The Alexander Technique and Breathing
I got back to the present moment.
I know this is a wonderful moment.
(Thich Nhat Hahn)
This week’s “project” has been my breathing. More about why in this month’s blog. However, I was surprised to find, when I paid attention to my breathing, that it was often rapid, and in my upper chest. A deep breath felt difficult because my abdomen was tight and restricting the movement of my diaphragm.
Becoming aware of each breath, and maintaining attention on the breath, is a way into the present moment for many religions and disciplines.
Learning the Alexander Technique does free up the breathing. However, my discovery about my breathing reminded me that breathing can be affected by anxiety, emotion, tension, physical issues: many things.
My breathing has become slower and easier by applying the Alexander Technique. I will share the things I have been doing with you, over the next couple of weekly prompts. They have an indirect effect. They bring me to a place where I can let go of tension and my breathing does itself.
Here’s one of the things I have been doing (to bring about non-doing):
If you have not had any Alexander Technique lessons can I suggest you take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing without changing it?
You may like to think the phrase at the heading as you breath?
I always remember the chapter in Walter Carrington’s book “Thinking Aloud” on the whispered Ah
“just when people need to do whispered ahs most they feel the least inclined to do them. This is always so. You will find this in yourself. I noticed this myself this morning. Before I started work, I did a number of whispered ahs and I just hated every moment of it. I knew, I could tell, that I was in need of doing some whispered ahs.”
If Walter Carrington (one of the first teacher’s trained by F.M.Alexander) thinks whispered ahs are important maybe you might like to try a whispered Ah or two today?
Let me know how you get on?
Jane Clappison, Alexander Technique Teacher