Posture, breathing, body language and personal power. They are
interconnected and interdependent. Think body-mind THEN add
"The function of the diaphragm is usually
analyzed from the perspective of vital functions, such as breathing and
metabolism. Much less work focuses on its postural function." Hodges,
Butler McKenzie, 1997 Contraction of the human diaphragm during rapid
postural adjustments Physiol 505(Pt-2) 539-548
Poor Posture (hyperkyphosis) invites distorted,
restricted, shallow breathing
and a host of other problems including lessened self respect, self expression
and increased depression.
Try this. Sit down and bend
over and try to breathe in. Notice how it is harder to breathe. This is an
extreme example of how our muscles and tendons get over restricted and cause
a lessening of depth and ease in breathing. This also restricts your
esophagus, phrenic nerves, aorta, trachea, brachiocephalic vein, but most
important, breathing volume and ease.
BODY LANGUAGE affects how others see
us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social
psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture
of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone
and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our
chances for success. Fake it til you make it?
STAND UP STRAIGHT DAVID!!!
is unhealthy/dangerous and I see this
all the time. Leaning on
one leg or shifting from one leg to the other. Many singers do
it as well. No wonder they never fully develop.
Try this experiment:
Stand equally in BOTH legs for 15 seconds. Note what your breathing
feels like. Now shift half your weight to one leg. Notice how your
breathing becomes a little or a lot LESS THAN it was standing
straight up. Come back to center and see how your breathing is more
(deeper, easier) then on one leg.
Wait 15 seconds and a few natural breathing in and out cycles for
the breathing to settle in then shift to the opposite leg. See how
the breathing lessens in depth or ease. Come back to center and see
how it eases up or becomes MORE THAN.
There are also a host of biological issues
brewing. Dominant hands usually influence the direction of lean.
Repeated often enough and the rest of the body compensates stressing
various joints now carrying the load they were not intended to
carry. Think arthritis or spinal subluxations. Now the brain/bodymind
turns these into physical homeostasis or equilibrium albeit a
dysfunctional "normal" one. These "normal" people worry me.
This new "norm" sets up long term chronic tensions in critical
functionality such as heart, lungs, liver, kidneys that really need
an even massage action and freedom to expand, contract and mover
vital fluids. Everything from orthopedic ailments to cardiopulmonary
diseases can have roots in posture and breathing. Our Mastery Kit
the breathing from the inside out so well that we intuitively/unconsciously do not
like it when breathing is LESS than, we adjust our posture and
internalized sense of breathing ease to breathe
easier and the posture naturally re-establishes itself around the
SIT UP STRAIGHT!!!?
Bet Big Pharma is working on a drug for this one. LOL
Children and adults are often asked to sit up straight. This rarely has permanent results
because by the time someone needs to be reminded to do so, their body has
adapted to be more comfortable in the slouching position. When they attempt
to sit up "straight" they actually tighten the already over-shortened
frontal muscles and tendons and this causes restrictions in the ease of
breathing volume; tightening
these muscles even
slightly to make oneself more erect causes tightness in the entire upper
body and reduces the ease of deeper breathing. We intuitively do not like
this and soon adjust back to where it was easier to breathe.
That is why most people that are advised to sit up straight, remain erect
for only a few minutes before reverting to the former slouch where breathing
is a little easier. Their breathing is still held back from being fully deep,
easy and balanced. For them it becomes
easier and more what they have become accustomed to. Often what we perceive
as satisfactory is a lack of adequate understanding. Extreme examples
of this are called delusions.
Sitting for long periods of time are good opportunities to cause shortened
frontal muscles. Lots of computer time, desk jockying or vehicle
driving help create the posture that makes for
semi-permanent shallow breathing. Many easy chairs
and "airlessplane" seats invite suppressed breathing.
The human head weighs
approximately 12 pounds. As the neck bent down forward in tow, the weight
increases, places a greater demand on the cervical spine. At the 15 degree
angle, your cervical spine support approximately 27 pounds. At 30° 40
pounds. 60 degrees = 60 pounds. Muscles must compensate, which
hyper-extends the back muscles. All this work makes muscles weak in the
stomach area, which restricts the breath. Experts say it can reduce lung
capacity buy as much as 30%.
