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"The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing."

~~~
John Muir
 

 

Breathing Session

 

Sitting at the computer

As we are sitting reading, working or writing we can use this time of sitting to deepen our physical alignment, reduce stress, heal tensions and create a relaxed energy state.

It is so important to master this skill as it will make life in the work place and at home so much easier. Companies like Aviva (http://www.aviva.co.uk/life-insurance/) have done research into the benefits of sitting properly at a computer. We want to make sure you sit properly but also breathe properly.
 

 

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There are several points to be aware of for having alignment while sitting, one is sitting on our sitting bones, and the other is the position of our head and neck as we are sitting.

 

Detailed Instructions

From this drawing  you can see where your sit bones (ishial tuberosities) are located. You should find these two bones by first feeling them with your hands and then sitting on them so that you feel the sitting bones are in direct contact with the chair that you are sitting on.

Move back and forth and side to side over the sitting bones until you become acquainted with the sensation of sitting on these two bones. A child-like feeling can arise from this motion or play, even some unfettered body sounds, explore and discover!

The second point for alignment is of the positioning of the head. In the picture you can see that the chin is brought in towards the collarbone for alignment. This is accompanied by a feeling of lift in the ribcage and a straightening of your spine especially through the cervical vertebrae of the neck.

Now you can introduce a full breath that feels like it is expanding and lifting the upper body away from the hips. The breath supports this position where the body feels more erect. Continue to take in a full expansive breath, then allow about ¼ of the breath out on the exhale. This will help maintain the lift of the upper body in an aligned position while sitting.

This is diaphragmatic breathing which creates space for our organs and involves all our muscles and organs in internal massage and exercise.

Continue with this pattern of full breathing that expands and lifts the upper body while sitting to add expansion to your body as opposed to contraction. You will make many discoveries about the play of energy in your body. If you set a time period for doing this of 20 minutes or more that would be excellent. Adding a big smile with the lips also helps.

When sitting and relaxing are accompanied with breath our body and mind have equanimity with what ever is presented at the door of our senses. Amongst the manifold uses and importance of breath work is its use in establishing and maintaining physical alignment.

Also while you’re doing this session relax your feet and legs they may want to move in many ways and this is unfettered motion that you can allow for further releasing of held energy. Very often this unfettered movement can have the quality of child’s play, go with it!

You can have releases of an energetic nature or of intuitive play or both in the moment. Our precious body is rejuvenating and healing as we sit and receive what the computer has to offer.

 

Thank you for working with me in this session.

Blessings
Harmon Hathaway
 

 

 

 

 

Breathing Session for releasing tensions and maintaining your health

This is an introduction to diaphragmatic breathing that expands the internal spaces of your body. Logic tells us that where there is more space there is less congestion and more flow. Just lying in this position while doing relaxed breathing can be very rewarding. Working with full diaphragmatic breathing while in this position will accelerate your experience in terms of releasing held energies and pressures that produce a variety of tensions.

We can trust and understand our bodies. For many people learning that they can trust their own body and take care of there own health starts with just such a session.

Learning to use breathing as a tool to discover more about our body is the basic ingredient of this session. This position is often used when starting sessions with people of all ages. It gives a very direct experience of opening the body spaces up, makes full breathing easier and helps restore upper body alignment.

 

    Artist, Sabine Bodisman

Place a long firm pillow, like a futon or two firm couch pillows on the ground. Lie down on your back with your shoulders and head resting on the ground and your arms comfortably out to the sides of your body with palms facing upward and your fingers comfortably extended. The rest of your body is supported by the cushions including your feet as in the illustration below.

 

Take a full breath in that expands your rib cage and lifts your rib cage away from the lower body. Let this breath keep coming in until you feel you can take in no more. Now let out approximately ¼ of your breath and then add some more breath so you are maintaining the lift you originally felt on the first breath. Keep this pattern going with a gentle yet strong inhale and a little exhale. The exhale starts out naturally from the abdomen when you have reached a full inhale. This pattern of breathing will happen naturally if you sing or say the word HOME slowly and out loud for a few repetitions.

Doing this for 20 minutes or more is very good. You will find that after a short period of time the pattern of diaphragmatic breathing gets easier. If you feel like speeding up the pattern or going slower this is fine. Let your body make the choices and you will see how your body will play with different patterns.

This is a way of using your breath to open up spaces in your body as well as releasing many different muscle groups of the body. Very often there are somatics that start to come on to the body like a tingling in the hands and arms and maybe some numbing in the hands. You may also feel some trembling in different muscle groups. This is fine you can trust your body and your breath to open and release tensions and held energies. You will feel the beneficial results when you finish the session.

If your body feels like it wants to move or make sounds allow this and observe how your body will use this opportunity to heal and release. This is an intuitive way of following your body’s ability to unwind tensions and it will give you insights about your body and the use of breathing as a natural tool for healing.

How to handle and welcome events that may arise while working with your body is beautifully put by Ken Wilber on pg. 193 of the Spectrum of Consciousness. "If a feeling of anxiety is present, don't try to get rid of it...,But instead get into it fully--shake, tremble, gasp for air, follow your bodily action. Get in touch with this anxiety by letting it explode into excitement. Find that Energy that wants to be born, and feel it out completely, for anxiety is birth denied to excitement. Give that Energy birth, re-own it, let it flow, and anxiety will yield to vibrant excitement, to energy freely mobilizing and directed outward, instead of blocked and projected, boomeranging back on us as anxiety".

If you find that you get into confusion with this emotional work, then working with a Breath-work facilitator or friend who will be able to help you through emotional events is recommended until you feel comfortable with releasing emotions. Remember, you can trust your body to present what you can handle. There are many breath-work practices opening up across the globe where you may also go for additional help.

 

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Stomach cramps, Menstrual cramps,

A way of releasing and healing muscle or intestinal cramps can be addressed in the same position.

As you are lying down as in the above illustration. Place both your hands upon your lower stomach. Breath gently into the lower stomach so there is some expansion of your belly and feel the area that is upsetting you or feels congested. Do this for five minutes.

Then with one of your fingers find a spot that feels like it has pain or tension in it, once found direct breath to this point so there is expansion of that area then feel a relaxation of this point on the out breath. Keep doing this until you feel some change and then find another spot and repeat the process.

As you work with this and feel comfortable with the procedure you can work with placing some gentle finger pressure on different points while breathing in and out.

 

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Please let us know about your results, they are important for us and for others that may be working with this session. Thank You.

If there are any questions send e-mail to

has@alignment.org

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 Harmon Hathaway;
American Yoga Foundation