Undercover Yoga 3 Become an Exhaler II

Posted by admin on March 27th, 2010

Become an Exhaler in bed in the morning

666 words will take you a good 3 minutes to read

Let’s, at least, imagine you are in bed and are deliciously awakening with greater ease as I taught in my December article Undercover Yoga I.

If you have also read and explored the February 2010 BBB you deserve the treat now; before breakfast.

This morning allow your next exhale to become slower again. Follow its sensations all the way to the end and feel what happens.

 1 of 2 things happens

You have either taken a long time observing your very slow and steady exhale and really “exhausted” the oxygen content in your blood to such a degree that the inhale comes surging in as if you turned on an inner vacuum.
(To be precise, it is not the lack of O2 but the abundance of CO2 that triggers inhalation)
…Or you followed your slower exhale to its end but less extensively and you dropped into a moment where ‘nothing’ was happening; the natural pause between exhale and inhale.

Exploring the opposite to reach our goal with even more ease

There is also a pause at the end of your inhale as the body turns around to release the air back out.  Can you find it?

In our stressed bodies though, that one is often misused for holding our breath and tightening our muscles even more.  This default pattern/stress response is exactly what I hope to soften within your nervous system by alerting and shifting your awareness to focus on the whole-body-pleasure that lies in an extended exhale.

The genius of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais’ Method offers itself at this point to expand your brains sense of what I am proposing.  

Please do tighten up (your shoulders and chest, neck and jaw) on purpose as you inhale normally and hold it right there for just a moment…  Release your breath easily as you release your muscular tightening.  Be gentle and “Stay within the limits of pleasure!” – as Mia Segal my first Feldenkrais Trainer always said.

It is key here not to force anything so your experience will inform your cognition positively.  Try to do it with even less effort the next time.  Good!  Play with it another 2-3 times, each time finding more ways to do less.

Now feel into your body for any changes in the way you lie in your bed.  Your body’s inner organization increases with this kind of gentle exploration.  Paying attention to details in this way allows our inner intelligence to release unnecessary muscle action.  

You may find places like your neck, back or shoulders that have sunken more into your pillow or just a general sense of feeling nicer, without needing to put any specification on it.  Feeling around for any shifts as you rest (even if you do not notice anything different) is boosting your awareness and deepening your learning. 

If you know what you do – you can do what you want – paraphrasing Dr. Feldenkrais








Nothin’ happenin’

 After this little [de]tour to get to our goal of naturally deeper exhales I like you to play with that slower exhale a few more times.  You might really begin to like it, especially the space created by the pause.  As you explore and hang out in ‘nothin’ happenin’, notice what is happening to your whole sense of your self.

That Healing Feeling 

Breathing normally now, permit your attention to spread throughout your whole body with ease. What do you notice first?
Still that old tightness? Energy follows attention, so gently find and keep your focus and receptivity with the good, expansive, warm, spacious, lighter, flowing pleasurably releasing sensations.
Each time you look for those healing feelings you become a little bit more familiar with your bodies’ natural ability to let go.

If you have already done a few of these mindful exhales last night, [see BBB Feb.2010] your body more willingly shows your mind now how it can release even the relentless grip in your neck and shoulders, your forehead, jaw and belly, as well as around your back and hips.  

Welcome your self healing capacity!

Have a great day!

Thank you for reading.

With a smile


For next month’s 1st Birthday Celebration of Blogging my Body Bliss I might offer the “Nothin’ Happenin’ Meditation” to you

I love to hear from you and invite your feedback, comments and your own experiences.
My gratitude for non-stop learning goes to all my clients and teachers and I trust You also will benefit from reading and feeling.
You ONLY have to let the soft animal of your body love what is loves
– Mary Oliver

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader

for more information please go to



Creative Commons License

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her Blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give her credit and link back to her website www.radiantembodiment.com Thank you very much.

