Somatic Microdosing Movement Exploration

Breathe Better to Move Better

Breathing is directed by our nervous system, without us doing much about it or being aware of its quality and limitations. 

But what if we can improve something about it – how would it affect the rest of ourselves?

Many ancient practices use the breath as a key component for improving well-being. Luckily, more and more western disciplines are also including it as a part of therapy for various dysfunctions and recovery.

Breathing has a massive impact on overall health and performance and is deeply connected with numerous other processes: 

  • Biochemically, it is responsible for providing oxygen to our cells. 
  • Biomechanically, diaphragm muscle movements influence stability and posture, pelvic floor function, digestive function, etc.
  • The breathing process impacts balancing the Sympathetic (fight or flight) and the Parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous systems. 

With a very simple practice, we can change neuromuscular patterns associated with breathing and positively impact our:

  • immune function, 
  • digestion, 
  • back pain, 
  • blood pressure, 
  • sleep quality, 
  • stress level, 
  • brain function, 
  • posture, 
  • emotional balance,
  • athletic performance

It doesn’t cost more than dedication to the practice, and it doesn’t require anything other than motivation.

What is Somatic Microdosing Movement Exploration? 

Inspired by Awareness Through Movement (The Feldenkrais Method) lessons, I have created short sessions that you can do in just several minutes each.

You are invited to self-explore and learn by following simple instructions and questions – movement inquiries.

Instead of dedicating a longer time (~45 mins) for learning practice (like in a usual Feldenkrais class), in this process, we want to microdose many short sessions between and during our everyday tasks.

We train our nervous system and build stronger brain connections by repeating an activity in many different ways. This is called Neuroplasticity (the capacity of the brain cells to change and adapt as a result of experience). 

General Guidelines: How to do it?

  • Each of these micro explorations takes several minutes. You can do one at a time or combine several in any order you like. 
  • Do this practice 2-6 times per day.
  • Change your orientation – laying on the back or on the side, sitting in the chair or crossed-legged on the floor, standing. Notice what is different in each position.
  • Keep soft and open attention during the practice – without straining or trying hard to get something out of it.
  • Follow this program for several weeks, observe its impact on you, take a few months break, and review it again.

These micro sessions are easy to do, but the biggest challenge is to remember to do them.


  • Connect this process with some daily habits – do it around certain activities (brushing teeth, making tea, walking a dog, using the elevator, waiting for the traffic light, etc.)
  • Use reminders – phone apps or email and simple paper notes around you. After some time, when you stop noticing them – make a change – modify the time you get notifications, the sound of reminder, change the location and message of the notes around you.
    • A system that works for me is Google Calendar with Email notifications + post-it notes (in the bathroom, kitchen, next to shoe shelf, etc.) 

Week 1 Practice: Wake Up Your Sensory Awareness

In the first week, you will only observe your breath without trying to change it or do anything about itโ€”just a simple passive exploration.

Bring curiosity each time you do it – as you do it for the first time. You are not looking for any outcome, rather the richness of the experience.

If you don’t feel the sensation I’m asking you to notice, accept it and take it as a piece of information – “I can’t sense it” is equally valuable as any other information.
Over time it will change as your sensory awareness deepens.

Exploration Process:

Please do it now while you’re reading it.

In any position you choose (laying, sitting, standing) – bring attention to your breathing. 

Read the instructions one by one and take several breaths with each question – observing your experience.

Make a pause before starting the next question.

  1. Notice the length of your breath.
    1. What is longer – inhalation or exhalation?
    2. Notice the pauses between breathing in and out.
    3. Is one pause longer than the other? 
  2. Notice the movement of your breath as you breathe in and out.
    1. What moves first as you inhale? Observe that very first beginning of the inhalation – do you feel it starts in the chest or the belly, or somewhere in between?
    2. What part(s) move next?
    3. What moves first as you start exhaling?
  3. What is the direction of the movement?
    1. As you inhale – feel if there is some movement in the chest area – how much does it move forwards, to the sides (under your armpits), backward.
    2. Feel the movement in the abdomen. What is happening in each direction while you inhale – the front below the belly button, lower back, sides, and down by the pelvic floor.
    3. Observe your sternum (chest bone) – in what direction does it move when you breathe in? And when you breathe out?
  4. Feel the quality of inhalation and exhalation.
    1. Do you feel that one is easier? Are you more satisfied with the quality of exhalation or inhalation?
    2. For the less easy one, notice any unnecessary activity, some change in muscular tone around your mouth, lips, eyes, forehead, neck, belly, hands, feet… One by one, observe different areas in the body and notice what parts of you are engaged and disengaged when you start breathing in or breathing out? 