Remember, you cannot HOLD yourself upright to achieve optimal
breathing. By the time you might benefit from that, the muscles in the front
of your body have become over-shortened from slouching and over-lengthened in
the back. Making the body more erect actually shortens those already too short
muscles in the front. This causes a lessening of ease in breathing
volume. and reduces the
ease of deeper breathing; we intuitively do not like that.
That is why most people remain erect only for a few minutes before reverting
to their usual slouch.
Neck and back problems, headaches, TMJ, arthritis, poor
circulation, muscle aches, indigestion, constipation, joint stiffness,
fatigue, neurological problems can all be caused or worsened by poor
posture. Add shortened life spans, and increased tendency towards
Breathing movements are an integral
component postural functions. Breathing influences not only body posture but
through its rhythmical activity, also neuron excitability.
Poor posture causes or is a result of tensions in various
parts of the body. If your knees or pelvis are locked up they
block off energy flowing up and down your body,
including your spine. This reduces
the depth of your easy breathing.
Try standing perfectly balanced in both legs for 5 natural effortless
breaths each and adjust your weight to more weight on one leg (wait 5
breaths), then both legs (wait 5 breaths) then the other leg (wait for 5
and experience the breathing going less deep and easy as you transfer your
weight into one leg or the other. The point is that even this seemingly
insignificant "posture" restricts
your ease and depth of breathing and eventually your energy.
ATTITUDE- EMOTIONAL ANATOMY
What ever your posture
at any given moment in time, you can bet it is influencing your
attitude AND vica versa. It is often easy
to spot someone with a distorted or negative attitude by their slumped
shouldered, bent over, weak kneed hang dog posture. Posture often shapes and
forms attitude. Attitude can help create good or bad posture. Is a
recent study reported in 2011 in the The Economist Jan 15 page 90,
posture was directly connected to self respect.
BENT OVER POSTURE
Poor posture restricts the rise and fall of the breathing diaphragm. We also
know from chiropractors and the study of the sushumna in pranayama that an overly bent or imbalanced spine restricts
vital life force. Nerve force energy restrictions in the spine mean less life force
into all the major organs fed by the spinal nerves and celiac ganglia, including your heart,
brain. So now we have lessened nerve force in addition to reduced ease and
depth of natural oxygenation and nervous system balance stemming from
restricted or unbalanced breathing.
Have you ever noticed that people that sit up straight seem to be
more alert? ........... They probably are.
Rounded shoulders restrict the expansion of
the rib cage, diaphragm rise and lung volume. Forcing the shoulders back and the the
body to remain erect improves the situation somewhat but
again, also tightens up
those same problem rib, torso and neck muscles and restricts the deepest
easiest breathing. Great techniques and exercises to offset all that
is in the Fundamentals video #2
|Fully inhaled lung. Left side of picture is your
back, right side your chest.
lung. Left side of picture is your back, right side your chest.
Above left is a fully inhaled lung. The chest is flat or slightly
rounded outwardly. Observe that there is usually more lung tissue in the
back of the torso than there is in the front. But due to poor
posture it gets less easily accessed.
Note the right pic of exhaled, inward curve of the chest with the lungs
greatly emptied (residual volume). When we exhale, the lungs and chest
naturally collapse and less air is inside us. The lungs have no
muscle and are almost completely passive so when we go to breathe in
again the ribs must allow for expansion of the lungs to the fullest.
This allows the diaphragm to draw in the deepest fullest breath.
But the diaphragm must be of sufficient size (not strength) to draw in
the maximum air.
EXERCISING BENT OVER
Too many people think that cardio is the answer to everything related to
weight-loss and fat-loss. And although cardio can be helpful (if done
properly), it does nothing to slow the aging process. In fact, it does the
exact opposite!. Doing long frequent cardio sessions will break
down your muscles and increase the production of free radicals. These free
radicals are nasty little things that damage the cells in your body and
accelerate aging. Don’t worry if you’re concerned about your heart health.
There is a much more effective way to improve your cardiovascular health.
