Anatomy Meditation Element:
July Practices
Expanding / Condensing The Tube
Props:
a light amount of weight, a sandbag or folded blanket,
for placing over the navel-belly, if you like. 
A strap or Theraband lightly tied around 
the bottom of the rib basket (cage). 
Actually, you have rib basket halves, 
a right and left, and rib basket sides, 
front, back, and sides. 
 
You may want to record yourself
slowly reading this practice
before practicing it. 
Your voice. Your practice.  
The Anatomy Exploration Practice: 
 
While lying down in Construction Rest Posture,
 inhale, say gently to yourself
"expanding". 
Stay at the "top of the inhalation" and experience
"expanding". 
Allow the accompanying exhale to arrive naturally. 
As you exhale, say gently to yourself 
"condensing"
when you come to the
"bottom of the exhalation"
experience a sense of sweet gathering,
or condensing. 
Practice this for 5-6 minutes. You can set a timer, or play a
piece of music, of about this timing, to accompany your practice. 
 
You could open the arms wide on inhale, and bring
the arms in, "hugging" on exhale, embodying the
expansion and returning sensations as movements
of arms and rib basket halves. 
Then come to Sitting
Lightly tie a strap or Theraband (or scarf, what have you)
around the bottom of the rib basket 
and repeat the process
of observing "expanding" and "condensing"
for about 5 minutes.
You could incorporate the arm movements
here too, if you wish. 
 
What and how is sensation possible
via the tie around
the bottom of the rib basket? 
Linda Oshins (2020) describes our body shape
as a "tube". Changing the shape of the 
tube, crimping one side or the front or back of
the tube, changes how the breath is experienced.
What does this concept feel like to you? 
Certain yoga postures change the
shape of the tube, and therefore
change the energetic and physiological
effects of the breath
(Calais-Germain, 2006; Chaitow, Bradley, & Gilbert, 2014Oshins, 2020).  
Does one side of your rib basket
receive breath differently from 
the other? Does the in-breath
tend to be easier felt in the front
of the rib basket than the back? 
What if you intentionally 
"sent breath" to areas of the 
rib basket that feel as if they are
not moving with the breath? 
What is possible to experience
within this 
"tube of breath" 
we inhabit? 
Are there other words you would
use to describe the sensations? 
What else do you notice? 
(Morrissey, 2020) 

References: 

Calais-Germain, Blandine. (2006). Anatomy of Breathing. Eastland Press, Seattle, WA. USA

Chaitow, Bradley, & Gilbert. (2014). Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders: A Multidisciplinary Approach. 2nd Edition. Churchhill Livingstone Elsevier Press. 

Farhi, Donna. (1996). The breathing book: Good health and vitality through essential breath work. Holt Paperbacks.

Nestor, James. (2020). Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art. Riverhead Books. New York, NY. USA. 

Oshins, Linda. (2014). Pranayama: A Compendium of Practices. Yoga On High, Columbus, OH. USA. 

© 2020 by Sangha (Song-gah) Yoga/Becky Morrissey  

contact info: becky.morrissey.2017@gmail.com