Tag Archives: postura

Don’t forget to breathe..!

“Don’t forget to breathe!” I love the absurdity of this phrase..! 
Honestly, how did this become a cue I wonder..? haha
Have you tried to hold your breath through a pose during yoga for example..? Unless you are a very good diver, holding your breath could only last a few torturous seconds and you would definitely know! 

Can we forget to breathe?

You can’t really forget to breathe. Because you don’t need to remember to breathe, you simply, automatically do. If you are holding your breath you also know, it is very clear, intentional and obvious. So what do they mean by that cue?

My take on this is, when we are holding a position or when we are overthinking something our breathing may be inhibited, meaning it might not be as efficient as it could be. As such every action feels effortful, straining and draining.
For example, if you pull your bellybutton in then your ribcage can not expand and move upward with every inhale and so your breathing will be inhibited, your inhales will be shallow and you will feel as if you are holding your breath. 

It is not really therefore that we forget to breathe, but other movement choices may be coming in the way of efficient and effortless breathing thus creating that feeling of a hold of breath.

What can we do to change that?

With this explanation in mind, we can start looking at the movement patterns of breathing and allow for those movement patterns to inform our posture and our movement as a whole. This way our breathing will flow and we will feel supported by the renewed energy of every breath.

To support this approach our cues will also have to change. The cue “don’t forget to breathe” though it might come handy some times, reminding to pause and breathe fully, it is addressing the issue causing the inhibition. It needs therefore to be replaced by a cue addressing posture and movement options. The quality of our breathing can actually be a new cue in it of itself. As you are practicing notice your breathing; are you feeling that your breathing flows effortlessly uninhibited? If not try to find the right adjustment in your posture and movement to free the breath.


P.S: Interested in a breathing and posture workshop, check out this video

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Posture and Mindfulness

Following this theme that we have been exploring, for some time now, mindfulness, we shift our focus towards posture; posture and mindfulness

We have talked and explored posture in many different ways however this time, our focus is not on the shape(s) that the body creates that we can characterize as efficient posture.

Our focus is more on becoming aware of our spine, our breath, our back and front body and the space there is between them.
Our goal would be to achieve the desired alignment without though creating unnecessary tension, by pulling on the muscle to achieve a specific position.

So how do we do it?

As you will see in the video above we are starting with breathing. Muscles of the back are also called breathing muscles and not by chance. You can do a simple test yourselves; inhale and exhale and notice how your body moves.

By deepening our inhales and exhales, we make all those movements associated with the breath and posture bigger. And so this way we come into a posture without inhibiting our breath and without using more muscle than what is necessary for us to get there.

One thing that I would like to take the opportunity to stress out here, is allowing yourselves to start where YOU are. This is a very important part of the process. We spend so much time trying to look like someone else, that we forget to acknowledge our starting point. However, that is something that will have a major impact on how we get to our goal and how long it will take.

So physically we are all of the same make but we are also different, maybe you have a more extended or arched back, maybe your breathing pattern is shallower, maybe you are stressed… a thousand maybes! So take some time to notice where you are without any judgement, just being a witness to your own experience and allow yourselves to start from there.

Being respectful and loving to your body will not only have physiological benefits but it will also be the first step towards mindfulness.

The benefits of a mindful posture

Talking about benefits, lets see a couple of more…

So continuing the conversation, acknowledgment without judgement doesn’t mean acceptance, but more realizing, identifying where you are and how that feels. So you go through a body scan, noticing where things are and how things are feeling. The labels of good and bad should be dropped for this one, as there is no good and bad, it just is what it is.

