Students Notes Page
This is a private page for my students to access notes on what we practice and to add comments on their experiences. If you have comments or questions and would like the answers to them posted here email me.
Some notes on breathing.
Often in our practice we are focused on posture, movements, where to put our awareness and what intention we may have. There is of course also the breath to consider and its part in what we do.
I mention breathing in the classes more when students are able to settle into the various exercises.
Here are some basic pointers for integrating the breath into your practice. They are what I feel are the most important points and are part of my own practice.
Use natural relaxed breathing. This is where the diaphragm is allowed to do its job. The abdominal cavity will expand (not just pushing your belly out) with the inhalation and diaphragmatic movement. Within my practice and teaching I also employ “reverse abdominal breathing” though I tend to gauge the group or student’s ability before introducing it.
Breath in and out through the nose if you can. Occasionally there are times we do breathe out through the mouth. For me this is usually when I am releasing quickly, working with the quality of letting go or releasing force such as parts of the Soaring Crane Qigong or the Metal Element Qigong.
With nasal breathing the mouth should be closed but watch that the jaw isn’t held tight.Relax your face.
If its difficult to breath through the nose try building it into your day, for example try walking with just nasal breathing.
We tend to do sinking movements on the out breath.
Allow the breath to affect to body, feeling subtle movements deeper and deeper. Allow the breath to become easeful, calm and deep.
While we try to harmonise the movement and breath in a lot of what we do don’t force or manipulate the breath.
Over all, I hope you can see that the breath is blended into everything we do and an integral part of the practice, how it affects the mind and body and is in turn, regulated by them.
There are of course a plethora of breathing techniques and practices within these arts but the above points are the best place to start and develop.I hope you can start to bring it into your personal practice time and daily habits.