In my August 24 post, I praised Mary Bond’s book, The New Rules of Posture (www.newrulesofposture.com). I had the pleasure of taking Mary’s workshop at the Symposium in Boston where she clarified the role of the body’s diaphragms and gave me new insights into a fundamental process for life: breath. I’d like to share two of these insights with you, an analogy and a caution.
The rib cage can be a fluid, flexible support for the lungs and heart. Unfortunately, most bodies personify its function of protection with a rigid, unmoving structure. That restricts breath capacity, which limits a person’s ability to function fully. I teach my clients to let each rib move independently, like piano keys playing the scales, during each inhale and exhale. I also teach people to direct their breath to specific places in the ribs, for example in the armpits, under the collar bones, and in the back, to open any blockages. Your breath is a massage from the inside—the most effective bodywork.
Mary’s analogy of a breath basket, instead of a rib cage, is a tangible image for freeing the chest and still allowing for the role of protection. Let go of the idea of a cage and replace it with a basket.
Secondly, Mary surmised that we hold our breath in an effort to make time stand still. This concept struck me as a truth. It seems that everyone has so much to do! Wouldn’t it help to have a little extra time? The problem is that restricting breath only creates an illusion of extra time, when in fact lack of oxygen reduces every function: physical, mental, and energetic.
Next time you find yourself in a hurry, take a deep breath in your flexible rib basket and notice how this rejuvenates your system and outlook.