And the inner corset involves those deep muscles in the abdomen (such as the transversus abdominis) that essentially create a taught canvas over the belly and thus restrict how much you can breathe into the abdomen. But you still need to breathe when you are exercising! In fact - you need MORE air and oxygen when you are exercising that when you are at rest. So your chest absolutely needs to be able to move and expand so you can still get air in those situations. One other note - in my experience (and Esther's), people who have spent a lot of effort trying to breathe only into their bellies tend to have weak abdominal muscles.
jgoldstein
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02/18/2013 - 8:35am

I'm wondering if you have any insight into why I'm getting lightheaded any time I engage chest breathing, even when coupled with my belly breathing. It's quite instantaneous and extreme. I have good endurance while playing sports and otherwise have no ill effects from duress during respiration. Thanks!

Abeja Judy Hummel Bild
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06/12/2012 - 12:49pm

That sounds very dramatic, and I would hesitate to encourage you to continue attempting this without  perhaps speaking to a physician first.  

The one thing that comes to mind for me is that perhaps you are getting your shoulder and neck muscles involved in the chest breathing, and, if they are quite tight, they may be restricting blood circulation to your head.  

You should NOT be forcing your breath into your ribs, and should not be using the muscles of your upper body to get it there.  The goal is to relax your back and ribs, and build tone in your abdomen, so that your lungs naturally expand up and down, not out (in the abdomen).  The lungs will  expand in the direction of least resistance, like a balloon.

I hope that helps!  Please let me know if you figure out anything, as I am very curious.

Abeja Judy Hummel

Gokhale Method Teacher

Mendocino, California

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