I relate hypopressives with meditation, because it is a slow, uniform and deep breathing tool, it brings our consciousness to the present moment, to this precise moment, over and over again, saving the interruptions of our mind and the environment; simply observing our breathing without trying to change it.
It is used to decrease anxiety since it activates contrary psychophysiological responses.
How does hypopressive respiration work benefiting relaxation in our body and mind?
Breathing in hypopressives intervenes the diaphragm. This is the best way to breathe as it increases lung capacity.
The diaphragm is a wide muscle located between the pectoral and abdominal cavities and which plays an important role in breathing (inspiration).
Allowing gas exchange to take place and giving mobility to the viscera (keeping them suspended, mobile, free and in their correct location).
I also call it the soul muscle, because there is a direct relationship between the tension-relaxation state of the diaphragm with the feeling of tension-relaxation on an emotional level. And it is that, as we find ourselves psychically, this is how we breathe and vice versa. Day to day or stressful situations affect our way of breathing, causing the diaphragm to become overly tense and, therefore, shortening its fibers. This will affect our postural attitude, and will be reflected in our emotional system. Since, if its main function is to maintain ventilation, due to its vital nature, the second is to maintain posture, and this will be reflected in our soul.
In addition, it has many benefits as an elevator for our organs, favoring the pelvic floor, the transverse abdomen, psoas and the prevention of different pathologies.
How is the technique?
Exhale fully. Do this by pushing in both your chest and abdomen. Think that you are inflating a balloon as much as you can with a single exhalation.
Make the inhalation movement using the chest, blocking the glottis and preventing air from entering your lungs. At the same time it relaxes the abdomen. If you don't understand how to prevent air from entering your lungs, try making the inhalation movement (without actually inhaling) with your mouth and nose covered with your hands. You should feel your chest rise.
Holding your breath, repeat the inhalation movement more forcefully. Keep your abdomen relaxed. The upper abdomen will form a deep concavity that will extend below the rib cage.
Relax the inhalation movement, allowing the chest and abdominal organs to descend and the abdomen to release forward.
Gently push the chest and abdomen in, thus balancing the air pressure inside and outside the body. Inhale gently without gasping.
The best time to practice this block is early in the morning, on an empty stomach and intestines. Contraindications to hypopressants are: high blood pressure, hiatus hernia, ulcers, pregnancy and menstruation.
Among the benefits of breathing with the diaphragm we must mention the increased oxygenation of the cells and the brain. But we should not forget the following:
- Activates the relaxation response of the body.
- Over-activation caused by anxiety and stress is reduced, so balance is recovered.
- It helps us manage our emotions.
- Increases emotional, mental and physical vitality.