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BREATH and Core, Pelvic Floor, Tongue and Cranium


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#1 coyote

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

I am looking for a good approach to breath and all the factors that affect it. I am interested in increasing my parasympathetic nervous system to help with sleep especially. I want to know how to coordiate the diaphram with other muscles of the core and pelvis, which need a lot of work anyway. I would like to improve all these areas in a coordinated way, but am not against hearing about separate techniques if they are great. I want to strengthen all the muscles for good posture to support breathing while moving, sitting, standing, etc.

I also discovered a connection to the cranium. When i suck my tongue against my upper palate and push out i induce the most relaxed and deepest breathing i have ever known. The breath reaches down almost to my pelvic floor. I bring it down all the way with some pelvic tilts lying on my back and then i can't get any more relaxed and don't feel like doing anything. It feels like my parasympathetic nervous system is then dominant for resting. The tongue pushes the palate out making room for the sphenoid bone at the base of the skull and top of the spine, which helps align the whole body. I have had the sphenoid adjusted before to his affect, but it doesn't hold because my palate needs to be expanded through orthodontic work. My tongue is starting to do that orthodontic work. You  might not feel such a strong result if you try this if your palate is a healthy size.

A similar kind of tongue movement is taught in orofacial myology which uses for orthodontics and neurlogical therapy.

#2 rainbowvein

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 08:33 PM

Have you searched/read joeblast's posts on breathing? Excellent and detailed feedback on his longstanding breathing practices.

I also have shared in some posts my effortless and deeply transformational breathing experiences that are inherent within my stillness-movement neigong practice.

Best to you in discovering breathing practices that resonate with you. _/\_

#3 joeblast

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Posted 20 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

You're too kind, rv :)

Breath and the factors that affect it...is a two way road. I'm not entirely sure what increasing the parasympathetic would be - increasing proprioception? Which would be part and parcel of coordinating the diaphragm and other structures that have an effect on the breath.

Let's start here:
Posted Image

Now, I'm honestly not 100% certain what exact amount of travel the left and right crus have, but in practice its rather immaterial. Beginning an inhale, simply imagine pulling downward with the crura and psoas (the crura blend right in with the anterior longitudinal ligament, that's the mechanism by which one can feel breathing along the entire spine.) Then like shaking a rug out, imagine a gentle coherent wave propagate upward and forward along the diaphragm. You dont want to descend the diaphragm from the middle, but let the wave start bottom back (inferior posterior) and pass by the various hiatuses as the rolling motion progresses. This will help keep them loose and will not restrict the flow of the particular hiatus. Keep in mind that right on top of the diaphragm is the pericardium and heart - having a gentle wave roll on by is much more preferable than having tension stabilize the motion - let that go or you'll find the accompanying glass floor you cannot get beneath in your meditation :lol:

Each component (diaphragm, perineum, front of abdomen, quadratus lumborum, etc) will have a certain overall energetic input on the breath energetics. Find the most energetic points and harmonize, apply softly, gently to find a consumption minima concurrent with a relative production maxima - that will lead to an ongoing sustainable surplus that will help fuel the meditation. The main two components for meditation are the diaphragm and perineum - work with those two first and leave the rest, find the portion of the motion that is most energetically potent for each, then time them (the energetic wave-crests) to be coincident about the lower dantien. Each component will have its own distance to travel and its own "power curve," so when they are combined harmoniously it will provide for higher energetic amplitudes. That's something you'll have to feel out for yourself. You're not "cramming energy into the dantien," you're "upgrading bandwith" so that it can accommodate an increased flux density - flux is a key word, it is dynamic, so even though there is generally some sort of scalar potential in the gut, focusing on that merely results in stagnation.

By rote repetition, entrain and ingrain the motion and timing, put your full awareness into it and feel each bit of motion, you'll get better paying attention to many things at once with practice. With the awareness fully focused on feeling and executing the motions, you will more deeply ingrain the movement, as you progress it will take less and less mental capital (but still keep up the awareness!!!!) to perform the actions and you can slowly strip away some things your mind is on and other things will drop off of their own accord - until such time as you have created the habitual energetic path to the lower dantien, eventually it will become stronger and will harness (and arrest) the thought-stream-energy and it will quiet your mind down - a lot of random thought manifests simply because, what else to do with energy in a certain stream? (Analogous to lustful thought triggering physical manifestation...trigger a bunch and..after production has been triggered, what else to do when the stream overflows? Hence restrain lustful thoughts.) As you smooth things out, gently use the intention to lengthen the breath duration, but not so quickly as to trip off the feedback mechanisms that will thwart what you are attempting. Too much air flow past the olfactory bulbs in the sinuses will trigger increased heart rate. Low blood oxygen level will also increase the heart rate and trigger breathing. Rough, uneven breath causes neural firings in the vagus nerve that reflect around the brain and will contribute to losing concentration. So you can exert an amount of parasympathetic influence over these things, but you can only do so much per given unit of time and physical state otherwise your body reacts accordingly.

The short term goal is to streamline the flow of air to the point at which it drops below the threshold of turbulence and you can no longer feel yourself breathe - so by anchoring the breath deeply at the very bottom of the diaphragm it leaves less space for musculotendonal tensions to compete with one another - and when such tensions are present, your body will naturally use the sinuses as an air pressure buffering mechanism. Need to let go of the sinuses and let air pass by undetected and only use the diaphragm and perineum to facilitate breath, everything smooth enough that no additional buffering is necessary. The old school test of a feather in front of the nostrils will be passed at that point ;)

Edited by joeblast, 20 August 2012 - 01:17 PM.





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