What is ‘Bikini Syndrome’? I suffer from it, do you?
Do you hold your breath? Are you tense without even realising?
You are probably suffering from what’s called Bikini Syndrome.
This is a new term to which I fell in love with yesterday at yoga. Whilst it’s a new term (to me), it’s not a new concept in terms of what it means.
When practicing yoga yesterday morning, Danny Freemantle of Divine Wellbeing, made a little joke and named something that all of us do from time to time – if not all the time.
We were starting the class with some breathing techniques to warm our bodies. He said, “Breathe… all the way into your stomach, and let your stomach go.”
It’s true I need to consciously let my stomach go, otherwise I just breathe into my chest area, leaving my stomach to remain tense or flexed. As I was breathing and releasing my stomach area, I embraced the breath which allowed me to completely let go and relax – Danny elaborated on letting go and freeing ourselves from a tense state. “Really breath right down into your stomach and into your pelvis, none of this ‘bikini syndrome’ ” – spoke Danny with a little chuckle.
Well those two words had the yoga class in stitches and immediately this ‘syndrome’ resonated with me and I made a mental note to write about this later, for I knew, there were other ‘sufferers’ out there. They too needed to hear this and give way to the freedom of breath and what that allows for your mind and body.
What is Bikini Syndrome you ask? We’ve all done it… adorned our bikini, self-consciously, ensuring our tummies don’t fall over the edge of the bikini bottoms, sucking in our bloated stomach, tensing our tummy muscles. As a result it tenses our entire body… trying to breathe without letting our stomach go means we only breathe into our chest, shallowly! Even when not wearing a bikini, I find myself doing this. Sometimes I am so tense, that I tell myself “breathe Rebecca, breathe” and take a moment, “there is no reason to be tense right now”.
I always referred to this concept to being a ‘chest breather’: I also knew that at times, I was tense, with my shoulders reaching up to my ears without even realising it. My physio pointed out my style of breathing when I was having weekly appointments during my chemotherapy. He also pointed out, that because I didn’t breathe fully into my stomach, that I was more susceptible to chest related infections (particularly because I had zero immune system at the time).
Habitually, so many of us do not allow a state of calm existence ‘within’. After my breast cancer diagnosis and during treatment, I learnt to pay a lot of attention to my breathing. It was my lifeline, I required clear and long breath to cope in moments of pain and moments of despair. I needed it to ground myself and absorb fearful thoughts. I needed it to survive the journey I had to complete [I hate the word journey – I need to find an alternative, it’s so cliché for cancer.] We all need to breathe… however, we need to do it properly and effectively.
When you learn to do this, you will find your own sense of bliss. You will have it driving the kids to school when you know you’ve got a million things to rush around and do. You will have it when you are rushing to a deadline at work. You will have it as your toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of a shopping Centre with all eyes on you. You will have it when you are having a disagreement. And you will have it when you are in a moment of anguish… if you allow it.
Breathing is your ‘gateway’ to a more relaxed you.
Hearing ‘bikini syndrome’ yesterday has made me grin from ear to ear, being a lover of words, hearing a phrase that gives meaning to something that is so important to me is exciting. So… next time you are tense and you realise you are sucking that tummy in…
STOP. BREATH (no ‘bikini syndrome’). RELAX. CALM YOURSELF.
Have a ‘fantabulous’ week.
P.S. My Nine to Five challenge is going brilliantly – I love it (I will report on the seven days later this week). I’m hearing from a few others that are likewise finding new motivation and bringing additional quality time to their days, which makes me so happy.
© Copyright 2016 becbraid