“I always feel better after a yoga session than when I started.”
Length of Practice: 18 months
Most Gratifying Pose: Warrior 1
Most Challenging Pose: Transition out of Down Dog
Pets: 1 Cat, Pumpkin (who invariably appears to encourage us during triangle pose!)
Favorite Excursion on Bike: FDR Park & the Philadelphia Navy Yard
I count Ben among those students I most enjoy teaching. He never takes a
pose off. His combination of enthusiasm and discipline allows us to
explore the healing and revitalizing power of each posture. He
epitomizes the ancient yogic principle of tapas, the inner fire that inspires us to “leave it all on the mat”
Life without tapas is like a heart
without love.” – BKS Iyengar
Ben’s consistency in no small part can be attributed to an understanding of his own thresholds and range of movement on any given day. He stays within himself and is comfortable making adjustments to account for “the usual suspects” in his knee and hip. He works with what he brings to the mat and his calm focus provides a solid foundation for building strength and flexibility. He offers this advice to students just starting their journeys on the yoga path, “You would be surprised at how beneficial practice can be if you give it a chance and stick with it.”
Ben enjoys regular time on the bike and tennis court and believes yoga facilitates his active lifestyle. I believe his mindset here is critical. Yoga is not an end into itself, but rather a gateway through which we can continue doing everything it is we love doing AND with greater awareness. Beyond building strength and flexibility, simply paying closer attention to our breathing can help us perform almost any physical activity more safely and efficiently. After all, we don’t stop breathing when we roll out of Savasana!
It has been an honor to join you on the path, Ben!
We are so excited to announce a new yoga class we’ll be teaching together in our South Philly neighborhood – Intro to Yoga at DiSilvestro Playground! Meets the first 4 Saturdays in June from 10:30-11:30am. Price is $45, which includes a yoga mat! Or drop in to one Saturday for $15, mat not included.
For the first four Saturdays in June (1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd) join Team Sun Wellness at DiSilvestro Playground’s indoor space for 4 gentle one-hour yoga sessions aimed at beginners, but open to all levels. During our sessions, we’ll explore a variety of reclining, seated, and standing postures and the transitions between these poses – adapted to your level. Our accessible sequences are designed to create balance between mind and body by connecting the movement with breath. Blocks and straps provided to help safely attain or deepen poses. Class size limited to 25.
About the Instructors: Ann and Brian formed Team Sun Wellness in 2015, joining forces to help people of all ages and walks of life take care of themselves through mindful movement and focused breathing. Both certified yoga instructors, Ann and Brian are passionate about bringing the principles of yoga – physical postures, meditation, and breathing – to populations outside the typical yoga studio space. We offer affordable classes in community and private settings where participants can feel supported while safely finding their own practice…and we have fun while doing it!
Just under ten miles outside Philadelphia’s center city lies a hidden gem: Fort Mifflin, one of the most important battlefields of the American Revolutionary War. In 1777, American soldiers held this vital supply point located on the Delaware River against overwhelming odds for forty-five long days. It is also a vital green space and a delightful site to wander.
On the Spring Equinox (Tuesday APRIL 17th 2018, from 6-8pm,) we will welcome spring by fusing past and present during a mindful exploration of this impressive fifty-acre National Historic Landmark. The Fort is closed to the public during our event, so we will have full, private access to this beautiful and historic location.
OUR EVENT WILL INCLUDE:
MINDFUL MOVEMENT SESSION: First, we’ll explore the boundaries between our own bodies and the space around us during a mindful movement session. What is mindful movement, you ask? It’s movement that is connected with the breath, during postures that are influenced by yoga – but no yoga experience is needed! Breath-connected movement is essential for health and well-being, fusing mind and body, and can help us “listen to our bodies” with more clarity. This is beneficial for bringing awareness to our everyday routines so that we and attain better balance and posture, and manage stress more mindfully. However, all that said, we do not take ourselves too seriously and like to play and have fun!
CANDLELIGHT TOUR: Next, we’ll take a tour of one of America’s oldest established forts with one of Fort Mifflin’s knowledgable guides. From the Artillery Shed to the Water Battery and everything in between, we’ll celebrate the beginning of spring in this vital green space to better understand a battle that was not won, but fought by men who never surrendered. There is rumored to be quite a bit of paranormal activity at this site, as well – which we experienced the first time we visited. We’ll see who shows up!
