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Exercises for Breathe and Chakra Release PART ONE: Introduction

Breathe and Chakra Release PART ONE: Introduction

I’m very excited to share the first of five segments I have for you –  all having to do with something I feel very passionate about.  Over the next month, I will be sharing some of my training and personal experience I have with the one thing we all have in common: Breathe. I will be sharing specific exercises and tips I have learned, through my training as an actor, that are used to achieve a greater sense of authenticity, openness, awareness, and resonance in the body. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your day to day life may be. It does not matter whether you practice yoga every day and are therefore familiar with breathe and mindfulness, or whether you have never stepped foot onto a mat. Why? Because we all breathe. We all inhale and exhale and we all have emotional responses to life’s events.

exercises logo

Disclaimer: The credential I have in sharing this information is: Life.  Through my training in breathe and body work, along with trial, error, struggle, success, and a long journey,  I have found my way to a place where I am more open. authentic and aware of myself than ever before.  I have trained with many incredible teachers who are specialized in very specific forms of body movement and breathe work. This is some of what I have taken from them. 

allow breathe

There are no concrete answers or miracle cures, and I am not holding the exercises I will be sharing up to any sort of pedestal. Each person’s experience with breathe and movement is different. However, through my training, I have gained a fascination for the body and the power it has in our lives. I have experienced first hand how our sense of well being can be affected once we learn to release some blocks we may have stored within us. Bodies are fascinating.  

explore receive breathe 

Breathe is life. Breathe is emotion. Breathe means the ability to feel what is being sent through your body: your impulses, desires, emotions and needs. When you are not truly breathing, you are literally blocking yourself off from feeling

And when emotions are hard to feel… this makes sense, right? 

When we have had any sort of trauma or painful past experience, our body’s first response is to find a way to not have to feel these feelings ever again. So it forms blocks. Literally. The body forms physical blocks in the tissues and muscles and holds within them these past feelings and memories. See, when we do not deal with a painful memory, the experience never actually leaves us  (no matter how convinced we are that it has).  Our minds may have forgotten, but they are forever stored within our bodies. Over time, these stored away experiences fester and grow and become toxic, leading to stress and anxiety and struggle. Until, that is, we let them out. 

release breathe

We all breathe (obviously – or you wouldn’t be reading this). But very few of us realize that we are not truly breathing. In this day and age especially, full of stress and “go go go” schedules, discipline and anxiety, the majority of us don’t even realize that we are closing ourselves off from the full potential of our breathe. We run around with tightness in our muscles, tightness in our chests and shoulders, and as a result, a very shallow breathe system. 

Breathe. Awareness. Authenticity. Being open takes practice. Click To Tweet

It is my job, as an actor, to be authentic. It is my job to find truth in human experience and emotion and to share the most vulnerable and honest parts of humanity.  To do this requires an enormous sense of emotional openness and body awareness. To the surprise of many, my training is nearly entirely focused on exercises to create a relaxed state in the body. I do a great deal of physical work that is meant to release physical tension.  We then combine these physical exercises with exercises to open the breathe. 

witness nurture breathe

When we are open, we are authentic. We speak from our true voice… which, if I may digress for a moment,  is usually a lot lower than what we use in our daily social lives (we tend to raise our voices when we are trying to be liked, or when we feel the need to put on a “pleasant” exterior, because god forbid a lower, grounded voice would make us seem “bitchy” or “uninviting”).  Think for a second –  do you use your real voice in your day job? Do you use the same voice you use with your partner at the dinner table at the end of the day? Do you feel anxious or burnt out at the end of a day? This could very well be because you just spent a whole 8 hours speaking from a place that is inauthentic – which takes a hell of a lot of energy and work. I could do a whole other post on the psychology of the voice.

Do you use your real voice? Click To Tweet

soften breathe

You do not need to be an actor to take benefit from breathe work. In fact, I truly believe it is something everyone should do at some point in their lives.  Breathe makes us open, and when we are open, we allow ourselves to feel what we are truly feeling. We can then begin to eliminate the stress we put on our bodies and minds by trying to act like someone else. We can then lessen the emotional and psychological stress we lock ourselves in by blocking ourselves off from our desires and impulses. It can be as simple as knowing how to exhale as you are sitting on the bus. 

I hope you return to learn a bit about the breathe system, the chakras (which I begin explaining in part two) and possibly take with you a few exercises you can use in your daily lives – in the morning at home, during meditation, in your yoga practice, or even (and most importantly) as you drive in your car or simply sit in class. 

