When I was completing my first yoga teacher training in India, there was an Osteopath there that was teaching some of our anatomy classes.
He was talking about the diaphragm and that it can be a place where you store emotions. When you release the diaphragm, you can release the emotions. I watched him perform the release on a few people. I wanted to try it, but I was also nervous that I would have a LOT of emotion to release (…lol…?).
At the end of the night, when classes had finished and most people had gone off to do their own thing… alone with a couple people surrounding me… I had my diaphragm released.
Basically, how the release was conducted was, I lied on my back, and the Osteo grabbed my diaphragm… by grabbing onto the skin of my belly (as in – the area on either side of my belly button – not the organ that holds food).
He did a couple of movements – sort of moving the skin he grabbed back-and-forth and within a few seconds he was done.
I lied there for a second and said out loud: “oh, that wasn’t bad” and began to sit up. As I sat up, the Oseto said, “no, no n—” and that’s when a WAVE of emotion hit me.
I started balling. And I couldn’t stop.
For what seemed like HOURS. But once the crying stopped, I felt lighter. And breathing was like nothing I had ever experienced before.
One of the other students looked at me and said, “it looks like the weight of the world has been lifted off your shoulders.”
I felt incredible. Breathing was an insane experience. I had never experienced such an ease of breathing long, really deep breaths. It really was an indescribable experience.
But it really made me aware that while I think I breathe properly, there was so much that I hadn’t been able to tap into just because of my physiology – I was physically stuck.
There are various mobility tools that I now have at my disposal to help me influence my diaphragm.
Breathing is something that most of us rarely think about.
Our body regulates its rate and it just happens on its own. But while it just happens on its own, that doesn’t mean you are breathing correctly.
We learn so many skills in our sport, school… in our LIFE. But we have never learned how to breathe properly.
Right now, I want you to take a REALLY deep breath.
Did the breath go all the way into your belly, or was it primary in your chest?
Did you feel like it was constricted?
Were your shoulders raised up towards your ears?
If you can, lie on your back and place one hand on your belly. Try it again.
Were you able to breath into your belly? If not, try placing a couple of books on your belly. Relax your arms and head on the ground.
A proper breath involves the diaphragm.
Have you ever watched a baby breathe?
Their belly rises and falls.
It’s time to change your relationship with your breath and how you breath. And you don’t need to go to India and find a wizard (I mean… Osteopath) to do that.
Just starts with some awareness, my friend.
Until next time,