Discover Alexander Technique

with Melissa Brown

Breathe for Ease

Stop Holding your Breath:

So often when we are stressed, we hold our breath or take shallow breaths. When you notice that you are doing this, you may immediately inhale. Though this is commonly done, it can be harmful to take a breath in this way. This kind of inhaling often involves gulping in air or pulling the air into the lungs which can cause a tightening or stiffening of the body. And we do not want to create additional tension when we are already stressed. With the Alexander technique, we are looking to breathe for ease. We are looking to destress.

Focus on the Exhalation

Breathe for Ease: Focus on the exhalation:

With the Alexander Technique, you learn to focus on the EXHALATION– not the inhalation.

Here is how it is done:

-First take a moment to release unnecessary tension where you find it in your body. See if you can soften the muscles around the ribs so that they can move on the breath and allow the lungs more room to expand.

-Then, gently exhale through the mouth until you come to the natural conclusion of the breath. You don’t need a long exhale; each breath is different – some are short, some are long – depending on the needs of the body. The important thing is not to force the breath out but to let it out easily, without tightening.

-Once you have exhaled, close your lips and gently invite the air in through the nose. Again, you don’t want to pull or gulp in air. Allow the air to flow easily into your lungs.

A Helpful Practice

It is calming when you breathe for ease with the Alexander Technique. Focusing on the exhalation is both a gentle process (as opposed to pulling or gulping air in on the inhalation) and it slows the breathing down. Also, it allows us to better oxygenate because when we fully exhale the CO2 in our bodies, we create space in our lungs for more oxygen to flow back in.

Of course, you can use this technique when you notice that you’re stressed and holding your breath. However, it is also helpful to practice it from time to time so that your body can begin to re-pattern itself into this new way of breathing.

If you are interested in further exploring the Alexander Technique, you can call for a free consultation or book a lesson. You can also join me in my upcoming class at the JCC or in my next series for actors.

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