Undercover Yoga 2 – Become an Exhaler I

Posted by admin on February 27th, 2010

629 words will take you about 3 min, to read and give you a whole night of sweet sleep

Become an Exhaler I – in bed tonight

Expanding on the delicious morning ‘let-go’ from my December BBB Undercover Yoga 1; here is what you could play with tonight when you are softly covered in your bed. 

For just a moment feel into what’s normally happening to your breathing when you remember you hear or see something stressful on TV, Radio, on the road, at the office, something happening with your child, or when that person is on the line. 

You probably recount a quick inhale “hhiiiiii” and than – – – you kept it right in.  Your chin slid backwards and tensed up your neck slightly more with tension spreading into your shoulders and (at least) down your whole spine.  Any further breaths go by un-noticeably and there never seems to be a release through a deep exhale. Hhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh…


If you just embodied what I was describing – that HHHaaaaahhh – “valley”, was very nice and needed, wasn’t it?

I was describing a very mild enactment of our ancient startle reflex http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Startle_reaction that has become a “normal/default” tension pattern piling up inside throughout each day.  You may not have felt much of this until you begin to pay attention to these tightening responses that accumulate throughout your body over time.

The startle reflex developed as a survival skill through thousands of years of evolution beginning with our animal ancestors. I see it as part of the freeze (play possum) strategy to avoid “being lunch”.

This clever and automated response obviously worked or we would not be here. It is still run by your “reptilian brain”. 

It is a very useful reflex for some of those extreme life threatening situations we do encounter, but not very supportive when our “normal” daily stressors themselves become its constant trigger. In other words: when quick inhalation-tension without satisfying exhalation-release has become just another pattern that’s adding even more vigilance to our western stressed-out bodies and minds.  OOOaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh

Just on the side; here’s another interesting food for thought.  Ask somebody to exhale – they inhale first…. But that’s for another blog

 “Exhalers live longer” –

This is one of the most foundational ideas I explore with all my clients. 

Allow your exhale to be your main focus.
The slower we breathe – the longer we live – they say in Yoga.

For tonight’s comforting exploration your exhale does not need to be longer or stronger. Just notice your normal exhale!  Curious isn’t it?  Exhales automatically become longer when we pay attention to them. No strength needed - just sensing. You may find a release in your body, a let go, a softening of your chest and belly – and then – just an empty space —-before the next inhale cascades in ….

Your bed right now is the luscious haven of opportunity to set your internal stage for the whole night. Feel your body, bones, organs and muscles in the warm embrace we already explored in the December BBB. 

Notice how noticing a longer/slower exhale relaxes you, even if only a tiny piece of your body softens. That’s it!

Your heart rate will slow down as well. Good!

Play with it again. You can feel how your bodies weight sinks towards your mattress, how your shoulders are moving away from your ears to where they can rest. No need to keep your head up any longer. (In Germany we say:  keep your ears stiff… same up-tightness)  This frees up your neck and even your jaw, your spine, your belly and your pelvis.

Luxuriate in another exhale. Can you feel how you are beginning to let go deeper? Look for a sense of slow flow and softening inside your tissues as you rel-ease your day.

 I wish you a good night and very sweet dreams!

 With a delicious exhale


Onward with Undercover Yoga
Next months Themes include: 

Become an Exhaler in the morning
Schlappe Noodle Fun
Life Spirals
Touch for Pleasure
Ocean Motion in your Hips 


Please! Whatever you do – Stay within the limits of pleasure. Make it simple and easy.

The author doesn’t take any responsibility for any possible consequences that might occur from your thoughts and actions.

Sabine Grandke-Taft

Embodiment Expert and Workshop Leader
for more information please go to

Creative Commons License 

Sabine Grandke-Taft holds the copyright for her blog but allows you to copy and distribute her work provided you give me credit and link back to my website www.radiantembodiment.com  Thank you very much.

Copyright © 2010 . All rights reserved.