During my postnatal healing I spent the first three months practice the Deep Core Breath with no other exercises added in except for a few bridges (setu bandha sarvangasana). It allowed me to reconnect with my core muscles gradually while my body took time to heal after having a caesarean section. The gentle expansion of the inhales allowed my scar tissue to heal while staying soft and elastic rather than hardening and tightening. A strong muscle should be able to engage and release all the way. Which is why this breath is so crucial to postnatal recovery and in preparation for birth. When I felt ready to get back into my fitness I added this breath into my core exercises in an organic way. My abdominal gap (diastasis recti) closed, but more than that my functional strength came back and I felt stronger than ever.
Why the Breath?
In yoga our vital life force is known as prana. Pranayama is the practice of altering/controlling this energy through breathing exercises. Pranayama paired with mindful movements (asana) and meditation can have significant benefits for our overall health & wellness.
Benefits of using the Breath.
stretches the core & connective tissues from the inside
stimulates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (rest & digest)
reduces anxiety & stress
connects us to our deepest layer of core muscles
deep breathing enriches the blood & oxygen in the body
increases mindfulness (body awareness & proprioception)
can be the focus of meditation
release tension in the deep core and connective tissues
strengthen the pelvic floor and deep core muscles
Cultivating the Core Breath.
(Please Note: if you are in your fourth trimester; ie the first three months after birth focus your inhales out to the sides of the ribs. It is not necessary to stretch the front of the abdomen or pelvic floor before engaging until these muscles have had a chance to heal.)
Inhale: As you inhale, invite your breath into the rib cage, abdomen and pelvic floor. Create a sense of expansion as you breathe in, front, sides and back. Allow your breath to stretching you from the inside, massaging your internal organs and cleansing every cell in your body. Exhale: The exhale can have two different qualities for different purposes. To cultivate strength, as you exhale draw in the pelvic floor & deep core muscles. To create relaxat