FIRE PIT MEDITATION: We’ll end with a meditation session around the fire pit: practicing different breathing techniques to calm the mind and focus inward, while integrating the movement and tour portions of our event. A daily practice of focused deep breathing is one of the best tools for improving health and well-being and is available to us at all times. We may even close our event with a short chant if participants are open to it.
In the event of bad (cold or wet) weather we will hold our movement and meditation sessions in the bunk room with a fireplace going. Participants need no experience in yoga or meditation.
Things to consider:
Bring a large towel to sit on and wear comfortable clothes.
Arrive 5-10 minutes early to settle in.
Bring something to drink or eat if you like!
Sunset is at 7:13pm.
Address: 6400 Hog Island Road, Philadelphia, PA 19153 – free parking included.
It’s Brian’s birthday, so we may get to fire the cannon!
Whether you’re a history buff, a yogi who likes the outdoors, or someone just looking for other ways to explore your surroundings, we’d love to see you! Come hang out with us – breathe, move, meditate, and experience one of Philly’s hidden gems. To register, you can pay here:
FORT MIFFLIN MINDFUL EXPLORATION
Or feel free to send us an email and bring cash or check to the site on the day of the event. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Instructors: We are Ann MacMullan Jeans and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are dedicated to helping people establish greater awareness through breath and movement in their homes, workplaces, and communities. Learn more About Us.
Valentine’s Day Partners Yoga-Wednesday February 14th, 2018 – Wallingford Community Arts Center 6-7:30pm (60 minutes yoga, followed by light refreshments) This beginner-friendly yoga session will be held in the beautiful ballroom – surrounded by dark hardwood and fireplaces!
This light-hearted workshop is designed for partners of all types, shapes, sizes and ability levels to deepen their bond with each other while focusing on self-care and not taking life too seriously.
Our fun Valentine’s Day session will:
Use breathing exercises to improve synchronicity
Strengthen both verbal and non-verbal communication through shared standing and balance poses
Balance our own self-care with compassion for our partners during guided meditations
Explore new territory such as cleansing twists, stress-relieving forward folds, and energizing backbends.
Relationships are a balancing act. We support our partners, and expect support in return, but sometimes it’s not always an easy or equal dance. When we share fun activities and create authentic and meaningful ways to relate to each other, we can evolve, and find meaning and joy in everyday routines. Join us for an evening of togetherness! Light refreshments to follow our 60-minute beginner-friendly yoga session held in the ballroom – surrounded by dark hardwood and fireplaces. We believe that the couples, families, and friends that practice yoga together, stay together!
Pricing: $25 per couple for CAC members, $30 per couple for non-members. Bring your own mats (we’ll have a few extra) – we provide straps and blocks.
About the Instructors: We are Ann MacMullan Jeans and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are familiar with a wide range of the traditional Hatha yoga styles including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Iyengar and Restorative.We love helping people of all ages and walks of life take care of themselves through mindful movement and focused breathing. It’s truly a blessing to be able to share the tools we have discovered on our own paths to health and well-being with others. And we have fun doing it!
If you can breathe, you can practice yoga. Yoga is not just for the young and bendy. In fact, according to a 2016 study conducted by Yoga in America, 17 percent of current yoga practitioners are in their 50s, and 21 percent are age 60 and older.
Unfortunately, many of the older people practicing yoga are also getting injured. “Participants aged 65 years and older have a greater rate of injury from practicing yoga when compared with other age groups,” states a study published last year in the Orthapaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. Injuries may arise from trying to fit into yoga classes or styles of yoga that do not take into account the possible health challenges that middle aged or older bodies are faced with, such as arthritis, heart conditions, and high or low blood pressure.
At Team Sun Wellness, we teach many beginning adults over the age of fifty, whether on a mat or in a chair. The principles of posture, breath, and balance can be applied to any yoga practice no matter what level of fitness or mobility.
What are the things to look out for if you’re an older adult either starting or continuing your yoga practice?
1-Listen to your body. You’ll hear this a lot from us, and it’s not always the easiest idea to understand. While we don’t want you to push past any pain, we do want you to challenge yourself and test your limits. By connecting your breath with movement, you’ll start to gain clarity of what your body is asking for, what you really do need in any given moment. Silencing the mind that can compare and judge too harshly is sometimes the hardest part of our yoga practice. Be wherever you are, not where you think you should be!
