Would you like to activate your sympathetic nervous system, strengthen your core, and increase anaerobic strength? Reduce your waist size and flatten your belly? Raise your metabolism and increase muscle tone in your abdomen and pelvis? Improve your sexual function? Treat or prevent hernias, uterine prolapse incontinence, and constipation? Then play with hypopressive breathing. Hypopressive breathing is a Chinese medical breathing exercise that was made popular in physical therapy by Marcel Caufriez in the mid-1980s. Basically this exercise involves holding your breath as you pull up on the perineum and pull in on the belly after a full exhale. Start by taking in a big inhale and expanding the chest. Then squeeze all the breath out and hold it out. Now act as if you are inhaling. Expand the chest, but don’t actually let any air come in. Pull your belly button in toward your spine and pull up on your perineum. You will feel your chest expand and get the sense that all your abdominal organs are being sucked up into the chest cavity. Hold this upward pressure for about ten seconds, then relax and breathe in. Repeat this for about twenty minutes. If you combine it with various postures and stretches, you’ll get all the best benefits of abdominal crunches and other abdominal exercises without any of the risks.