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Natural Awakenings New York City

Your Daily Breath

Aug 14, 2019 01:08AM ● By Michael Lehrman
By Jean McClelland

Here’s a simple tool that will focus your mind and quiet and slow your respiration: Rest one hand on your upper chest and one hand on the side of your ribs, and notice with your hands how your ribs move in breathing. Your sternum (breastbone) should open into your hands as if your heart is opening, and you should feel an all-around expansion of your ribs. 

If you are fortunate enough to have a dog or cat, place your hands on its ribcage and sense the movement of breath under your hands. Then use your hands in the same way on your own body. Don’t try to make breathing happen; just notice the movement of life under your hands. 

When we use our hands rather than our “heads” to sense our breathing, we begin to witness the profound miracle of the body to breathe us, and it is transforming.

Jean McClelland is on the faculty of the Columbia University School of the Arts and the New York Open Center, where she teaches Awakening Your True Voice. Her new class at the NYOC begins November 4, with a free intro October 28. For more information, visit Jean McClelland  
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