This diagram on the right represents the cylinder between the diaphragm and the pelvic floor. It shows how they move like an elevator upward on the exhale and then downward on the inhale. They move together when working together properly.
What is 360-degree breath-work?
It is a breathing exercise we can do to improve our breathing. It will help us connect with our bodies and bring awareness to our breathing. We can improve our posture and work the primary breathing muscles.
We can do 360-degree breath-work in a variety of positions, for the purposes of this article we will talk about practising it in a supine 90-90 position.
Start: lying on your back, feet resting on the wall, knees bent 90 degrees and about hip width apart. Arms by your sides, palms up or down relaxed, lengthen your neck and be able to comfortably rock your head side to side on the most prominent bony portion on the back of your head (occipital protuberance).
Movement: Inhale into your back filling the back ribs, you should feel your body rising, while expanding outward on the sides of your chest. The muscles between each rib (intercostal muscles) will lengthen to their fullest extent allowing a nice deep breath to fill the entire lung.
Your core cylinder (see above image) – diaphragm and pelvic floor will lower one floor at a time until they reach the basement. Notice while taking in this breath if you have any pressure or bulging along the mid-line of your stomach (linea alba) or in the pelvic floor area (anterior the urethra, vagina, rectum). If the pressure is too much at the basement level, then just inhale to the floor that is above where you feel this. (note: if you feel this type of pressure during this exercise or daily movement, I recommend you visit a pelvic floor physiotherapy specialist)
Exhale slowly and with control letting the air out of your lungs at the side of the ribs and the back come in and the intercostal muscles contract. The core cylinder goes back up to the top floor. Feel your diaphragm and pelvic floor moving together. (There is no kegel done in this exercise)
Repeat this exercise for 3-5 minutes.
Other positions that one can do this breath-work are numerous, standing, seated, half kneeling, or child’s pose. Each position has a focus on what exactly you are trying to correct or tune into. Check with your exercise specialist or pelvic floor specialist. Improving your breathing and pelvic floor through exercise is possible.