2-Use props like blocks, straps, and even chairs. Props can help use achieve and deepen poses we could never otherwise perform in their full expressions – aligning the joints and muscles safely to avoid injury. We modify poses and adapt poses and sequences for your particular range of motion. Trying to attain a pose that we are not ready for can cause injury, particularly to areas like the lower back, shoulders, hamstrings, and hips. There’s no reason to be embarrassed by using props in a yoga session!
3-Stop making excuses and focus on the positive. 95% of the effort of your yoga practice is actually just getting to the mat or chair! When you make a consistent effort, you begin to tap into the well of yoga’s benefits, such as increased vitality and better quality of life. Available scientific literature suggests that the regular practice of yoga can improve physical, mental, emotional, social, and vital planes of elderly individuals, offering a better quality of sleep and quality of life.
Aging gracefully: Our health and the rate at which we age entirely depends on our choices. We can actually reverse or slow down the pace at which we age by practicing yoga and meditation! This is not just a self-aggrandizing claim from some yoga teacher, this is from an evidence-based study, the first study to demonstrate improvement in both cardinal and metabotrophic biomarkers of cellular aging and longevity in apparently healthy population after Yoga and Meditation based lifestyle intervention.
You’re never too old, it’s never too late, you’re never too inflexible to start a yoga practice! We provide chairs, mats, blocks and straps to help you find the yoga practice that’s right for you – so you can start reaping the benefits of yoga. Avoid injury, manage stress, and get more joy out of life!
About the Instructors: We are Ann and Brian Jeans, certified yoga instructors (RYT 200) who have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). We teach people of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings. We are familiar with a wide range of the traditional Hatha yoga styles including Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Iyengar and Restorative.We love helping people of all ages and walks of life take care of themselves through mindful movement and focused breathing. It’s truly a blessing to be able to share the tools we have discovered on our own paths to health and well-being with others. And we have fun doing it!
“Highly recommended! I’ve been going to classes at Brian’s the past few months and it’s making a big difference. Brian’s a great guy and knowledgeable.” Evan S.
Sundays 11 AM & Thursdays 6:30 PM. 60 min group session. $15.00. Three session discount $40.00. (One on one sessions also available; 60 mins. $50 introductory rate)
This class is specifically designed for men of all shapes, sizes and ability levels to build strength and flexibility in a comfortable informal setting. Men tend to have greater muscle mass and less range of movement and may be intimidated by a traditional yoga studio environment. We’ll work on how to:
Build our core muscles to manage old injuries and prevent new ones
Expand the range of movement in our shoulders, backs and hips
Use the breath to improve posture and balance
Learn simple techniques for managing stress and developing work/life balance
Yoga Instructor Brian Jeans stretches the hamstrings in a modified Head-to-Knee Forward Bend
In the gym many of us tend to focus on building the muscles on the front of our bodies and neglect those running down our back, where 70 percent of our muscle mass resides. And on our daily run, we put a lot of strain on the joints of our lower body and tighten the hips. Yoga offers a range of postures that build strength through body-weight resistance while utilizing the full range of the joints in a healthy, less repetitive way. And it’s a great complement to any fitness routine.
Our modern tech-driven lifestyles aren’t doing us any favors either. The hours we spend hunched in front of the computer or over our smart phones can have serious effects on our overall health by degrading our posture, breath and balance. Together, we’ll explore how to optimize our alignment to stay safe and manage stress throughout the day.
About the Instructor: My name is Brian Jeans and I am a certified yoga instructor (RYT 200) and have also trained in mindfulness practice (Penn Medicine). I have taught folks of all shapes, sizes, ages and ability levels, both in group and private settings, here in the Philly area for close to three years. I first became a student myself about ten years ago after a friend mentioned that it might help with my recovery from a mountain biking injury. I am familiar with a wide range of the traditional Hatha yoga styles including Vinyasa, Bikram (Hot Yoga), Iyengar and Restorative. As both a teacher and a student, my greatest interest lies in maintaining proper alignment both on and off the mat. Ultimately, yoga has allowed me to continue doing all the things I love well into middle age. The studio has has an inversion table to assist folks with nagging shoulder, back or knee issues.
