|Dear beloved friends,|
I know we now find a plethora of opportunities online for learning. And I know it is common knowledge that breathing is important. With that as a given,I’d like to add to the conversation what I have learned from my teacher Carl Stough, aka “Dr. Breath”. Because I was his student for over a decade, I learned the benefit of using less effort for better results when maximizing efficiency of the breath. Bringing ourselves into a full breath allows us to ground in the present moment and helps us manage fear better. It also can shift our nervous system out of a fight/flight/freeze response.
This post is about how to optimize your breath for a more restorative exchange of the inhale and exhale.
Here are some rules I learned from Carl Stough, as well as some common misunderstandings.
First, breathing is a function of many systems that need to work in coordination.
-The tongue needs to be heavy and not held in place by effort.
-The head and neck must be allowed to be free, without the neck working to hold the head in its place.
-The voice and throat are best used when the throat opens from the back of the jaw.
-The main sensation is one of NOT PUSHING.
-Again: NO BIG effort or PUSH.
-The more you work out, the better you will breathe.
-The harder you work, the stronger the lungs.
IN FACT, BREATHING is about allowing. The lungs empty the stale air on the exhale. The exhale needs to be a release and NOT a push.
The muscles of your diaphragm, which is primarily responsible for respiratory function, are only strengthened when you TONE and VIBRATE with no effort on the pitch that feels most natural for you. We look for the overtones to vibrate and maximize efficiency of the coordination.
All of this I learned from Carl Stough.
In the video below, I will encourage you to move and breathe with no effort, a smile on your face and joy to be alive.
Remember: Exhaling is what allows the inhale.