esther m palmer

what is breathing "better"?

defining your "better"

Some of us have a general sense that we want to breathe "better" --but what does that mean? Because of the way breathing works, it is going to mean different things for different people. It involves both where you want to end up and where you are now. I share more about that in the video below, enjoy!


A full-bodied approach to breathing

Last week and at the end of the above video, I mentioned an approach to breathing that I've referred to as "ribcage breathing," "directional breathing," and "core-connected breathing" --and all of these names are clunky and limiting. Sometimes words just aren't the best means of communication!

And because this is an approach that brings in a few layers of awareness and skill, drawing on any one element for the name is selling it short. Perhaps it should remain nameless?

In the next series of recordings, I'll guide you through a process of becoming aware of the way you breathe now, exercise some conscious breathing, and some controlled breathing. I hope you'll take from it what is useful to you and let the rest fall by the wayside.

And instead of naming the breathing, I'll just give this series a label: An introduction to engaging with your breathing. Below is an overview of my plan for what that introduction will include!


Engaging with your breathing

An introductory series

1. what you do now

I'll begin by guiding you to become aware of some aspects of your current breathing patterns. I say some because there's a lot there to notice -- you might uncover a little or a lot. You could repeat this practice daily and discover new things each time!

2. getting used to effort

In the second practice, I'll invite you breathe in and out through your nose and/or lengthen your breathing and notice your response to any accompanying effort.

3. where is the effort?

We'll revisit the practices from video two with a new focus, noticing where in your torso you feel any effort that comes along with nose and/or lengthened breathing.

4. belly, sides, chest, back

Building on the previous practice, I'll guide you to direct your lengthened breathing into the major areas of your torso.

5. positioning your torso

In this practice, I invite you to repeat breathing into one major area of your torso at a time with the addition of limiting movement into other areas at the same time. This practice pulls together awareness, effort, lengthened breathing, and directed breathing to create a manner of breathing that can take a lot of work!

6. ribcage quadrants

In this video, I'll guide you to breathe into different quadrants/sections of your ribcage.

7. flexible ribcage

Once you've practice breathing into sections of your ribcage, I'll invite you make use of the flexibility of your ribcage to reshape the expand and compress action that goes along with breathing.

8. ribcage and pelvis connection

This video will be part anatomy lesson! We'll look at the core abdominal muscles that connect ribcage and pelvis, support the spine, and can move in concert with the diaphragm when you breathe.

9. positioning your ribcage

In this video, I'll invite you to practice exercising the abdominal-diaphragm connection to encourage your ribcage to move into a "postural neutral" position.

10. bringing awareness into all shapes

In this final practice of the series, I'll guide you through some familiar yoga / exercise movements while referring to some of the breathing principles covered in the series, taking your new knowledge and skill into form and movement!

That's the plan anyway... we'll see how it turns out in practice!
Be moving, be healing, be you

photo credit kensuke saito surf photography, found on unsplash

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