To enhance the effects of the Structural Training Position Against Wall and the use of the breath, first fully exhale. Then, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, directing the breath up into the chest. The abdomen should remain in and not protrude. As you do this, visualize and feel the spine lengthen. This will happen automatically if you stay relaxed. Do not try too hard. Once you feel spinal elongation, you can refine this sense further by feeling a wave of elongation starting at the base of the spine, traveling upwards as you inhale.
As you exhale, continue to feel yourself lengthening upwards, rather than collapsing back completely. You will feel the structural muscles around the spine "take over". The lengthening upwards that occurs with exhalation is more subtle than that which occurs with inhalation, and is really a wave of support that prevents excessive collapse. This wave of support begins at the head, and travels downwards as you exhale.
c. Abdominal Tightening
Because of structural blockage in the chest, it may be necessary at first to tighten the abdominal muscles in order to direct the breath up into the chest. Do this if necessary. Otherwise the abdomen will protrude as you inhale with very little chest expansion. Over time, gradually use less and less force to hold the abdomen in while inhaling, until you can breathe into the chest without either intentional abdominal contraction or unintentional abdominal protrusion.
d. Daily Life Breathing
Breathing into the chest in this way is meant as an exercise to release structural blockage in the chest and lengthen the spine fully.
After you have finished practicing, forget about your breathing and let it flow naturally. Natural breathing begins in the abdomen and only expands the chest when you are very active and, thus, breathing very fully. Do not maintain this type of full chest breathing constantly in daily life or you may cause energy to congest in the chest and head.
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If you weaken the center of any freestanding structure it becomes unstable. Eventually, everyday wear-and-tear takes its toll, causing the structure to buckle under pressure. This is exactly what happens when the core muscles are weak – it compromises your body’s ability to support the frame properly. In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz about the importance of a strong core – and there is a valid reason for this. The core is where all of the powerful movements in the body originate – so it can essentially be thought of as your “center of power.”