FULL BREATH CYCLE: 3 STAGES
The breath cycle will be the exact point where we will attempt to initiate thoracic extension at its innermost elements. This type of breathing will carry a similar effect to that of the squat or anything else that involves a summation of forces. We are going to use dynamic muscle elasticity to promote a full breath that will expand the ribcage and stimulate tension directly to the middle back. As another benefit, the breath cycle will likely be the best tool for managing stress and bringing about physiological and neurological homeostasis in the body through activating your parasympathetic nervous system.
When this exercise is executed correctly, the body will ingest very high amounts of oxygen, which may promote lightheadedness. Within time, the body will adapt to consuming higher amounts of oxygen, thus making it normality in every breath you take thereafter. If it is too difficult to get the projections in the diagram while standing, the exercise can be done when lying in a supine position.
STAGE 1: EXHALATION
In the first stage of a full breath cycle, we will want to jettison all the air from the body. During that time we will be relaxing the neck and chest. This stage will set the tone for the amount of air you will be able to take in for the next stage in the breath cycle.
STAGE 2: ABDOMINAL INHALATION
In the second stage, we will now be introducing the inhalation phase of the breath cycle. We once again want to keep the neck and chest completely immobile as we fill the abdominal region with air. At this stage, we are going to build tension in the abdominal structures, so that their release automatically sets up the most crucial part of the breath cycle.
STAGE 3: CHEST INHALATION
After the tension in the abdominal region has been maximized we will now pay attention to rib expansion as well as thoracic extension. In this stage we will continue the path of inhalation, only now we will be drawing the navel inward as we simultaneously expand the ribs. We will hold the breath from a period of 3-10 seconds and then exhale slowly as we bring ourselves back into stage 1.
The breath cycle is by far one of the most effective tools I have ever encountered for setting up the foundations of a homeostatic body. It is highly recommended this exercise be done a few times a day, as it is a pillar to building physiological and neurological efficiency at its nucleus.