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East / West breathing

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  • East / West breathing

    Originally posted by Sherry 06-29-2002, 10:38 PM

    Lets see ... I've posted this before but here is an updated version. April 20, 2004: Editing to add comments about shoulder alignment and lifting the rib cage.

    Assume the typical T-Tapp stance with a hard tuck and solid KLT.

    Critical to all T-Tapp is body alignment literally from the toes to head. Focus, for just a minute, on the shoulders.

    Don't move anything except to raise your arm straight up. Notice the position of your arm relative to the ear. Is it in front of the ear, beside the ear or behind?

    Lower the arm and for those that are not behind the ear, lets see if we can get there.

    Face a mirror, feet hip width a part. You can assume the KLT/NBT stance or just softly bend the knees.

    Now, roll the shoulders back and down.

    Watch that mirror carefully because your entire posture and appearance of the neck through the shoulders is about to change.

    You can have your arms either hanging along the sides of your body with the palms facing your body ... or you can extend the arms at an angle with the palms facing the mirror. The latter looks like this:

    / O \

    Either way works. BUT fully extend the arms. Imagine there is a puppeteer with stings on your wrists and she is pulling your wrists down and out. REACH!

    Here comes the magic. Rotate the thumbs toward the back wall. Watch what happens to the rib cage. Watch what happens to the shoulder socket. Feel your shoulder blades slide down? Feel the lower traps and lats engage? Feel your spine get longer?

    Now raise your arm straight overhead. Where is it relative to your ear? I bet it is behind the ear or at least back further than before. Teresa says "arms behind the ears" ... this happens naturally when your shoulders are in proper anatomical position.

    The above description will help put your shoulders in alignment which will lift the rib cage. BUT, be careful to make sure this does not arch the back in the process. For everyday life, you may need to reset a neutral spine position.

    Other disciplines will say: lengthen the spine by standing up taller or lift the rib cage. The weakness in the latter images are that many tend to also lift or scrunch the shoulders to the ears.

    All are good imagery with the corresponding caveats. I just happen to like Teresa's method of rotating the shoulders back physically as long as you don't let your derriere arch out in the process.

    Now, focus on the lower abs just above the pelvic bone. Try to pull in low as much as possible. Let the pulling in action extend from the lowest part of the abs UP ... IN and UP. As you reach the belly button from this bottoms up approach, really pull in and up at the same time.

    You can probably add 1/2 inch between your rib cage and your hips. Strive to do just that and hold it in place. (UPDATE 4/20/04 -- You can do this via shoulder alignment as described above or by lengthening the spine.)

    At this point you have contractions in the legs, tush, lower and upper abs, and the lats (mid back).

    This is the TYPICAL T-Tapp stance used in most moves. But, really work to learn how to add 1/2 inch between the ribs and hips while also keeping the shoulders down. Your results will improve if you learn to separate the ribs from the hips in this way.
    Why? In part because you are using more muscles to hold the body upright and then working against that engagement.

    Now for the breathing. Inhale slowly, focusing on expanding the diaphragm area above the belly button -- expand the sides of your body "East and West". Then, exhale slowly as if through a straw while trying to compress rib bones together in the middle. You are pulling the sides together as much as possible up and down the torso. Also try to pull the hip bones together in the middle. Exhale for at least twice as long as the inhale and pull, pull, pull the sides of the body together.

    The image is of expanding the sides during the inhale and compressing during the exhale. This gives all the ab muscles and the muslces between the ribs optimal expansion , contraction and strength building.

    Originally posted by Sherry 06-29-2002, 10:38 PM
    Last edited by Forum Angel; 02-23-2017, 10:10 AM.

  • #2
    Is there a YouTube video or DVD for this? I am a visual learner
    "You don't have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be Great" ~Les Brown


    • #3
      Here's a video trainer Michelle Barbuto did.


      • Angy
        Angy commented
        Editing a comment
        This is a great visual and explanation - thanks!

    • #4
      Thank you!!!!
      Lisa. 46 years old.
      Homeschooling 4 great kids and nursing surprise toddler #5.
      T-Tapping since 2010, consistent since 2015!

      I got to meet and workout with Teresa in 2014. I am forever grateful to her and will never forget her.

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