Create Length In Your Spine with Every Breath
- Sit with a relaxed, stacked spine that is neither slouched nor swaybacked (you can watch this quick video to learn how to sit in any chair).
- Relax the belly and chest. You may feel like you’re slouching when doing this, but just know that your spine is holding you upright. Release all tension.
- Imagine a nose at your lowest vertebrae and from there, begin to breathe up the spine.
- Without lifting the ribs or chest, slowly breathe up each vertebrae to the base of the skull. Avoid tensing up and forcing the breath upward. The more the muscles are tension-free, the more the breath will come naturally.
- Exhale, maintaining a tall, yet relaxed spine.
You can tell if you’re truly breathing up the spine if you do not have belly breath. If you have belly breath, try learning how to sit again and allow the lowest front ribs to relax down and into the body — the more you can “unlift” the ribs and chest (which you’re probably doing without even realizing it), the more your inhale and exhale will be in the upper chest and back. This will give you a much deeper, sustained and easy breath, and it will begin to create glorious, pain-free length in the spine.