Studio Location: Our studio is centrally situated in the Newbold North neighborhood at 1809 S. Bancroft St. There is generally plenty of street parking available and we are a three minute walk from the Broad Street Tasker-Morris Station.
Payment: Use the PayPal button below or pay in cash or check on site.
“They did an excellent job as our workplace wellness instructors. Everyone loved it and was so relaxed!!!” – Roune B., Housing Alliance of Delaware
Corporate Yoga Session – photo by Grace M. at LexisNexis Risk Solutions
“Ann is fantastic! She helped our organization institute a corporate yoga program that our employees love and benefit from tremendously. All the participants adore Ann! She is terrific at helping each of us modify our practice to our own specific needs, is incredibly friendly and has been an amazing instructor. She is the main reason our onsite program has been so successful.” -Grace M., LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Healthy workplaces all start with healthy workers. As adults, we spend one third of our lives at work, yet so often we barely stop working to even eat lunch. If we make time to create routines that support our physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being, we can change the health of the workplace. Healthy workers are present and feel good about themselves and their workplace roles and relationships. They are responsive, notreactive in stressful situations, and understand the importance of self care for achieving work-life balance.
Our Recharge sessions employ mindful techniques that focus on the fundamentals: improving posture, breath and balance. We’d like to help your team:
Manage stressful workplace situations through simple, focused breathing exercises.
Improve posture and balance by connecting the breath with simple yoga-based movement.
Enhance workplace safety and injury prevention through situational awareness.
Build work/life balance through mindful meditation and simple self-care routines.
Here is how we can help your team recharge through optimizing three simple tools: posture, breath and balance.
Understand how the systems of balance – vestibular, vision, and proprioceptive – rely upon our posture and breath.
Practice basic balance exercises that can be integrated into everyday situations.
Explore how the theme of balance can be applied to self-care and our relationships.
What makes our workplace history unique? We established Team Sun Wellness after learning workplace self-care the hard way. Having spent years in fast-paced, high-performing corporate environments, we, like many, struggled with prolonged exposure to stress and were challenged to find that elusive work/life balance. Being so focused on our relationships with customers and colleagues, we forgot to take care of ourselves.
Over time, we both experienced what’s called in the world of teachers, “the burnout cascade.” Cumulative stress had slowly worn down our resilience to the constantly shifting demands of each day and challenged our ability to best serve those around us. More and more often, we found ourselves reacting and not responding. Eventually, we chose to leave our highly rewarding positions to take a step back and determine how to excel in our workplace roles while also taking care of ourselves. We have learned through our training in mindfulness, yoga and agile/scrum that every tool we need to succeed is and always has been right in front of us. Our mission is to share what we have learned and help teams like yours reach their true potential.
Reach out through the form below to begin discussing your workplace wellness needs.
Our sense of balance is something most of us take for granted. Behind the scenes, three complex systems work together to keep us upright.
Visual: The eyes supply information to the brain about the objects surrounding the body in the physical environment. To better understand the role of this system, try balancing on one leg with the eyes open and then again with the eyes closed.
Auditory: Our inner ears contain a series of canals filled with fluid and fine, hair-like sensors. These monitor the position of the head in relation to gravity (in an elevator or airplane) and linear space (in an automobile).
Proprioceptive: Sensory nerves in the muscles, tendons and joints provide awareness of the body’s posture and position in space. For instance, the ankles, knees and hips help us to recover after tripping on a crack in the sidewalk.
It is important to note that these three systems rely upon the core muscles as well as the joints, particularly the hip, knee, and ankle, to perform the physical adjustments required to maintain balance.
The consequences of suffering a fall can last a lifetime and affect not only individuals, but families, workplaces and communities. A fracture can bring pain, financial strain, loss of mobility, and many challenges that come with adapting to new daily routines.
Build strength and flexibility through regular exercise (see below.) This is particularly important for those with injuries in their past who avoid exercise due to their fear of falling. This decreased mobility further weakens muscles and bones.
Be aware of tripping hazards such as pets, area rugs, electrical cords, wet surfaces and objects on stairways.
Address unsafe conditions in the home or workplace such as inadequate lighting, open drawers, cabinet doors and furniture obstructing walking pathways.
Correct any vision/hearing issues, which can impact reaction time.
Use caution with medications that can interact, causing loss of balance.
