By Denise Vidal
In these Pilates blogs we have explored our breath and its relationship to our posture, core, and the movement in our joints. We have explored the difference of breathing into our abdominal cavity as well as into our chest cavity. We have also explored breathing into the sides of the ribs as well as the front and back. However, the front and the sides of the ribs can be much easier to access, given that we can both see and touch those areas. In today's blog we are going to talk about finding more breath in the back part of the rib cage. One way in which we can explore this is lying prone, or lying on your abdomen.
To start, take a pillow from your bed and lie on it lengthwise on your abdomen; that is, put the pillow under your torso from your shoulders to the top of your pelvis.
Put your hands under your forehead for support.
Feel how your front ribs sink into the pillow, allowing your back ribs to have room to spread and open. As we have done before, focus on the back part of your ribcage expanding with each inhale and softening back down with each exhale. See each section of your back ribs expanding separately, starting with the low ribs, the middle ribs, and then your upper ribs (under the shoulder girdle).
Once you feel like you have made a connection with the breath in your back ribs, try to engage your abdominals. Using to cues that we have used before, as you exhale feel your waist hug the imaginary sphere inside your belly. See if you can do this while keeping the pelvis in neutral. Remember, in neutral pelvis we are attempting to keep the pubic bone level with the hip bones. Depending on our individual structure this may not happen; however, the point is to keep the spine long and the pelvis heavy. When we engage our abdomen, there is no need to squeeze your butt or tuck your pelvis.Practice this and let me know how it goes. In the next few blogs we will begin to add movement of the limbs in this position.