Are you breathing efficiently ?

April 19, 2013 by Nicholas Brandon

The most important fuel of our body is the breath. The breath can be very nourishing, healing and revealing. If we become more conscious of this subtle, vital energetic life force.

Through out the day we carry unnecessary amounts of tension, often unconsciously. This builds up over time resulting in lots of tension, which means we experience, stress, pain, dis-ease with limit the optimal functioning of breathing.

The Alexander Technique is a very subtle, simple yet powerful tool to help you overcome the daily stresses of life. You learn to take responsibility by helping  yourself become more present and aware of simple everyday acts that affect our posture, breathing and general well-being.   When we move well, we breath well, when be breathe well, we move well. Then we feel more aligned with our mind/body and feel more whole and connected.

Too often, people slip into poor breathing (moving) habits.

Many people believe, that popper breathing is from the diaphragm, or the abdomen and we have to  “take a deep breath,” “breathe into your belly,” “don’t let your chest move,” “hold your ribs out,” “relax and breathe.” Actually, nature regulates our breathing. The respiratory system is reflexive and automatic.

We don’t teach babies or children to breathe. If we interfere with the natural rhythm of the breath it will feel forced and therefore have the effect of producing tension. Breathing happens spontaneously in response to all our thoughts and feelings and environment.

I find it amazing how many singers I work with don’t realise they can breathe from their backs and sides, I have to remind them that they are three dimensional. When the back is neglected (which it nearly always is) the rib moment and muscles become very tight and limited, restricting the flow of air, which means the quality of sound and breath is compromised. If we Include the back and side of the torso when we breath, we awaken the tired often tense part of the back which gives an increased dynamic, energetic flow of the breath. Which improves the overall quality of breathing and of course the  tone and resonance of the voice and we have more energy.

Allow the life force of breath to breathe you, you don’t have to draw, gasp, and suck in the air. Atmospheric air is pressing against you; each square centimeter has a force of 1 kilogram  (14 pounds per square inch). We can allow the breath to flow through us.

“Breath is the life; and breathing capacity (vital capacity) is the measure of life.” – F. M. Alexander  1869 – 1955

Here’s a natural way to promote a full exhalation….  Let a sound out – such as an easy sigh or a whispered ‘ah.’  Remember not to sink down or collapse your chest as the breath leaves the body.  You can think of your exhaled breath as a column of air, fuelling the length of your spine.  Then a new breath can return, easily and fully, just the way you like it.

When we smile me move better and breathe more easily  – Keep it simple breathing is.



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