AT Strategy: Exhale
The Alexander Technique: Breathing
Breathing is natural and vital to living. When we are calm and aligned, the natural rhythms of inhalation and exhalation do themselves, and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide occur as needed. When we speak or sing, we use the exhale in a more controlled, skilled way, and will have the best results, whatever technique learned, if our natural breathing in free and unencumbered. When we pull down, tighten, stiffen, or hold the breath, we interrupt the natural flow. Chronic tension and poor posture can diminish the rib and diaphragm’s movement, or cause the nasal passages or throat to tighten, all of which can decrease the ability to breathe sufficiently or easily. Learning the Alexander Technique can improve breathing and healthy living.
· First things first: Don’t stop breathing! Don’t hold your breath. Remember to breathe out once the air is in. The next breath will arrive on its own.
· Breathe in through your nose to warm, moisten, and filter the air.
· Breathe out through your nose or your mouth.
· Think of the diaphragm and muscles of the ribs freeing and lengthening so optimal expansion in your torso can occur on the inhale.
· Notice your spine can continue to lengthen as the breathe releases out.
· Your feet are on the ground; your body expands in all directions, and the breath flows in and out.