Look at this posture!! (Insert shocked emoji here).
Breathing is a part of every exercise I post on here, and for good reason. It’s a great way to bring awareness to posture and core activation, and to calm the nervous system. This is why it’s a great place to start, post-partum. It’s an effective way to engage the core and, because I don’t have the strength or the time to do a whole lot more (more thoughts on this to come!!), it’s a great way to make everyday things “exercises”.
How: direct your breath into the bottom of your rib cage, specifically the back. As it fills with air, imagine your rib cage being lifted up from the back, as if you’re an inflatable person slowly growing taller. Then try to maintain this height through the back of your ribs as you exhale. Next, add some core and pelvic floor – relax your pelvic floor as you inhale, then do a gentle kegel and draw your belly button toward your spine as you exhale. Drawing your belly button in should help to support the height through the back of your ribs.
We are not built to maintain an asymmetrical load for extended periods, so our bodies compensate to make it easier. This is why holding a baby is as horrible for posture as it is wonderful for the soul. Because I don’t have time (or don’t remember) to lay down and do exercises, I’ve been working on breathing primarily when holding Charlie. It helps to correct my posture, even just for a couple of minutes, and creates some activation in my abdominals. I’ve found that by doing this a few times a day for a week, my abdominals are slowly coming back to life. Also, bonus – I’ve found that taking nice long, intentional breaths helps me to calm down and helps to calm Charlie too!
You don’t have to be holding a baby to incorporate breath into daily movements. Try this sitting at your desk, in your car, standing in line at the grocery store – basically at any point you’re momentarily idle and can bring your attention to your breath. You’ll notice some things about your posture by doing this, good and bad, and will teach your body to use your core muscles in all kinds of postures.