How to Establish the Breathwork Foundation
It’s absolutely beautiful to see that more and more people are understanding the importance of proper breathing.
Right now is the perfect time to focus on our mental and emotional health and our breath is the power tool to support us along the way.
When guiding my clients through breathwork sessions, we first and foremost focus on setting up the foundation and then get to the juicy part of breathing and meditation.
If you practice on your own without guidance from a breathing teacher, it’s important to take the time to create a healthy foundation to be able to breathe properly.
Setting the foundation
Especially in breathing the posture is very essential for the breath flow to enter and access the body with ease.
Many people prefer to sit in a cross-legged seated position (also called easy pose in yoga). This posture can be very resting for some and lead to discomfort and back pain for others.
So how do we know if we sit correctly in this seated position?
We need to make sure that the position of the pelvic floor is ideal so our spine is in a neutral curve.
The spine has 3 natural curves consisting of 33 vertebrae. The first curve is in the lower part of our back, also called the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is curved inward. The midback or thoracic spine is curved outward and the last part, the cervical spine in the neck is curved inward like the lower back.
While sitting in easy pose and the spine is in its neutral state, you will feel comfort in this position because the muscles don’t need to support the bones. When the spine is in its resting state, there is no strain.
What helps is to first sit normally in easy pose. From here move the pelvis a bit in any direction. You will automatically feel that your spine moves with it. Tilt your pelvis forward and feel the lumbar spine rounding. Tilt your pelvis backward and feel the lower back arching.
Now for the right position, you want to rest in a position where you are between the arching and rounding.
Peeking in the mirror also helps.
Sitting in a cross-legged seated position is not for everyone, though. Laying down might be a better option for you if you find yourself being irritated by a potential discomfort while sitting.
There is no ‘one posture works for everyone’ so just experiment with what feels more natural for your body.
If you prefer sitting but it causes you pain, you can also sit on a chair — just make sure that you support your midback with a pillow to ensure the natural curve of the spine.
You can also get a meditation pillow that lifts your hips and allows them to roll slightly forward, supporting the natural curve of the lower back.
A lot of cushions are filled with buckwheat which makes it harder for your body to shift while sitting. I recommend getting a cushion where you have the option to take out some of the buckwheat so it molds to your seat.
If breathwork is within your practice, I strongly recommend finding your preferred posture beforehand. Once you have a healthy foundation, you will be able to deepen the practice and therefore allow new miraculous encounters.