Development of breathing skills begins with the ability to take a complete natural breath. This requires that all of the muscles, connective tissue and other structures in the body function together freely in a co-ordinated way. Some ancient traditions refer to this type of breath as the breath of a child. A small child or infant will not usually have faced the trials, illnesses, injuries, emotional stresses and so on that overtime can lead to weakness, stiffness and dysfunctional patterns in the structures of our body used for breathing. As such their breathing pattern is close to the natural ideal.
If you have the opportunity to observe a small child or infant breathing while they sleep, it is well worth taking the time to do this and see what you notice. One of the first things that you may notice is that the abdomen (belly) moves a lot as they breathe. This sometimes leads to an oversimplified view of breathing focusing exclusively on movement of the belly for breath development. This movement of the belly is very important and is the prime driver of the breath, but if you continue to observe closely, you will notice that the movement of an infant breathing naturally is not restricted to just the abdomen. It starts in the abdomen, then moves up into the chest and ribs, and finally even the shoulders move just slightly with each breath. A true complete natural breath means making sure that all of these areas can move freely and in a co-ordinated way with each breath.
In this course we will look at the muscles involved in expanding each of these areas, and how exercises for effectively co-ordinating their movements together so that with practice it will become easy for you to once again take a complete natural breath.
In week one we will look at the abdomen, in week two we will look at the ribs and shoulders, and in week three we will introduce some breathing exercises that use all of these parts together in a co-ordinated way.