I’ve been doing some reading in my anatomy books about the shoulder girdle and how it floats over the ribcage and is attached only to the sternum. However, I’m also aware of the importance of the space under the armpits when it comes to thinking of further expanding and widening.
I’ve been encouraged to think about this space ever since I started having Alexander Technique lessons, probably because it’s one of those places where I have a tendency to narrow quite a bit. Observing my habits, I can now understand why. If you observe how you use your arms whilst working at the computer, for example, the tendency is to keep the space underneath the armpits narrowed as you type, instead of thinking of allowing space there whilst continuing to think about the width across the sternum and shoulders and all your other main directions. If you are thinking this, then there is definitely more room underneath this area.
We all often undertake tasks throughout the day with your arms and hands without paying sufficient thought to how we do them, but it’s worth taking the time to think about the space we have available under our armpits. I believe my first teacher talks about thinking as if you have an egg underneath your armpit which you don’t wish to break, that’s the soft and light quality which we wish to bring to this area of ourselves. Also, if you’re thinking forward and up, up through the torso, then this will encourage the expansion under the arms, instead of pulling in your arms and tightening this area which we so often forget about, particularly when we’re absorbed in another activity. As I progress through this week I’m going to devote some more time to thinking of this as I put hands on as well as thinking of further expansion in this area as I go about my daily tasks. Of course this cannot happen without the lengthening, the two work together, so more time thinking of lengthening and widening will no doubt be of further benefit.