Breathing is sort of a sibling to qi. That is how close they are - almost like twins, but not identical ones. The air that flows through our lungs at each breath has got many similarities to the qi energy flow, but is still essentially different. That goes for oxygen as well, the substance that breathing transports to the blood, and the blood distributes to all of the body - just like qi energy. Still, they are different.
Anyway, their similarities are enough for correct and concentrated breathing exercises to be the most effective way of getting your qi flow going. So, now it is time for exercises working on your breathing to make it even more similar to the qi flow. If we devote ourselves wholeheartedly to one of the twins, the other cannot stay away for long.
Good breathing is a blessing in life, surpassed by few things. It gives a sense of delight, and is so stimulating that it must be compared to inspiration. That is indicated by the very word inspire, inspirare in Latin, which originally means breathing - more precisely breathing in. That says a lot. Breathing can inspire, especially breathing in. Take a deep breath and feel your soul soar.
When you inhale you receive, and when you exhale you give. That is the rhythm of life. The one is impossible without the other. They are opposites that are forever linked, similar to the pair of yin and yang in classical Chinese cosmology.
At first, inhalation and exhalation need to be treated as two evident opposites, but by time they should sort of blend, so that the change between them becomes less and less perceivable. Breathing shall become a constant life-giving flow through the body, a concrete mirroring of the hidden ether that is qi.
When exploring breathing and its nature, we start by making a clear distinction between in and out.
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