Take action – create reminders now. 

Print week one guidance or save it as a PDF.

If you don’t do it right now – it’s most likely that you will never come back to it ๐Ÿ™‚ 

You might be surprised by how just bringing awareness to breathing without trying to manipulate or change it in any way may shift its quality.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below this post.

Week 2 Practice: Creating New Possibilities

These exercises do not aim to teach you how to breathe – you are already doing it, and your body knows how – but rather improve what you are already doing.

Here, we train the brain to find new possibilities in breathing because the more available options you have, the clearer your nervous system can choose what it needs depending on the situation. It will recognize patterns that are not serving you and will create new ones. 

Guidelines for doing this practice remain the same as for the first week. 

Here are a few more I would like to add:

  • Do the movements as slowly as you can.
  • Respect your limits by not going where it becomes uncomfortable.
  • Find the range of motion that is easy! 
  • Resting in between moves is an important step that allows your nervous system to digest and learn.
  • Before and after the practice, observe your breath and recall the explorations you did in the first week. An essential part of this practice is the awareness of differences in yourself before and after the session.

Exploration Process:

In any position you choose (laying, sitting, standing) – bring attention to your breathing. 

Read the instructions one by one and take several breaths through your nose with each question. Try to make each movement smoother and easier than the previous one.

Make a pause before starting the next question.

  1. Direct your breath to the abdomen.
    1. Inhale and expand your belly. Let exhalation happen without controlling it.
    2. Inhale and expend your belly backward in your low back, next time to the left side, right, and front. With each inhalation, your belly expands in a different direction.
    3. With the next inhalation, expand the belly in all directions – like a big balloon.
  2. Inhale in your chest.
    1. Inhale and draw the belly in – expand your chest. Let exhalation happen naturally.
    2. Keep the belly flat, and with the following inhalation, change the direction of expansion of your chest: to the front, back, left and right under your armpits. Feel with each inhalation how your ribs are expanding.
    3. Inhale and expand the rib cage in all directions. 
  3. Move the breath around.
    1. Inhale in your belly (in all directions) – restrict movement in your chest.
    2. Inhale, draw the belly in and expand your chest.
    3. Alternate – with each inhalation, once expend your belly and restrict the chest, next time expend the chest and flatten the abdomen.
    4. Inhale and expend the abdomen, hold the breath and move it from the stomach to the chest (expend your chest) and then back to the stomach. Back and forth until you feel that you need to exhale, take another breath and do it again. Imagine moving a ballon of air from the belly to the chest and back while holding your breath.

Print week two guidance or save it as a PDF.

Thank you for reading this far.

I would love to hear your feedback about the process, how it goes, and how it affects you, or if anything is stopping you from doing it – please, leaving a quick comment below.

6 thoughts on “Somatic Microdosing Movement Exploration”

  1. Thanks for this exploration. I suffer from asthma. Reading this has helped me realise how little attention I pay to this part of me that has been shouting for attention. I have come back to it ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I have been doing breathing meditation for several years (Vipassana). I find these exercises to supplement and add to my practice. This spatial awareness helps temporarily relieve the pain I suffer from spinal stenosis. The effort in maintaining the practice in every day life is difficult but hopefully will become more effortless the more I practice. Thanks for offering these exercises.

  3. I have a scapula problem which is quite painful. Do you think this breathing technique will help?
    I enjoy your emails very much.
    Olivia Casriel

    • Hi Olivia,

      Without knowing more details about your case, it is difficult to say anything. Breathing is connected to so many things in our bodies. If you work on this process, it might affect other parts that are related to the scapula.


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