Once you have informed your knowing, then you can start the exploration of your other options of alignment

Other options will then offer a series of benefits, such as:

  • efficiency of movement, so you are not using more energy than what you need
  • following the above, you have better use of muscle
  • better balance of forces within the joints so there are no shear forces going through your joints, pulling them off center
  • following the above you can avoid overuse of ligaments and muscle impingement
  • you will have a comfortable breath while standing and moving
  • your diaphragms can work properly, at the appropriate pace with the necessary movement pattern
  • and generally your organs will be aligned and able to maintain their tone and relationships to one another
  • going to the Tango side of things, you can have more freedom in movement as you won’t need to hold as much
  • movements will feel more connected in your bodies
  • you will be able to dance for longer as you won’t be wasting energy and
  • last but not least we will be able to enjoy our dances more

We had to close this list at some point but in reality once you start with such explorations the benefits are more and more and some more..! (haha)

What if I don’t know where to start, with posture and mindfulness

I think our video above can be an excellent start and also our video from last week. They make a good match and can help slowly deepen your understanding of how the different parts of our upper body interact.

Now if you need more guidance we have our regular classes and workshops starting next week and we will be spending some time on such themes. It would be a great pleasure to have you in one of our groups. Help you and me learn and grow together

So if you want to give that a look check out our regular classes here: Online Tango Classes- Live and here are our Mindfulness Workshops

Hope to see you there and then



P.S: If you want to get started with some body scanning here you go!

Posture–2 exercises to make it better

In the beginning I was looking for better posture just because the rules of Tango said so.
Then I was looking for better posture because I felt it to be my personal little dance before I connected to my partner.
It helped me get into the mood, https://bautanz.com/2017/05/08/intelligent-tango-posture/

And now, I see posture as a chance for me to capture the subtleties of Tango. My chance to be more creative in my body and offer something of greater value to my partner than simply following!

2 exercises for a juicer posture

I so like this title better..! haha

Yes! this is the purpose of this video: flow-y, juicy, effortless posture

A few extra info to accompany the video tips

Mr. Skeleton here is going to help us out a bit..!

First let’s revisit one of the most common cues that has messed up everyone–or almost everyone– in Tango

“Lift your sternum/ chest up”
I am sure you have heard one or more teachers say that, only to see them, come back a few minutes later to say: “Relax. Breathe!” haha

Well, one affects the other… Let’s see how..!

You can definitely lift the sternum up by pinching your shoulder blades together, but that will cause tension and shortness of breath and it won’t really help you expand the rib cage in any enjoyable way.

Look at the picture below…

The rib cage is a set bone structure that connects to the spine at the back and the sternum at the front. Now notice the shape of the rib cage. It is oval and with a downward orientation–aka anterroinferiorly.

So from this picture can you now imagine what happens when you LIFT the sternum?
If not… go ahead and give one last try… noticing how it makes you feel, noticing how the spine where the ribs meet is pressing forward…

Look at the picture again… it makes sense, no?
Since we have this oval, downward shape, when you lift the front up, you are going to have a compression from the back…

Instead of expanding we are actually compressing, with the heart and lungs being squished, causing shortness of breath and possible heart circulatory problems in the future…
So not only it is uncomfortable, it is also dangerous..!

Taking your focus to what really matters… effortless movement

Tap into our breath, and expand the rib cage to the left and right, front and back, instead of up and down.
During the inhale things are rather obvious… As you inhale the thoracic diaphragm flattens, as you exhale it comes back to THIS original shape, you see it below:

Notice the dome shape of the diaphragm, imagine the floating energy it has during every exhale.

It works like a ball that you press under the water…
Remember when you did that as kids or for your kids?
What happened when you released the ball?
2things… The ball went up and some water left and right..!

Do the same with air coming in and floating out!
Inhale and feel your diaphragm grow and then exhale feel the diaphragm going back to normal and the rest of the energy giving your ribs an expansion to left and the right.

Find movement from within–Getting stuck is the REAL problem

Our spine can move in many many MANY different ways, all beautiful and healthy.
Limiting your options and getting our body STUCK even if it covers all the criteria of “good” posture is actually BAD posture.

Don’t look for good posture, look for a healthy spine, for full movement, that can give you a structure that breathes


P.S: More on posture?