Thursday, 9 February 2012

Qigong Breathing Exercises |

Qigong Breathing Exercises Photo Credit Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Qigong is an ancient Eastern practice of whole-body healing, accomplished by way of postures, movement, and breathing rituals intended to release the bodies flow of chi. Chi is considered to be the unbroken flow of energy underlaying all creation. It is thought to move through the body along channels called meridians. Illness is said to come about as a result of disturbances and blockages in the stream, or a depletion of energy due to mental or physical strain. Qigong is designed to release and replinish one's chi restoring balance in the mind, body, and spirit.

Tortoise Breathing

Start by sitting in a relaxed posture. Slowly breath in, visualizing the air flowing into your abdomen. Fill your lungs entirely, and pause for a moment before breathing out. Imagine your belly dropping inward as you exhale completely. Again, pause before inhaling. Continue in this way for several minutes, until your breathing pattern begins to slow. One inhale/exhale cycle counts as a single breath. Eight breaths per minute is ideal when learning. However, with practice your breathing should slow much more. Over time, this exercise fosters greater concentration, mental clarity, strengthened immune function, and longevity.

Squeezing Out

This exercise can be performed either while seated or walking. Inhale deeply and slowly, to a full count of five if possible. Breathe out, tightening your abdomen as you do so. At the end of your breath, squeeze your stomach muscles to the count of five. Relax, and allow the air to flow in naturally. Continue breathing easily for a few moments, then repeat the process. Perform this exercise three to six times, before returning to your ordinary pattern of breathing.

Circular Breathing

Inhale as deeply as possible. Release the air naturally. Simply allow all the air to flow out without pushing in any way. Repeat several times. You can breathe through either your nose or mouth, but stay consistent with one or the other. Attempt to begin each inhale with a smooth turnaround, leaving no hesitation between. Breathing in this manner should, eventually, engender a sense of increased vitality and well being.


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