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When you close your eyes at the end of the day and take that last deep breath, count yourself lucky.

Wake up with a new breath and know you’ve hit the jackpot.

Baby boomers know the drill.

Breath in, breath out. It sounds easy, but many struggle.

Conscious breathing is a gift we take for granted. If you’ve got it down, consider yourself one of the fortunate.

If you don’t, you can learn.

What happens when you speak in front of a group? Or if you decide to sing your song on open mike night?

The initial panic of “what am I doing here” affects your breathing.

You want to use your peaceful easy listening voice, but you’re panting like a sled dog and don’t know why.

Overloaded emotions change your natural breathing pattern. When you talk, it’s in a voice you’ve never heard before.

“What happened to my voice?” you ask.

If you asked Fay Putnam, she’d say, “Breath is the answer.”


I’m reminded of one of Fay’s recent posts on self criticism and mindfulness: I challenge you to pause and breathe,” she writes.  “Become more mindful of the truth that resounds in your own voice.  You just may discover it is more beautiful and inspirational than you ever imagined.”

How does she do it? The Alexander Technique.

“In his early years F. M. Alexander was know as “The Breathing Man”. An integral part of an Alexander lesson is bringing awareness to breathing as well as to our mental, emotional and physical reactions to life’s challenges. One learns to improve coordination of movement, breathing, posture and thinking processes.”

Hold onto the last sentence.

Who works hardest to improve coordination of movement, breathing, posture and thinking processes? Every golfer who ever swung a stick. Every baby boomer trying to channel the young Tiger Woods.

Other athletes who visibly work on their breathing before competition? Olympic swimmers. Some of them look like a blacksmith’s bellows before launching into a gold medal race.

What about the rest of us? Regular living could always use improvement.

Besides more exercise and better diet, which you hear about all the time, boomers need to tend to their breath. Just stopped smoking? Reinforce your commitment with breath training. Stepping up your workout? Add breathing education for an extra push.

With so many moving parts in our bodies, it’s a good thing breathing is part of our autonomic nervous system. The difference between our autonomic and somatic nervous systems is our ability to control one of them.

Hearts and livers and kidneys are all on autopilot along with breathing. The crossover element is being able to hold our breath, control our breath.

Boomerpdx shouts out to fellow Portland boomers: Do some conditioning. Build strength for the road ahead, but don’t neglect the fine tuning.

No one wants a rough sounding engine in a sleek sports car.


Call Fay Putnam of Breath Is The Answer for a FREE 20 minute phone consultation: 503.222.2507










About David Gillaspie
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