In this workshop you will learn how to breathe naturally and with ease. You will become aware of habits that are interfering with your breathing. Why it is important to breathe through the nose. Learning why we need to exhale sufficiently before we take a breath in and to allow the diaphragm to activate the in-breath.
Dysfunctional breathing can cause back pain, it can cause stress, by improving the quality of breathing, it can relieve back pain and improve posture and relieve stress. The diaphragm, the breathing muscle is very much involved with other muscles of the back, it is intertwined with the psoas muscle. The psoas muscle is the deepest muscle in the body and connects the spine to the legs. When we sit a lot, the psoas muscle shortens and it can remain shorten when we go to stand or move.
When we become aware of the breath, we often interfere with breathing, we need to keep the mind out of the breath and focus the mind on something else and then notice the breath. It is like observing the waves on the ocean, they come and go.
To start to become more aware of your breath, it may be helpful to lie on your back on something soft like a rug or yoga mat and your head supported by a few books or something that your head does not sink to easily into. You can rest your hands on your abdomen and with your hands you can sense the breath come and go. Is the breath fast and shallow or is it deep and slow. Is the breath in the upper part of the chest area with the shoulders rising and falling with the breath or are the floating ribs moving to the side, do you sense your lower back move with the breath. Can you allow the breath to deepen and soften into the body?
FM Alexander developed this technique to improve breathing, called the Whispered Ah. This will be covered in detail in the workshop.
On an out-breath allow a whispered Ah sound through the mouth, where the lower jaw is opened so that the upper back teeth move away from the lower back teeth and the lower back teeth move away from the upper back teeth and the lower jaw also comes slightly forward.
At the natural end of the out-breath allow the mouth to close and wait for the breath to come through the nose. By waiting we get out of out habitual ways and the breath comes in by the release of the diaphragm and the ribs expand as the lungs fill with air. Then allow the out-breath straight away and not to hold at the top of the in-breath.
Repeat this exercise five or six times and come back to natural breathing in an out through the nose and noticed what has changed, how do you feel after this exercise.