Grounded yet open to all possibilities.
To find deep, full breathing in the comfortable cross-legged pose begin with the positioning of the pelvis. When seated, the pelvis is the place in our bodies affected most by earth’s gravitational pull. The positioning of the pelvic girdle will determine the depth and fullness of the inhalation.
Completely relax the gluteus muscles and think of your hips as though they are a heavy clay pot balanced upon the earth. This pot neither tips forward nor back but instead floats between these two possibilities (the male and female energies).
When the pelvis is truly balancing in neutral the lower abdominals automatically support the floating position. The lower back feels flat and long. For many people who habitually tilt the pelvis forward this may feel as though the lower back is rounded. Check the mirror and feel how relaxing it is to surrender the pelvis to mother earth.
Once the pelvis is neutral and the lower back long, the lower ribs will soften into the body. You can begin to feel the fluidity of the spinal column as it flows up from its base like a plant growing out of the soil.
Allow the shoulder blades to draw gently together and down the back. Feel the collarbones broaden and feel the heart open.
Each rib is like a leaf growing out of the spinal stem and moving with the billowing breath.
The back of the neck is like a neutral hinge much like the back of the flower. Like the flower it has the freedom to move toward the light. Its neutral floating position lends itself to all possibilities.
Finally the head like the flower itself is free and floating. The lightness of the head is dependent upon a neutral jaw and a relaxed tongue. A neutral jaw is achieved by creating a small space between the upper and lower back molars. The root of the tongue deep into the throat and the tip of the tongue are both equally soft.
Now you have created the optimal vessel for the practice of deergha swaasam.
Focus on your exhale. Allow the breath to be slow and steady. Feel the abdominals engage automatically and then purposefully pull the abdominal muscles towards to end of the exhalation. Feel the ribs draw into each other and collarbones lower as the chin gently rises.
For the inhalation, release the abdominal muscles and allow the belly to expand. When the pelvis is neutral, the diaphragm’s connection to the lumber spine will release and expand the lower back muscles. As the belly and lower back release the result will be the sensation of filling the entire pelvic bowl with air.
The release of the lower body will begin the expansion of the entire rib cage. The shoulder blades will draw together as the chest expands. The collarbones will broaden and the chin will slightly lower as the back of the neck lengthens.