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Increased abdominal pressure is a phrasing that is used a lot by a lot of the modern exercised physiologist — exercise physiologists who work specifically with elite athletes, as well as work on systems for getting the “rest of us,” so to speak, in shape.
Increased intra-abdominal pressure means that the pressure inside of the abdominal wall, the pressure exerted on the internal organs, the pressure external to the internal organ pushing into the internal organ, as well as the pressure that’s exerted by the internal organ outwards is operating at a higher pressure than if your belly were prolapsed and you didn’t have much muscle control there, and you were not doing belly breathing etc.
Ideally an increased flexibility and movement of the lower abdominal wall, and also of the pelvic floor, of the lower back and the sides is engaged as you do deep breathing. You also build that muscle tissue so that not only is it more flexible and dynamic, but it’s also stronger and able to squeeze in and exert more force.
Now that force doesn’t have to be engaged all the time, it just means that the muscles should be strengthened and they can be strengthened through deep belly breathing, they can be strengthened through abdominal exercises of all sorts etc, but it needs to be done in a way where there is dynamism: flexibility as well as strength.
Now why is he asking this (for those of you who haven’t tuned into our previous Q&A’s in previous videos)? Increased intra-abdominal pressure, increased breath pressure in the abdomen done by dropping the thoracic diaphragm and dropping the pelvic floor as you breath and then releasing or bringing them back in as you exhale, is important to increasing the amount of vital energy or nerve activity involved from the breath and translated through the area of the intestines as a coil.
If you read Dr. Morris’s books, his first book Path Notes, it explains a lot of that, how the belly is being used there as he explains belly breathing. So there’s a lot of different cultural methods using different breath rhythms and fancy breathing techniques that all accomplish similar things where you’re increasing the amount of dynamic pressure on the lower abdomen.
What happens on a biological or physiological level is that you are increasing the amount of pressure on the organs so that they can, in turn, do their biochemical reactions at a more efficient rate. It’s just like a pressure cooker in the kitchen. If you increase the pressure you don’t have to use as much heat in order to achieve chemical changes in the food that you’re cooking.
You’re doing the same thing with your biochemistry when you learn to increase both the gentle breath pressure there, and also the amount of chemical reactions going on in the cells, especially the are of the intestines.
Now, very important for those of you who may try this on your own and not learn from an instructor: if you’re going to learn how to breath better, always remember your chest should not be pressurized, your chest should be relaxed, your ribcage, your thoracic area, your heart especially and your lungs. You’re not trying to pressurize those.
If you do you’re going to end up with chest congestion, heartburn, tachycardia, irregular heartbeat, or worse.
So your ribcage area should always be relaxed, and your belly is what you want to get engaged in terms of increased pressure. You can learn to expand the ribcage, and relax it as you breath, but you never want to squeeze the ribcage.
So be intelligent as you do this stuff.
And if you don’t know what you’re doing, learn from someone who can teach you, whether it’s KAP instructors or just any good instructor of yogic breathing, or qi gong breathing, or breathing dynamics for skin divers or deep divers, etc. Lot’s of places that you can learn these methodologies and learn them from somebody who can catch you if you’re doing something wrong.
— Transcription by Spencer Stevens
KAP instructor Tao Semko answers “What is Increased Intra-Abdominal Pressure, and how does it affect prana/qi and kundalini?” in this webcam video edited from a live online Q&A…
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