EXERCISES TO IMPROVE BALANCE
Just like any other physical activity, balance can be improved through building strength, flexibility, mental focus and overall body awareness. Simple exercises like these can be safely practiced daily at home or the office.
First, start with the Seated Abdominal Crunch.
Sit with a straight back and ankles below the knees.
Inhale and lift arms up and out to the side like a goal post or the arms of a cactus.
Lift the left foot 12” off floor.
Exhale and bring right elbow down toward left knee, maintaining a straight back.
Next, take a break and stand up. We love practicing the Calf Raise to improve balance, stretch the calves, and strengthen the arches of the feet. It’s also an effective foot massage! Over time, try this exercise without the chair, or for an added challenge, with the eyes closed.
Now you’re ready to try Tree Pose.
Use a wall or chair if need be.
Put all your weight on the right foot.
Lift your left leg with a bent knee, opening your knee out to the right.
Place the sole of your foot inside the right leg above or below knee.
Bring first one palm up at heart center, and then if you feel steady, try pressing both hands together. Find a place to gaze that is not moving.
We love practicing Tree Pose outside, grounding down through the standing foot in order to actively rise through the chest and uplifted arms, while pulling the belly up and in. Check out our Tree Pose video– shot at the Philadelphia Navy Yard!
BALANCE AND EVERYDAY ACTIVITIES
Active attention to improving our balance can be easily integrated into daily routines and activities. Remember that both the posture and breath are closely tied to our sense of balance. Many exercises focused on improving posture and breath will also improve balance. Refer to the Posture and Breath pages for more details.
Keep Moving! Find opportunities to integrate several short walks into the day. Even basic movement is key to maintaining balance, as it keeps the muscles and bones strong while also relieving stress and anxiety.
Strengthen the Core While Sitting: Squeeze a yoga block or folded pillow between the thighs while working at your desk, watching TV or speaking on the phone. The inner thigh and hip muscles are critical for stability when standing, walking or running.
The muscles of our core provide the stable foundation for all our daily activities, from brushing our teeth to lifting weights at the gym. “It doesn’t matter how strong your arms and legs are if the muscles they’re attached to aren’t equally as strong.” (Steven Ehasz, MES, CSCS). Pictured here are the stabilizing hip and abdominal muscles: Psoas, left, and Rectus Abdominus, right.
Ease of movement and injury prevention are two critical factors in maximizing our quality of life. It’s never too late to begin improving your balance!
We’ve been getting up very early the past week, bringing Mindfulness to Educators through the CALM program being implemented in the Red Clay School District in Wilmington, DE. The teachers at Highlands Elementary, one of four schools offering CALM, begin their day by taking care of themselves, bringing awareness to their own needs, so that they can face the challenging task of inspiring their students on a daily basis.
CALM (Community Approach to Learning Mindfully) aims to boost educators’ focus, energy, stress-management, and well-being during the workday and beyond. The seventeen-week program builds on themes we learned in our mindfulness training at the Penn Program for Mindfulness, centered on the principles of breath and awareness established by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Each twenty-minute CALM session provides:
Gentle yoga stretches and movement exercises
Mindful awareness practices
Setting intentions for the school day
Brian and I were lucky to be chosen to train for this program as substitutes, and over the course of our week of subbing at 7:55am every morning, we witnessed firsthand how the curriculum achieves it’s promise to enhance awareness for teachers.
One of our students, the art teacher named Eugene, was particularly receptive to the posture, breath, and movement exercises, and shared his experience as a teacher there. “You have to be 100% present, 100% of the time. Otherwise the sharks will eat you!” Humor aside, it’s clear that Eugene has a very caring approach to teaching and, like most teachers, provides not only instructional but emotional support to his elementary school students. After one particularly exhausting day for Eugene, where he felt he didn’t perform up to his own expectations, we worked on Breath of Joy, which aims to build energy, support the mind-body-breath connection, and perhaps even bring a little smile to the day.
Following our session, in the remaining minute he had before class, Eugene shared a new perspective with us.
After seeing the transformation of Eugene’s energy from sluggish and distracted to calm and alert, we can’t wait to bring more mindfulness to educators and caregivers. We believe, as evidence supports, that teachers are most effective in the classroom when they are healthy, focused, and emotionally balanced. We love the idea of supporting the well-being of those who are central to the well-being of our communities! Thank you to all the teachers out there making a huge difference in our kids’ lives.
