This 10-minute guided breathing exercise was recorded on my 2011 Crete retreat. It’s an easy breathing practice, particularly good for beginners, that covers some of the primary points you want to focus on when you come to sit.
Mind and Body Exercises: Lesson 4 of 4
This final lesson in my series four-part series on creating space in the body is all about how you incorporate cyclical, deep breathing to multiply practice and health benefits (review Lesson 1, Lesson 2 or Lesson 3). However, if you haven’t solidified your foundation in the previous practices, you may experience the opposite results in which case you would simply want to revisit and continue developing those techniques before continuing forward.
Deep Breathing Techniques,
Lesson 6 of 6
Now that we have built up to deep, spherical breathing over the last five lessons, it’s now time to apply your skill while in motion (see the first blog in my deep breathing series to study the progression).
Many people who practice Tao movement arts, such qi gong, tai chi or bagua, focus only on what is directly in front of them, up-down or left-right because these directions are in their field of vision. Most people do not turn their consciousness to what is behind them. This is a speciality of Earth Element Qi Gong (Gods Playing in the Clouds in the Energy Arts System) and bagua because each art develops the ability to create spherical movement. Although once you develop spherical awareness, you can apply it any exercise, such as qi gong, tai chi and Taoist yoga.
Deep Breathing Techniques, Lesson 4 of 6
Deep, internal breathing has many dimensions and benefits as I discuss in my feature article on Tao diaphragm breathing, which I recommend reading before moving on to these more advanced breathing techniques that target the kidneys and upper back. Everything you have learned so far remains in the programme: the diaphragm, belly and sides of the body are active, and now we’ll add a nice massage for the kidneys and back of the heart. The exercises that follow will not only help relax and calm any anxieties but, when practised over time, can also contribute to a healthy mind and body.
Deep Breathing Techniques, Lesson 3 of 6
The exercises offered in this blog follow on from my previous article, “Deep Breathing Techniques: The Diaphragm Is the Engine“.
As we discussed, the chest should not rise and fall while breathing. Many of my students have commented, “Surely, if the chest doesn’t move it’ll become stagnant and blocked”! Well, just because the chest doesn’t rise and fall doesn’t mean it does not move! The classic Chinese phrase is, “One part moves, all parts move.”