Your first step in training your core begins with the breath, call it the Core Breath.
Your core is a group of 4 muscles that work together. When functioning optimally they support the pelvis and spine – a very important job!
These 4 muscles (the Diaphragm, Pelvic Floor, Transversus Abdominus & Multifidus), work as a team. They anticipate our every move, they prepare us for the task at hand.
In a dysfunctional core, the ability to anticipate is hindered in some way and needs to be retrained.
The Core Breath is a restorative exercise that focuses on identifying and co-activating the 4 core muscles.
The Core Breath
Lie on your back, with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Try to find your ideal alignment, feel your tailbone is in line with the top of your head, notice is you feel relaxed. Try to feel the natural curves of your back, a little hollow at the low back, ribcage resting, head resting on the floor/mat. Sometimes a small pad under the head or a pillow under the knees helps, you should feel relaxed.
The “Purposeful” Exhale: breath out through your mouth for a count of 8, image you are blowing out a candle. You should feel an automatic tensioning of your abdominals, the muscles of your back (especially the low back) and your pelvic floor both tightening and lifting.
The “Expanding” Inhale: breath in through the nose, again for a count of 8, feel your abdominals, back and pelvic floor release, a sense of yielding or expanding.
When practicing the Core Breath try to maintain your ideal or neutral alignment. Avoid pressing the small of your back to the mat when you exhale or lifting the chin or rib cage when you inhale. Try to keep your shoulders and buttocks relaxed.