I have been paying closer attention to my breathing during my yoga sessions and meditation since I’ve regained some space in my nasal passages. It’s almost as if I were breathing for the first time. I’ve noticed that what might appear a slight adjustment in my spine can result in a dramatic difference in the quality and depth of my breathing. As a person who works constantly stooped before a keyboard and monitor, I have a strong tendency to round my spine forward. That’s the direction that my body is being pushed By keeping a small curvature to my lower back and a slight tilt forward of by pelvis, I seem to find the optimal position for getting maximum movement from my diaphragm, my rib cage opens up and my shoulder blades draw together. If I ever so slightly move towards a straight back (no natural curvature in my lower back), my breathing seems to start shutting off. It’s almost as if my diaphragm got turned off.
Why is this important for me? Because I’ve noticed times in my practice when my breathing seems to shut down. I could never understand why. Now I think that in certain movements or positions, I lose form in my lower back and that triggers what seems like a diaphragm freeze.
I first felt the difference when I was seated in meditation. I usually sit on a block because I want to keep my knees below my hips. In that position, it’s very easy to slip out of the correct posture because the back gets tired of holding the position and I start gradually slipping into rounding my back forward. I then sensed the quality of my breath as I tilted my hips forward (putting in curvature) and then released my hips to a lazier position. This has almost before a focus of meditation as I savor the quality of my breath depending on the slant of my back.