I’ve never felt so awkward and silly pulling a funny face, breathing out and making a strange gravelly noise.
That was my introduction to the Whispered Ah!
After my first few attempts my Alexander teacher asked me how wide open I thought my mouth was. I answered “very wide”; so go and look in the mirror; to my horror I’d barely opened my mouth. How could that be, the answer may be possibly in a later blog.
My Alexander teacher was introducing me to an alternative way to breathe from my usual shallow gasping asthmatic breath. Little did I know that I couldn’t breath in as I haven’t breathed out, so all I was doing was trying to top up my lungs that were already full!
The Whispered Ah was developed before FM Alexander included in his repertoire but I believe he modified the activity to suit his technique.
The Whispered Ah is an activity to bring your breathing to your consciousness, namely the activity of breathing out, allowing your lungs to empty as your diaphragm rises and your ribs move together, then waiting for the in breath to happen and experience your diaphragm move and your ribs move outwards as your lungs fill.
There is a lot more detail in how to experiment with the Whispered Ah on YouTube and elsewhere, please search them out.
I’ve recently been experimenting with flaring my nostrils to initiate the in breath, I sense a reflex between my nostrils, sternum and ribs, do you have a sense of this reflex?
Once you have experimented with the smiley face with soft eyes, tongue resting just behind your bottom teeth, jaw leading forward and down from the TMJ … then initiate the out breath you will have experienced the Whispered Ah, for an asthma sufferer it’s a breath of fresh air 🙂