How to unlock the diaphragm?

At the end of the excellent Anatomy of Yoga seminar, Dr. Graciela Gallarreta spoke of the importance that in his life had the unblocking of the diaphragm. Pictured immediately a question: what we call 'lock'? Joaquín G. Weil writes. Illustration of Olga Dominguez Martin.

Illustration: © Olga Domínguez Martín

For a moment I put in doubt the importance of "unlock" the diaphragm. The diaphragm is in contact nothing less than the heart and lungs at the top; and with the stomach, liver, and spleen at the bottom. It is the main muscle involved in breathing and through cross the esophagus and the vena cava and the aorta.

Said the master Hargobind Singh that people should express ourselves about ourselves on friendly terms. In honor to the truth and to be exact, the doctor Graciela Gallarreta did not speak of "locks", but otherwise, the "Unlocking".

Having said that, it is advisable to find out what means "lock". 'Block' literally means 'do or become a block". Or, somewhat mobile to turn it into a '' block '' stationary. Therefore, in the other direction, leading to "unlock" recipe consists of mobilizing. "Motion is life," he said Alexander Lowen.

Yoga and, in particular, the practice of asanas has several recipes for various issues, but eventually almost all of them can be summarized in two: to gain space and strengthen. When a muscle or a certain area has gained space and force, it can then move freely, because it has energy and space to do so. In addition, in addition, the strengthening of an area generates space and space generates force. I.e., both qualities develops in a joint manner in a virtuous circle.

I love to go to the great Dr. Graciela Gallarreta or Pedro Artero Orta seminars about Anatomy and biomechanics applied to yoga. Graciela, as well as being a doctor in medicine has been practicing yoga for three or four decades. And Pedro Artero, in that same period of time he has taught physical education and yoga in various fields, mainly in the Superior Conservatory of dance of Malaga. Not just amaze me about the mysteries and secrets of the human body.

To begin with, in the body there is, as of all is known, in horizontal four diaphragms main. Of which three are in the trunk. The human body represents the universe in the person. As Pedro Artero and Dr. Graciela Gallarreta reminds us, is not so much tame the body and learn from him. Both Peter and Graciela include yoga from a broader aspect, where the anatomy loses its original character of "dissection of corpses" and comes to life, through the consciousness or the soul. In fact, the seminar of the Gallarreta Dr. begins not "from outside", not from the intellectual study of the body, but from a meditation, a plug contact and awareness of the body, experienced "from within", that is what should be the real "anatomical yoga" or "Anatomy of yoga".

He said Heraclitus that everything is related in this universe, but that is no more relationship between the closest thing. I.e., to move what we call IRIS but which is actually called "the Middle thoracic diaphragm", is necessary to move what's nearby. I.e. moving column and ribs in arc and turns, or chest, Middle thoracic diaphragm will tend to break free. As the diaphragm is also anchored to the lumbar area, then it will be necessary to move the entire column, this is the trunk, fundamentally by means of retching and turns or twists.

Yoga is a holistic

Another amazing phenomenon of our body are the relationships that we could call "sympathetic" between such structures.

In the same way, to "unlock" the diaphragm par excellence, i.e. the Middle chest, should be much work on the other two diaphragms from the trunk, i.e., the pelvic and upper chest or clavicular. This relationship between the three diaphragms of the trunk already knew it to see the ancient Yogis who activated all three at the same time in the tribandha or maha bandha.

Finally, inverted positions, replacing entrails weighing on Middle thoracic diaphragm, make that, on the one hand exercise having to "lift the weight of the bowels" in its respiratory movement, and on the other hand this same weight of entrails massaging it, stretches and finally relaxes.

But is that all? It is just the beginning.

When it comes to therapeutic or healing yoga, almost always are contributes to the mechanistic aspects of the human body. Forget the true healing essence of yoga, and are used to a 'yoga pills' vademecum, where such a medical condition, such action due to this or that cause and effect relationship is applied. Yoga is a holistic not only because, as we have said, in the body, everything is in relation to all and have a wonderful interplay of reflections, where the plant of the foot, the ears, the nadis and the marmas, but until the intestines and all constitute by itself a map of the rest of the body. Yoga is holistic because it acendra its main instrument beyond where they apply: attention and consciousness.

The unexplained essence of the placebo effect is the use of consciousness. Therefore, the placebo effect we should start calling him "mental or consciential healing of the body". So it would have a purely positva connotation.

Returning to the subject of the "blockade of the diaphragm", it is clear that there is a "block" awareness. How to recover consciousness in the diaphragm? Then apply the same recipes that we have mentioned. Intentional activation is performed from the efferent channel, pingala o Surya nadiIncidentally in yogic terms. Stretching and movement generate sensory experience in the area, i.e., working on the afferent channel, Nadi IDA o Chandra. To understand the beneficial effect of the practice of yoga, it is necessary to understand that the State of tension or "block" is associated with a loss of attention and awareness of one determined area, but in reality, since attention is a faculty, what a general loss of attention. Therefore, to heal the body and mind it must exercise care and awareness it, the ability to focus the mind in general and, in particular, on areas that we consider to be "blocked". In yogic terms, is working with dharana and pratyahara.

Unlocking exercises

Since the Middle thoracic diaphragm is the main muscle that drives respiration, pARA 'unlock' the diaphragm will be well effective soft and gradual work on awareness of breath. To achieve this, there are several modes. One good effective is the use of a "witness". It is, in the lying position, savasana or variants thereof (mainly savasana with legs on a Chair or stool, or even in other positions of restorative measures, as Viparita Karni with supports), place a small weight on the abdomen. I usually use a rolled yoga belt. But it does anything else. (Could even have an added effect use something relative to breath, so thus the mind connect with symbolism; for example, a package of herbal lung). This "witness" allows a better concentration on the push-pull of the respiratory movement in the abdomen, driven mainly by the Middle thoracic diaphragm.

Another way to focus the mind is in simply counting breaths, for example of ten in ten. But it is still easier and more effective to count breaths, combining them with simple movements of the body. For example swinging of the trunk in ways that would be a little lengthy to explain here.

And combining all of these actions: stretching, fortifications, breath and awareness, we have a wonderful exercise: our simple and everyday Surya Namskara or greeting to the Sun, a beneficial sequence that mobilizes the trunk in relationship and synchrony with respiration.

Of course, to "unlock" the diaphragm and breathing, also is need to remember traditional remedies yogic as the wonderful effect of the samanu, i.e., the singing of mantras to regulate and make more manifest respiration, particularly exhalation. A similar effect also has the pranayama or breathing exercise Bramari. All of which would be too long to explain it in the usual space of an article (always taking into account that for beginners is not advisable the realization of complex pranayamas).

Yoga is not only an intangible cultural heritage of humanity, but it is a gift to the higher powers (whether these are that they are, or we give the name you want) we transmitted to humans to get closer to happiness, compassion and wisdom. And remember: the one and only true guru is God.

I want to conclude this article recommending the training manuals that we have drafted the Dr. Graciela Gallarreta and a server.

Joaquín García Weil (photo: Vito Ruiz)Who is

Joaquín García Weil He graduated in philosophy, yoga teacher and Yoga room Málaga director. Practice Yoga for 20 years and teaches it since makes eleven. He is a student of Swami Rudradev (leading disciple of Iyengar), with whom he has learned in Yoga Study Center, Rishikesh, India. He has also studied with Dr. Vagish Sastri de Benarés, among other masters.

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By • 13 Feb, 2017 • section: Signatures, Joaquín G. Weil