Let's Talk Anatomy, Part 1: The Diaphragm

In this week's Teesha Talk Tuesday, we will begin our Let's Talk Anatomy series where we discuss different areas of the body that all play into practicing yoga as well as general health tips. Today, we will discuss the functions of the diaphragm and how it ties into yoga.

What is the diaphragm? The diaphragm, located below the lungs, is the major muscle of respiration. It is a large, dome-shaped muscle that contracts rhythmically and continually, and most of the time, involuntarily. Upon inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and flattens and the chest cavity enlarges.

What are the functions of the diaphragm? One of it's main (and obvious) functions are inhalation and exhalation; the diaphragm is an important muscle that helps you breathe in and out. The diaphragm is very much like a piston. As you inhale, the dome-shaped muscle contracts and descends downward toward the abdominal cavity. This expands the circumference of the rib cage and decreases pressure within the thoracic cavity, drawing air into the lungs and allowing them to expand to their full capacity. Outside of respiratory functions, the diaphragm is also responsible for increasing abdominal pressure to help the body get rid of vomit, urine, and feces. It also places pressure on the esophagus to prevent acid reflux.

How does the diaphragm tie into yoga? Respiration is often divided into four groups. Diaphragmatic breathing is the breath patterns that is used most during hatha yoga practice. The rhythmic movements of this breathing pattern directly affect the central nervous system, creating a sense of calm and ease. It can also help maintain a meditative state throughout the practice. An individual who breathes diaphragmatically will be calm and balanced in demeanor and will handle stressful situations well.

Interested in achieving diaphragmatic breathing patterns during a meditation session with us? Join us for a session in Teesha Yoga Meditation! Sign up is easy - head over to our "Meditation" tab, browse through the different types of meditation services we offer, and when you're ready to book, give us a call at 470-591-0167 to schedule! We look forward to seeing you there. Until next time, stay safe.



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