Our powerful breath….
Those of us that practice Ashtanga Yoga know that taking deep inhales and exhales calms the brain and can send us to a deeper state of relaxation. And now a recent study has found there are more benefits to a deep breathing, or the diaphragmatic breathing we practice in class - when I say ‘breathe into the side ribs and back ribs’ (never the belly -our lungs aren’t in the belly)
The research found that diaphragmatic breathing increases diaphragm thickness. And a strong, and thick diaphragm is an integral part of the core musculature. It works in tandem with other core muscles to provide stability and strength, which can help prevent back pain and injuries. And that’s why I also mention that it’s important to breathe deeply in a backbend (which can be challenging!) to “ensure the diaphragm is working effectively as it’s a really important muscle”
In addition, the diaphragm plays an important role in supporting the abdominal organs and regulating intra-abdominal pressure, which works in tandem with our practice (all those forward folds!) to further aid digestion and gut health.
More great reasons to practice Ashtanga Yoga when we are constantly learning how powerful our own breath can be….as I always say, our postures are just shapes we make to connect with out breath….with the added bonus of being beneficial to the health 😀