This has been so long over due. I am constantly putting so much emphisis on breathing during my classes, and doing so many breahting workshops, that it is high times, I make a post about it here so that anyone can check it at any time as a reference for home practices, or when three part breathing ever comes up and you need a quick refresher.
The three part breath is a type of breath which has three parts (obviously seen by its name) diaphragmatic, intercostal, and clavicular. I will break these down for you, and end with a quick demonstration of how they look when strung together.
1. Belly Breathing aka diaphragmatic breathing
funny thing is that this normally called belly breathing, and yet that oddly describes it in a very wrong way. You are not breathing into your belly. The name diaphragmatic breath is a lot more accurate of a discriptor seeing as the belly movement comes from your lungs pushing down on your abdominal diaphragm.
If you notice in the picture above, the diaphragm is not very lo in the belly, so you wont see a huge difference in your abdominal movements when you breath this way. Dont push your belly out as you inhale in order to make it look like you are doing the breath correctly, this will actually just make you work harder to breath, in essence making breathing more difficult for you. This is actually our most natural breathing pattern. If you have ever watched a baby breath, you will see their belly rise as they inhale and fall as they exhale. However if you look at society today the idea that your breath might make you look "fat" has trained us to start breathing backwards, sucking the belly in as we inhale and then relaxing as we exhale.
A few fun facts about diaphragmatic breathing:
-It can trigger emotional releases
-It is used to help harness or control anger (such as in anger management "taking deep breaths and counting to 10")
-Brings internal awareness of space
2. Thoracic, Intercostal breathing, mid breath
There are so many different names used for this breath, I can never just chose one. All of these names are fitting seeing as the breath happens in the Thoracic part of the spine, and is the only stretch we have for the intermost, and internal intercostal muscles. It also come as the middle part of the three part breath.
This breath happens in the space between armpits and second rib
Used for outward breathing --->
and breathing into the back
Breathing into your sides for sidebends
Back breathing helps to open heart chakra for receiving
3. Clavicular, or Chest Breathing
This is the most commonly used breath today, infact is has become so common for people to breath this way that it is how paramedics check for breathing. Dont believe me, next time you have someone check your breathing notice that they put their hand on your shoulder to feel for movement (I had to learn that when I was studing to be a CMA).
Check out this video for a better visual of the three breaths being linked together