Movement Monday: Are your ribs moving when you breathe?
One of the things I find most challenging for people from all walks of life (musicians, movers, etc.) is getting the ribs to move while breathing. It seems intuitive, but many of us are limited in our lateral breath movement, which affects our whole body, not just our nervous system or lung capacity! I've noticed that many of my wind player friends breathe very clavicularly- taking short quick breaths, which are definitely needed sometimes in music, but perhaps not all the time, and definitely not in daily life. The natural movement of the ribs side to side, and front to back, not only allows the lungs to fill up, but also encourages healthy movement of the restorative diapraghm, spinal movement, and more.
I've seen this exercise in a few different permutations- with a yoga strap, with a knotted theraband, and so forth. I like the theraband (if you have one), because the band itself expands as you move, whereas the yoga strap resists movement. Conversely, use what you have access to! I also like to change the tension of the band to encourage my ribs to move more (or less) accordingly.