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June 12, 2005: Let your breath move you

One of the most amazing things we do all the time is breathe.  From the first breath we take as a baby through to the last breath we take when we die, the cycle of breath continues whether or not we notice.  Our breath is essential to our survival - we can only last about 4 to 6 minutes without it.  Free breathing massages all our organs including the heart, decompresses our spine, oxygenates each and every cell in our body, and relaxes the mind.   Take a moment or two to notice how you breathe.  Place one hand on your chest, and the other on the side of your lower ribcage.   Do not take in more air than you normally would do, but rather, quietly observe your breath and notice which hand is doing most of the moving.  Is it the rib hand?  Good.  Notice how your belly is expanding with each breath too.  Place both your hands on your lower ribcage now.   Relax your abdomen, and as you inhale a normal amount of air, feel your ribcage expand all around.  Allow the air to come out all by itself.  Notice how your spine moves.  If you are lying on your back or stomach, notice how your pelvis moves.  Are your legs moving too?  Your breath is breathing you and in so doing, is moving you.
Farhi, Donna;  The Breathing Book  Henry Holt and Company Inc., New York, 1996.
Lee, Diane; Post Partum Health for Moms; An Instructional and Exercise Class for Restoring the Core  Video; Diane G Lee Physiotherapy Corp.; Surrey BC, Canada.