Exercises for Breathe and Chakra Release with my littletablespoon Click To Tweet   receive breathe

Some main sources to which I owe much of my personal study:

“The Body Has Its Reasons,” by Therese Bertherat

“Eastern Body, Western Mind: Psychology and the Chakra System As a Path to the Self” by Anodea Judith

First question,

Do you feel you use different voices throughout your day – depending on when you are at work or who you are speaking to? 

Do you ever think about breathe? 





  1. chasetheredgrape | 4th Mar 16

    I look forward to this series Cora 🙂
    In terms of my voice, being home alone all day means I hardly use it! So for me, I like to think I use my voice in my writing – which I always try to make as authentic as possible. In fact I think it would be more difficult to try and put on a fake voice!
    chasetheredgrape recently posted…Friday Favourites – March 04My Profile

    • Cora | 4th Mar 16

      Ah. Using your voice in writing is a beautiful outlet, and extremely good practice with being authentic. Its difficult to put on a fake voice.. and yet it is something I think we all feel inclined to do in many instances. Its naturally drilled into our psychology.

  2. Heather@hungryforbalance | 4th Mar 16

    So interesting!!! I always think of my voice as lower than ‘normal’ (whatever that means) and I do find myself raising it in conversation or when I’m talking to Matilda. I’m very excited to learn more about this!

    • Cora | 4th Mar 16

      Me too Heather! I actually have quite a low voice. I realized during my work at Starbucks how much I raise it when dealing with customers – and still notice I do it when I’m talking to teachers or certain people – when I’m trying to “be someone else.” It’s exhausting and not needed! Speaking from that low place will actually make you appear way more inviting and people will sense that you are being real. Which is what we all want to see in a person. Its all so interesting.

  3. Brittany | 4th Mar 16

    Beautiful post! I am making it a goal to focus more on my mind and breath together to balance my overall day.

    • Cora | 5th Mar 16

      Even the smallest bit of attention can make the biggest difference

  4. Sarah @ BucketListTummy | 5th Mar 16

    I have actually been thinking about breath a lot lately and how I need more tips to help me focus on my breath and release, so very excited for this series! And I have noticed that my voice pitch increases when talking to others, or especially meeting new people…interesting!

    • Cora | 5th Mar 16

      Oh that’s so awesome – I really hope you take something from what I’ll be sharing. Regardless, t’s all very interesting to even just contemplate.

  5. Stephanie Leduc | 5th Mar 16

    Very interesting about the different voices, definitely agree that we have different voices depending on who we talk to! I’ve got my laid back, jokey voice and my more serious voice I use for bosses at work! I can’t wait to follow along with this little series 🙂
    Stephanie Leduc recently posted…Top 5 Differences Between my Hometown and Oklahoma! (Vacation Recap)My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Mar 16

      Exactly. And not that there’s much wrong with it… just very interesting to be aware of why it happens. I hope I can share more that is interesting!

  6. Ellie | 5th Mar 16

    I work in the service industry and the retail industry so I try to have a bubbly personality at all times. Most times it is authentic because I am in a good mood. Sometimes I have to fake it…because being nice is part of the job.
    I actually do work on my breath when I run. I try to slow it down and relax my posture. This makes me happier and releases stress built up in my system. Sometimes at the end of the day, I pick up my cat, lay on my bed and just deep breathe. It feels so good!
    Looking forward to your next post 🙂
    Ellie recently posted…Fast Friday #7My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Mar 16

      I’ll be really interested to hear your thoughts from a runners’ perspective. Breathe is something we can be aware of in any situation – whether it is when we are aerobic and moving – or simply lying on our couches (with our cats). Slowing down your breathe can do wonders for your mood. Its nuts.
      I love the end of your day :).

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  8. Kate | 5th Mar 16

    When I actually remember to do these mindfulness practices I really notice a difference in my overall mood. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Cora | 7th Mar 16

      It can be shocking sometimes how even a simply thing like taking a few real breaths can turn us completely around

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  10. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets | 7th Mar 16

    I am so very much looking forward to this series, and I’m hoping it can help ease some of the physical (and possibly mental) discomforts of pregnancy.

    I definitely use a different voice at work. I manage a group of people so I need to be mindful of what I say and how I say it all times. I’m much less cautious and more open in my personal and blog life.

    • Cora | 7th Mar 16

      Oh I sure hope there will be something to give you some sort of release from all that discomfort.
      When you are used to having to “put on” that voice, it must feel extra nice to then be able to just “be you” (which we are thankful for)

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