Breathing room

In 2019, I asked the participants in my ongoing postgraduate program for Functional Integrators, MASTERING THE METHOD, what subject they would like to address in our next cycle of three modules. Over our years working together, we had already explored topics ranging from “Length and Support” to “Walking Well.” 

This time around, we decided on the theme of BREATHING BETTER. That was long before wildfires, police brutality, and the worldwide coronavirus pandemic made breathing such a relevant topic. A notable reason for choosing the theme was that, even though many Awareness Through Movement® classes address respiration, this wasn’t the case with FI® lessons. 

After the Boston group met in person for the first module, I received my cancer diagnosis and put the course on hold. When the restrictions of the pandemic hit, we decided to move the program to Zoom. 

The imposition of socially distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders made it impossible to offer hands-on lessons. Suddenly, colleagues found themselves asking, “How do I give individual sessions without touching my students?” and wondering if such a thing was even possible. I’d already been doing this, so I knew it worked and, since I’d been teaching online for many years, I was well prepared. Interestingly, it turned out that breathing makes for a fascinating framework for giving individual lessons online. 

The BREATHING BETTER program worked so well (even though I’d taught remotely), the participants were so excited by how much they benefited, and the subject is just so darn timely that I am offering it again. 

While there certainly are things that can’t happen in the distance learning situation, in many ways, the revised curriculum is a marked improvement on what was on offer before. For instance, after each five-day module, we meet once a month (for three months) to review the lesson and work on refining the requisite skills. This design relieves the pressure of trying to get it right the first time; it also means you’re not left to rely on your memory, whatever notes you took, and the recordings, which you receive as part of your tuition. Having these “review and refine” gives you ample time to learn the lesson. Finally, to support the incredibly personal process of making the lessons yours, I’ve added something new to the curriculum: individual FI tutorials

And all this happens without having to leave home, travel, miss work, etc.

To find out more about BREATHING BETTER and sign up for the course, please click here

(Please note that early registration ends on 10 March 2021 at midnight Pacific Time).

If the free Breathe Easier workshops I offered last weekend are any indication, this topic is certainly timely.

Of 467 folks signed up in total, nearly a hundred showed up on Saturday, and then 189 participated on Sunday.  Usually, only a small fraction of the people who sign up show up, and that number only decreased in these days of Zoom exhaustion, so this was quite a significant turnout.

I offered the workshops to share what I’ve been learning and promote The Bodywise Project, my year-long Awareness Through Movement® program. (The subject of respiration proved so intriguing and relevant that I made it the theme of the first trimester: It’s a matter of life and breath.) 

The workshops served as make-up sessions for anyone who missed the start of The Bodywise Project and decided to join in. If you’re looking for a regular online ATM class that uses technology to support your learning, now is the time to enroll. Please click here for more information. 

Please note, the replay of the workshop will be available exclusively to participants in the Project

Even so, we here at Mind in Motion remain committed to making materials available for free. To stream or download recordings of me teaching breathing lessons on the website, please log into your MIMO account, go to the Library section, and search Free ATMs + Alexander Yanai. There you will find the recording of my teaching STOPPING THE BREATH. You will also find a different version of the first lesson I taught in the workshop titled BREATHING. 

You can also find several versions of DIFFERENTIATION OF PARTS AND FUNCTIONS OF BREATHING (aka SEE SAW BREATHING) in the Free ATMs + Alexander Yanai section.

If you haven’t yet set up your free Mind in Motion Online account, please click here.

Departing from my usual homemade image, this time, I’m featuring a photograph. I love this photo of a young Brazilian boy exclamation; somehow, it brings the notion of “breathing room” to life and captures something about the feeling of the moment. 

I’m using the image with permission from the internationally acclaimed magician and photographer L.-O. Ostrowsky, magicomarpasha.com/en/.


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