When we take a deep breath of air, and our shoulders rise upward, we are actually causing our stomach to sink inward like a thin tree. We want to do the opposite and make a thick tree. I ask people to mimic how they feel, with their stomach, after they eat a ton of food on Thanksgiving. They usually push their belly out, distending it. This pushing out motion creates a “large trunk” like a thick tree. So we first need to take a large breath WHILE we pull that air into our lungs by making the sides of our stomach pull outward, like our thick tree. We then can push outward—focusing on the sides of our stomach—like a pufferfish to initiate our brace and hold it.