A daily practice of focused deep breathing is one of the best tools for improving health and well-being and is available to us at all times. Harvard Medical School reports that focused, deep respiration can have the following benefits:
Lower blood pressure and heart rate
Relief from stress, anxiety and depression
Improved memory and focus
The relationship between breathing and our stress response is key to understanding how we can take control of our own stress levels. Here’s a little more about how it works: your breathing rate is automatically regulated by the autonomic nervous system, a system which controls many of our internal body processes – such as blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, digestion, and metabolism to name a few.
If you’re in an emergency situation, the sympathetic nerves prepare the body for fight or flight by increasing the heart and breathing rates, causing the palms to sweat and the pupils to dilate, and slowing down processes like digestion and urination. When it’s time to rest and digest, our parasympathetic nerves are hard at work slowing the heart and breathing rates, decreasing blood pressure, and processing food and eliminating wastes. However, our response to stress can heighten over time if we’re not able to rest and restore our system to a state of balance. When we are easily triggered, something as simple as the sound of the phone ringing or a distant siren can set into motion a fight or flight response, which can have serious consequences. According to the JPB Research Network on Toxic Stress at Harvard University, this stress reactivity can have serious and even life-threatening effects on our physical and mental health.
Three Breathing Exercises
Controlling our own breath can help restore the balance in our nervous systems. This allows us to both respond with the appropriate focus and energy to everyday events and to wind down when we need rest. We can even use the breath to simply check in with ourselves at any time during the day.
Energizing Breath: Try this before you reach for the caffeine.
Find a seated posture where you feel stable – comfortable yet upright.
Shoulders are back and down, chest lifted, midsection lightly engaged.
Ground down into the points of contact: feet on ground, hands resting gently on the lap, feeling completely supported by the chair.
Tune into the sensation of the breath, the sound of the breath or the feeling of the chest rising and falling.
Start your count – Inhale for five seconds – Exhale for five seconds, taking a short pause at the top and bottom of each breath.
Lengthen the spine on the inhalation, pulling the belly button up and in; drop the shoulders on the exhalation, while keeping the midsection gently engaged.
Continue until you feel a calm, quite focus to help you re-approach the day.
Relaxing Breath: Practice this to help fall asleep or to simply slow down and center.
Find a comfortable seated position or lie down onto your back, supporting the head with a blanket or pillow.
Focus your awareness on where you are making contact with the ground and release any tension or tightness with several deep exhalations.
Place one hand on the belly and notice the breath with each gentle rise and fall of the midsection.
Focus on feeling completely supported in your position and bring your attention back to the movement or sound of the breath anytime the mind starts to wander.
Checking-In Breath: Use this the next time you are waiting in line at the store.
Bring awareness to the feet, position them hip-distance apart.
Engage the muscles of the lower and upper legs, locking the knees.
Shift the hips slightly forward, while pulling the belly up and in.
Drop the arms down at the sides with the fingers lightly touching.
Inhale, growing taller and more expansive; exhale, maintain the height, while grounding down through the feet, like the roots of an oak tree.
Enjoy the opportunity to pay attention to yourself.
Basic Breathing Principles
By bringing just a little more awareness to our breath we can accomplish many everyday tasks more safely and efficiently.
Inhale when extending and reaching (for that bowl on the top kitchen shelf). Draw the breath into the upper chest, while engaging or flexing the muscles of the abdomen. The rib cage lengthens the spine and provides us greater reach.
Exhale when bending or twisting (pulling clothes out of the dryer). Release the breath like the air squeezed from an accordion. The absence of air in the lungs provides us greater space to bend/twist.
Breath through the nose whenever possible. The nasal passageways filter impurities from the air while regulating the proper amount of oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream.
Breathe into the chest to support physical activity requiring flexibility and core abdominal strength. Here, the ribs lift up and out to the sides, maximizing the volume of the thoracic cavity.
Breathe “into the belly” to promote relaxation and manage stress. During this breath, the belly pushes out while ribs are stabilized.
The simple principles and techniques introduced here hopefully encourage you to make the breath a more active partner in your everyday routines. Whether you’re stressed out, in desperate need of sleep, or simply bored in the check-out line, the breath will always be there when you need it. What most matters is that we use the breath to bring a more mindful response to our environment and move away from mindless reactivity.
Today is the day to start paying attention to the breath!