As I study respiration, I marvel at its’ complexity and extent. Respiration consists of ventilation, and circulation. The diaphragm, part of the breathing apparatus, also participates in what is known as the “Deep Core”: Underpinning core body strength, the deep core affords us tissue longevity, optimizes posture, and protects our back.
What would an exercise class look like, that is designed specifically to enhance respiration; what would be the goal? Every exercise class reflects its planner; as a Massage therapist, I am deeply aware of respiration.
Massage therapy directs circulation, and frees, and relaxes a surprising array of ventilation muscles. By getting to know these muscles, you glimpse the workforce, and begin to appreciate that other muscles of the respiratory apparatus profoundly affect daily outcomes. During a massage, patient and therapist each balances inhalation and exhalation; minds turn inward, and facilitate the perfusion of ventilated blood to body tissues. This “conscious deep breathing” is a powerful relaxant, through which one can observe physical and psychological barriers.
My thoughts on an exercise class result in an outline that interweaves elements from my massage training: Percussion, and abdominal rolling (circulation), and aerobic activity (ventilation), while using conscious breath control (deep core engagement). The exercise class concludes with a routine that I call the “anatomical breath”; it requires aerobic endurance, and can make you short of breath! This final exercise has another surprise in store: The mind slows, and subjugates to spirit, and a mental steadiness ensues — one of the prises of meditation.
Come work with me on the rhythm of the breath: Invoke the power of the deep core to protect your back, and to improve athletic performance. I’ll introduce you to major anatomical players of ventilation and the deep core. Master the anatomical breath, and be lulled by the recurring wash of the tidal breath as you conclude the class in a meditative mind space.