Inspired Awakening the Diaphragm Daily Routine
Because it Feels Good to Feel Good
Although all of these breath and arm movement are very common in many of our yoga sequences, placing it together like this for the purpose of stimulating the diaphragm is something I learned watching a talk with Dr. John Douillard of life spa. He referred to it as "flossing the diaphragm".
The Power of Imagination Imagery, affirmation and calling on feelings are common tools used in traditional yoga. For the purpose of using this sequence to also improve our connection with Prāna while stimulating the feelings of being both rooted and light, I added these elements to this simple and effective sequence. When it comes to working with our sensory perceptions, you may find that imagery comes naturally but that you don't feel it or vice versa. It's o.k., use what works best and with practice the other will reveal itself.
Inspired Living Yoga Awakening the Diaphragm Approach
Standing in an Ocean of Prāna
Stand tall, root the feet, spread the toes, have a slight bend in the knees and a broad chest and begin with a few shoulder rolls. Relax the eyes and facial expression and let yourself feel curious and receptive. As you inhale, synchronize the rising of the arms with the breath. Imagine that you're standing on a trampoline and as the arms rise the feet push off from the earth. You can think of your arms as wings and as the arms rise, the feet root. Do this while keeping some focus on the diaphragm moving downwards. At the top of the inhale, pause for a moment and affirm or visualize Prāna saturating every cell in your body. With the exhale, keep some focus on the sensation of the diaphragm returning to its relaxed domed-shaped position while synchronizing the downward movement of the arms with the breath. Keep the legs strong and the chest broad (it's not uncommon that we sink in both the chest and the feet when we exhale).
Modification: Keep the arms bent and gaze forward until you develop shoulder mobility to straighten the arms and tilt the head back without arching the back or compressing the neck.
Repeat 3 times
Keep the left arm by your side and as you inhale sweep the right arm(right wing) in the plane of the ear as you tilt over to the left. Keep focusing on synchronizing the breath with the movement and on the diaphragm moving downwards on the inhale. Affirm yourself giving space to the lung and expand the rib cage. On the exhale, feel like your feet are pushing off from a trampoline as you return to your neutral position.
Repeat 3 times.
Feel the feet rooting and expand your chest as you take a deep and slow inhale. Focus on both the movement of diaphragm flattening down and the intention to take in all the Prāna that you need. Include a micro moment of suspension and affirm, feel or envision Prāna saturating every cell in your body. Close by exhaling rapidly and forcefully and by pulling the navel in and up.
Repeat 3 times.
Take a moment to feel what you have created and commit to being aware of the breath as you move through your day.
1. Feel like you're just about to smile. This opens up the back of the throat and allows the breath to move with more ease. It also relaxes the eyes and creates a more receptive experience.
2. The feet can be hip width a part, even a little wider or you can have them side by side with the big toes touching and a little space between the heels.
3. Stand tall, relaxed and expansive.
Practice with me!