Are You Barely Breathing? Probably

Thanks to Laura Jane LJAMuse on Instagram

On average, people are sitting 9.3 hours a day.  Stress, anxiety, and chronic pain are epidemic. When you collapse at the computer, in your car, or out in the world, you CANNOT breathe freely and easily, which also means:

You have less energy
You have less focus
You have less courage
You have less confidence
You’re more guarded from others
You feel exhausted
You feel small

And the real problem is that most of this behavior is unconscious, habitual, and FEELS NORMAL, but it’s not healthy and it’s not living.

Practicing a new way of moving and breathing through life means you release years of compression and holding in your body.  You get to let go and take up space.

Your diaphragm is huge and it needs space in order to move

Sucking in your stomach and “standing up straight” with all your muscles prevents your diaphragm from moving freely and easily. Your diaphragm moves like a parachute or a jellyfish and most of that movement is around the level of your waist. You can see in the above image that most of the diaphragm is in the back, not in the chest.

If it is time to understand how your body breathes you and experience confidence, calm, and energy of well-coordinated body and breath, then sign up for BE BREATHED: Embodied, Empowered, Emboldened

Sign up for Be Breathed: Embodied, Empowered, Emboldened Oct. 6

Is Your Body Screaming “Help Meeeee!”

Chronic ongoing pain is of course the most obvious sign.  But there are other not-so-subtle messages your body gives you when it needs more care and attention.  

Anxiety 

Dislike of you own body

Sleeplessness
Exhaustion
An Inability to Relax
Fidgetiness
Grouchiness or Short Temper
No Desire to Socialize
No Desire to Get Out of Bed
Can’t Exercise 
And more….

The biggest problem I observe is that most people are not listening to the screams or cries for help from their bodies.  They push through, take pain medications, don’t rest, work harder and scream back a their bodies.   

This aggressive approach to the body does not heal pain.  Your kinesthetic sense, aka your body awareness, is a messenger.  If you are in the habit of not listening to your body, you will only become aware of hurting yourself at the end of the day when you are tight, can’t move, and even breathing feels difficult.  

Sooo… What’s the solution, Sharon? (Click on the photo for a video demonstration

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In every Alexander Technique session, I have my clients spend time in Semi-Supine position (laying on back with knees bent). During this time, my client is learning how to listen to their body, how to quiet and calm the nervous system, and how to release muscular tension related to their response to pain.  

Semi-Supine is supportive of a long spine, a balanced body, and free and easy breathing.  This makes learning to listen to your body easier.  Sometimes, just in the act of spending quiet, still, awake time with your own body, pain messages can quiet down and you experience stress relief as well.  Ignoring the “screams” from your body ensures that your body will get “louder” meaning stronger pain sensations and more discomfort.

Alexander Technique offers a kinder and gentler approach to the body.  You learn to move gently and with mindfulness.  You learn to be aware of how you are moving your body and how you are holding painful patterns of tension so that you can release them.  With the gentle hands-on guidance, you learn to soothe yourself and soothe your body.

As you go through your day, take the time to STOP and listen to your body.  Follow your body’s guidance. It is time for a kinder, gentler approach to our bodies.  If this sounds right to you, then sign up for our free video series:

As you go through your day, take the time to STOP and listen to your body.  Follow your body’s guidance. It is time for a kinder, gentler approach to our bodies.  If this sounds right to you, then sign up for Be Breathed: a Deeply Calming 1 Day Retreat on October 6. A whole day to go in, be with your body, to listen to your body, to calm your body, and to nourish your body with breath.

http://www.alexandertechniqueoc.com/retreat

3 Mistakes You Are Making with Your Breathing

Most people think that breathing and posture are two separate functions. They either try to “Stand Up Straight!” or they try to “Take a Deep Breath” Both strategies interfere with the natural uprightness of your spine and your body’s ability to easily move with your breath.

Are you making these mistakes? (Experience free & easy breathing that soothes and calms your nervous system October 6 at Be Breathed)

Watch this video of the diaphragm. See how much it moves.

1) Breathing in by lifting your chest and shoulders. This requires many muscles in upper body to grip and tighten and prevents your diaphragm from moving properly in order to for breath to enter your lungs. This habit stiffens your alignment as well.

2) Holding your breath. Holding your breath actually requires your muscles to work hard. You will also start to feel frantic, panicky, anxious, and/or nervous. Your breath rate will go up and you may even be hurting your back. Your posture will be diminished because all of your muscles are squeezing.

3) Sucking in your belly & controlling the breath. Your body breathes better than you do. If you are trying to breathe deeply while holding in your belly, you are interfering with your body’s natural breathing coordination.

These mistakes can not only cause physical pain but also evoke nervousness, fear, and anxiety. Your voice is also squelched.  Letting breath out releases muscles and allows your body to take care of you. Your BODY breathes better than you.

If your breathing seems difficult, your body is tense, and your voice is strained, the Alexander Technique may be the solution.

Find out more about how Alexander Technique can help you, your breath, and your body during our 1 Day Retreat

Sunday, October 6, 7 – 8:30pm in Laguna Canyon
Be Breathed: EMBODIED, EMPOWERED, & EMBOLDENED

SIGN UP HERE

Walk Like You are Young Again

Recenlty, a study was published in The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies that compared older Alexander Technique practitioners to other age-matched adults.

In summary,

“The Alexander Technique (AT) seeks to eliminate harmful patterns of tension that interfere with the control of posture and movement and in doing so, it may serve as a viable intervention method for increasing gait efficacy in older adults. The purpose of this study was to compare the comfortable pace gait kinematics of older AT practitioners with those of healthy, age-matched controls. Participants were six licensed AT practitioners and seven healthy age-matched controls between the ages of 63 and 75. During the stance phase, AT participants exhibited significantly greater ankle stance range of motion (ROM) and plantar flexion at toe off, as well as lower ROM of the trunk and head compared to controls. During the swing phase, the AT practitioners had significantly increased hip and knee flexion and a trend toward significantly increased dorsiflexion. The findings suggest that the older AT practitioners walked with gait patterns more similar to those found in the literature for younger adults. These promising results highlight the need for further research to assess the AT’s potential role as an intervention method for ameliorating the deleterious changes in gait that occur with aging.”

I have witnessed so many of my clients who older and wiser, completely change how they walk, sit, stand, and move through life. Before they took, Alexander Technique lessons, they walked with their head forward of their spine, their chest compressed, and their leg joints stiffened.

Alexander Technique lessons give you the “tools” to unravel old patterns of tension and movement that have you walk like you are much older. Aging does not have to be a sentence to hunching over and stiffening your body. My clients have freed up their breathing, relieved back pain, and opened up their posture. All of which has impacted their confidence.

Walking like a young person doesn’t require a fountain of youth. It requires mindfulness, awareness, and training.