The Alexander technique encourages a more natural breathing by a process of unlearning rather than learning. Here you unleash detrimental habits, rather than practicing specific breathing exercises.
As you begin breathing ask your self the following questions:
- How rapid is my breathing?
- How deeply do I breathe?
- Are my ribs moving as I breathe?
- If so, which part of the rib cage is moving most?
- How much movement is there in the abdominal region?
- Do I feel and restriction in my breathing?
The 'ah' procedure
- The first requirement in order to perform the whispered 'Ah' procedure, is to think of something amusing so that you smile or laugh in a natural manner. This frees the facial muscles and diaphragm, plus lifts the soft palette in the mouth
- Next, let the tongue drop down behind the front teeth, allowing it to become softer.
- Then, inhibit the urge to move without thought, give yourself directions and take care not to contract the head back and down, as you free the jaw and allow it to open in a slightly forwards direction.
- Let your jaw drop freely and whisper an 'ah' sound on the outward breath, allowing your lungs to empty fully. Do not to contract down or force the air out. Let the breath come naturally.
- Close your mouth without tightening your jaw. Relax and feel your breath coming naturally. Allow your breath to enter through your nose and let it fill your lungs. Repeat several times.