Learning how to stand in relation to gravity without unnecessary tension can greatly benefit your breathing and many of the other activities of your life. This is taught in depth in chi kung and tai chi and is very important not just for healthy breathing but also for intelligent living.
Learning how to stand in the most beneficial way for your well-being actually begins with sensing your feet on the ground and feeling yourself supported by and rooted to the earth, a kind of meditation in action. Part of this sensation involves feeling your weight sinking. This means you need to relax your feet and allow your toes to spread out on the ground. Then you allow each joint to open slightly and to be in alignment with every other joint of the body. This gentle opening and alignment of the joints will create an upward movement through the body that will, in combination with the sensation of being rooted, help open up the various breathing spaces of the body.
To begin this process, you may need to gently rock forward and backward on your feet with your knees slightly bent until you find a place where you contact the synovial fluid in your ankle joint, a sense of comfort there. You allow that sense of comfort, a kind of cushion in the joint, to go up into the joints of your knees, pelvis, spine, and so on, which also contain synovial fluid. As this movement takes place and stabilizes, we literally become a bridge between heaven (our head projecting naturally upward) and earth (our feet rooted downward). When we are in this natural, dynamic relationship with heaven and earth, our breath engages to varying degrees all the breathing spaces of the body and we may feel an entirely new, more complete energetic sensation of ourselves and hear a new sense of vitality and fullness in our voice, whether talking or singing.
More information about the importance of conscious standing, as well as some transformative standing practices, can be found in Free Your Breath, Free Your Life.
Copyright 2004 by Dennis Lewis