Mike Sigman wrote:
I'm unclear on your usage of the word "expands". The stomach-area pulls slightly in so that the lower torso doesn't "expand", but the pressure within it goes up. The "pressure" area is the stomach on the front, the diaphragm, the lower lumbar region, the "kidney" (really the quadratus lumborum area) region, and the perineum area. That area becomes a sort of "container".
I meant expansion of the dantian while breathing out. I have believed that in the "natural" breath, the dantian/hara fills and expands, with a visible movement, while the practitioner inhales. When the practitioner exhales, the dantian/hara "deflates", and can be seen to move as well. Reverse breathing would be, well, the reverse, where movement of the dantian "in" can be seen on the inhale and "out" on the exhale.
I get the impression from your post that this movement is not nearly so visible in the reverse breathing, but that the feeling of pressure is what we are after. I can feel the pressure clearly in the areas you described. Should the chest be allowed to expand with reverse breathing? It seems that the pressure goes away if this happens, so maybe I just answered my own question.
Thanks to you and Moses both for the health warnings-- I will take them seriously. In general, I try to pay a lot of attention to what's happening inside when I train, with the feeling of a good stretch rather than any straining or forcing.
Is 35 all that old?! Time to look into arrangements, I suppose.