The Art of Breathing
"All traditions recognize an eternal ebb and flow that is ultimately connected with the breath...Gentle attention is paid to the breath. No attempt at all is made to control it, but rather only to observe it in its most natural and relaxed state."
-Rumi, 13th c. poet and theologian
Restoring Healthy and Resilient Breathing
Most of us begin our lives breathing beautifully and fully, without strain. For a variety of reasons, our natural abilities to breathe well are often compromised as we move through life. However, it is possible to regain healthy breathing.
F.M. Alexander was known as “the Breathing Man” to the London community of his day—breathing well was central to his discoveries. Alexander observed that the quality of breathing was the most direct indication of a person’s overall condition.
Breathing is a primary ingredient in enjoying and returning to radiant health and well-being. Fresh oxygen brings vitality to all the systems of the body, fueling the brain and our thinking. Breath supplies the fuel for generating sound, so breathing well contributes to a resonant, supported voice. It is crucial for the success of actors, public speakers, musicians, dancers, and athletes.
There are many breathing techniques being taught today. The Alexander approach is that we do not need to “learn how to breathe.” We are already hard-wired to breathe well. However, over-tension, rigidity, or collapse often interfere and create compression in the body that prevents freely flowing breath. With hands-on and verbal guidance, Judith’s students learn to release interfering patterns of holding and compression, promoting a free and natural turnover of air and breath.
The Art of Breathing synthesizes the work of F.M. Alexander with the work of breathing coordination specialist Carl Stough. Carl Stough, initially a choral director, was enlisted to work with WWII veterans who suffered from emphysema. His discoveries about re-coordinating their breathing were dramatically successful. He was also called upon to coach Olympic athletes training for high altitude competitions and had many private students from the performing arts disciplines, as well as people suffering from chronic health difficulties. Stough developed a way to tone, strengthen and re-coordinate the diaphragm muscle, the primary muscle of breathing.
Judith studied breathing coordination privately with Jessica Wolf for five years, and then weekly with Carl Stough himself for a year, until his death in 2000. In 2003 she was certified in the Art of Breathing, developed by Jessica Wolf. Art of Breathing combines the Alexander Technique process with the Stough Breathing Coordination process. It works!