Art of Breathing
Breath is fundamental to well-being. It is vital to life force. Breathing is a connective function — affecting and being affected by our thoughts, emotions, physical ailments and injuries, activities, creative impulses, needs, desires, and all.
Most people have a habitual breathing coordination: the time we take to breathe, the rhythms with which we move, the shapes that flow between nose, mouth, shoulders, chest and belly. Our other mental/physical/emotional habits shape our breathing coordination, too. Like how tightening your brow when you concentrate alters the flow potential through your nose, and how pulling your shoulders down when you are depressed makes it hard for your ribs to move. Or how eagerly arching your lower back forces breathing into the shallow upper ribs and chest.
I weave the Art of Breathing into all of the Alexander Technique lessons and classes I teach.
Performing Artists get to know their breathing in order to make better sound and have reliable fuel for expression.
People dealing with chronic pain learn about the internal support available from a dynamically toned diaphragm and ribs that move freely and smoothly.
In times of mental stress and anxiety, we all benefit from learning how to easily let stale air out and trust that a new, fresh breath will fill the void.
Better breathing helps you look, feel and act better.
Learning to quiet my “pushiness”, my voices of self-judgement, and my urgency (Fear Of Missing Out) has been transformational. As has learning to feel myself supported by the ground, my community, and my internal dynamic poise. As you journey on this path, unexpected changes await you, too.
I loved the class. The very fact that it refocused me on being mindful of alignment (for back health) was worth the resulting aches which occurred because of not being mindful of one’s body. The writing exercise was most helpful as I am always writing and get fatigued from sitting.
Rebecca’s teaching is very gentle and informative. It taught me about how I move my body in every day activities and how Alexander Technique can help me move more gracefully and with less pain. When I bring the practice into my life I feel effortless in my movements and beautiful.
In a few lessons I’ve felt a real change in my level of perception, my ability to take in my environment while engaged in the highly physical act of dancing. And I am feeling a greater kinetic awareness too.
I’m still amazed at how different my body felt in my dancing heels after you guided me into alignment. To know that sensation is possible is a great horizon to have in front of me right now.
You came to my home days before I gave birth for a private lesson. It came in very handy. I delivered my son in 15 minutes: 2 pushes using the squat position.
Maria Ruiz Botsacos
Things feel different. It seems like more channels have opened up so more energy travels and blood pumps throughout my body. I feel 100 times more healthy than I was before Alexander Technique….You are a great teacher. Your mode of instruction, your calming and fluid voice, your eye contact and engagement with everyone in the room, your sense of humor — all made for really positive, mind-opening, body-opening experiences!
I want to reiterate my comment about your teaching ability. You do a great job. You have a delivery style that is very effective. You make people feel very comfortable and that enhances the learning experience. I appreciated the time you spent with each person. Watching you work with the other participants made me realize that I do many of the same things they do. Sometimes we don’t know what we’re doing until we see it in someone else. I’ve been actively practicing the Alexander Technique…and it really works. I’ve done several training presentations since our class. The most stressful were two, back-to-back, 90 minute training presentations in Boston a few weeks ago. Using my own personal meditation practice (before) and the Alexander Technique (during) really makes a difference….not only in how I feel afterwards, but in the actual presentation. It’s all about EASE!
I’ve been going to the gym for several months, and I kept thinking “up” and breathing and feeling that tailbone-head connection as I pumped the iron. Midway through our second session together I mentioned my nervousness and she looked at me like I was crazy. “I don’t know what you’re worried about, your form is perfect!” Since I’ve never used free weights before, it must be Alexander Technique getting me through.
Rebecca’s Alexander Technique course was very helpful in coaching me to use my body more efficiently. I can now work, serving my students and clients more effectively with less effort and strain.
My birth experience was not at all what I expected it to be. Everything went fine: it was totally a natural childbirth, but I did not do anything I planned to do…. Bouncing in a “monkey” position helped me a lot while I was at home…. As contractions became very strong, my vocalized “Ah!” was “shamelessly” loud….During transition knee-chest position and puffing through my cheeks were very helpful….But to my great disappointment they did not allow me to use the kneeling position (arms on the top of the bed), which I found very natural and comfortable, in the pushing phase. They made me turn on my back and pull my legs up. It was really uncomfortable! I wonder how women can bear in this position! This position is for the doctor! Sergei came at 10.37 am, he cried and his color came. This was really a moment of happiness! The main thing that helped me cope with pain was the core of Alexander Technique: “let your whole spine lengthen, let your neck be free”. Thinking about it all the time made every contraction more bearable and efficient as I “inhibited” stiffening and tried to soften my abdomen.
I began studying with Rebecca at the beginning of my 5th month of pregnancy. The Alexander practice helped me to stay aware of my body, enabling me to embrace each new change and challenge with grace and lightness. I not only gained comfort – I grew to love my body and I felt healthier. And now, as a new Mom, I use the work I learned from Rebecca daily to remain centered and aware during life’s most unpredictable moments.
In a show that was physically demanding… praised the quality of my movement as “light” and “free” and assumed that I was a dancer. I pulled that off in large part because of Rebecca’s class. Alexander became a part of my preparation for the show – a quick and easy way to center myself and relax. Actually, Rebecca has given me tools that have an impact on everything I do in my daily life – reminding me that less can be more and that there are ways to release tension in order to feel at ease.