Basic Breathing & posture exercises

In the last couple of years breathing has become very topical. Indeed there is nothing more important in life than breath, inspiration, expiration.

Yet the majority of people breathing mechanics are faulty. Breathing is the amongst the first exercises I teach my private clients.

Most people breath through their mouth, neck and high in their chest to allow a fast and large intake of oxygen to fuel the fight n flight response to an emergency. The emergency is not running away from a lion, a potential mugger but some equal (to the brain) threat or stress. Over time the mouth breathing becomes a habit, the neck and chest muscles get tight, the head protrudes forward and the upper back rounds or grows into the stress response. This stress response is the yang sympathetic fight n flight reptilian reflex and is the habitual faulty breathing most people do.

The more correct, yin, parasympathetic, rest and digest way to breath is slowly, through the nose and from the belly (diaphragm) first. Belly breathing relaxes us. It terms of dynamic warmup, mobility and stretching exercises emphasise nasal breathing pace and a long exhale. During the exhale let go of tension, let it melt away and consciously relax into the stretch. Gradually.

The Chinese say "inhale good chi, exhale toxic chi".

Western people say "only open your mouth to speak, to eat and to run".


Tadahasana is standing posture. With the advent of computers, laptops and smart phones more and. more of our waking time is spent hunched over these digital devices, in turn our postural muscle tone declines and our awareness of what good posture almost deleted from our memory banks.

Good posture is alignment of the centre of our ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.

Standing Cobra

Standing cobra is a posture correction exercise you can do anywhere.

We over align our posture by extending our thoracic spine and activating the midland lower trapezius back muscles, externally. rotate the arms and hold. Breathe normally.

Wall lean

Anti-text neck was a suggestion. from one of my clients who had teenage kids who seem to be permanently attached to their devices.

This wall lean exercise retracts the head and neck and brings the ear and shoulder alignment back into place.

Push you head back for 10 seconds then relax for 10 seconds by bringing your backside back to the support wall. Repeat for 10 holds. If you feel pain or dizziness stop and see your doctor.

The Scarecrow

Surprisingly difficult.

15 reps then a rest (or superset with the wall lean).