And here’s the best part: it takes only 1/3 the time of a conventional
cardio workout AND it also triggers your youth
enhancing hormones instead of those nasty free radicals that age you faster!
TOO OFTEN LOOKING DOWNWARD
Observe the pictures below for extreme examples of negative tensions, posturing and
When you look downward you only see what is on the ground and your body
adapts to being bent over. This also limits natural vision exercising
which needs varieties of depth and color. When you limit what you see you
limit your moment to moment experience. This looking downward may be helpful
for "deep thought" but it has a negative postural and attitudinal outcomes.
Note above the rigid hyper tense
upper body and its suppression of the rib expansion. Try tightening every muscle in your
body and then take a breath. Was it harder to breathe? Even neck or ankle muscles that are
too tight will lessen one's ability to breathe easy.
Taking a breath with collapsed or over-tight chest muscles is like trying to blow up a
six liter balloon inside a two liter bottle.
Restrictive clothing also impedes breathing and invites slouching.
Brassiers, belts, tight pants and
shorts inhibit breathing
volume as the
lung housing/rib cage and diaphragm
excursion is restricted.
An overly muscled upper body cannot easily expand. Stomach,
chest and shoulder muscles are like the body of a man needing to carry or pull heavy loads
and slouch slightly all the while. When the muscles set in cement he never gets to set the
load down while his ribcage ALWAYS stays stiff and inflexible. A heart attack, lung
disease or malady caused from shortness of oxygen is waiting to happen.
Aside from lack of purpose, this may
be a key reason why many soon die after retirement.
In her book "Posture, Getting it Straight" Janice
states that good posture can add up to ten years to your life. I
suggest it is even more than that.
you suppose that is?
Cause most to slouch and round the shoulders causing shallow,
Chad Hymas is a remarkable man made a
paraplegic from a 1,000 pound bale of hay falling on him uses a Colours in
Motion "Blade" wheel chair. It is similar to a Captain's chair with a very
low back allowing him to use his mid/low back making the low back the fulcrum for
breathing and sitting up straighter to breathe deeper and easier. He is a
speaker who uses his wheel chair as a chariot for unstoppable sprit.
needs to rapidly open the breathing up to make it
larger and and in balance and with that you become more apt to notice changes in it from moment to moment. This
functional awareness comes from Optimal Breathing Development.
You cannot HOLD yourself upright to achieve optimal breathing because
the muscles in the front of your body have become over-shortened front to
back, side to side and in rotation from slouching. They have also been over-lengthened in the back
from the same slouching. This slouching also develops weakened abdominal or over-tight back muscles. You need to
develop internal coordination and posture, from the inside out. The easiest most
effective and lasting way to do that is to develop that which you can be
most aware of on a moment to moment basis............ your breathing.
DEVELOPING OPTIMAL POSTURE. The more you develop
your breathing the other than conscious mind will guide you to not be comfortable slouching,
more powerful you will feel and BE.
Optimal Breathing Mastery Self Help
Attend The Optimal Breathing School
About the Optimal Breathing
An MD recommends Optimal Breathing®
stamina, recovery, sports, gentle yoga, breathwork, Pilates,
Qigong, Tai Chi
6. Smoke or Smoking Recovery
7. Shortness of breath including
Asthma Bronchitis COPD Emphysema
8. Singing, Speaking,
9. Sleeping, Snoring
11. Most other
chronic challenges are Control-Find searchable in the Supplemental material
CD included in the Kit.
THEMES TO ENHANCE:
1. General breathing
2. Deepest Calm for: emotional
regulation, 12 Steps, anxiety-panic, headaches, high blood
pressure, pain reduction,
stress management, immune strength
Free Breathing Tests
Undetected Unbalanced Breathing
Private one on one training on
Skype and in
Exercise, Rest & EWOT
"He who breathes most
air lives most life."
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
"Mike's Optimal Breathing teachings should be incorporated into
the physical exam taught in medical schools as well as other allied physical and mental health programs, particularly
education, and speech, physical, and respiratory therapy."
Dr. Danielle Rose, MD, NMD, SEP