Qi Energy Exercises
Qi Breathing Exercise 2
Lower Your Breath
Extending the breath, like in the previous exercise, also makes it deeper — but not to the extent that this below exercise is able.
A breath that is to stimulate the qi flow must take place deep in your body, what is usually called belly breathing or diaphragm breathing. Most people breathe exclusively with their chest, maybe as high up as the shoulders. This leads to short breaths and persistent tension around the shoulders. Such breathing also afflicts the mind with unrest and insecurity. That is as far from relaxation as one can get.
The Eastern ideal is instead to breathe with the belly, actually as low as the bottom of the abdomen. Of course it is still the lungs that get the air, but you should feel very clearly that the shoulders relax while your abdomen moves with the breaths you take, as if the air goes all the way down there. Opera singers do the same kind of breathing. It carries their voices better, and gives them power to really sing out.
If you have never tried belly breathing, it can be quite tricky to learn. Breathing is something the body does without the conscious mind being involved in it — around the clock, and year after year. Such habits are difficult to change. We continue with the same old habits, if we do not make the proper efforts to alter them. Your body has to learn a new way of doing what it has done in pretty much the same way all your life. Expect it to take time, maybe years, before you are belly breathing without having to think about it. No doubt, you have to practice it daily.
First you must find that deep breathing, in the lower abdomen. This is the most effective method I know, to accomplish that. Still, count on quite some time before you get it right.
How to do it
This exercise is intended to lower the breathing of a person who is not used to breathe with the belly. When you have learned this, it is no longer necessary to repeat the exercise. Later on, you may benefit from testing it now and then, although you know how to belly breathe, just to check that you really breathe as far down in your abdomen as you wish.
Do not underestimate the depth of proper belly breathing. If you succeed when you hold your hand in the middle between the navel and your crotch, continue by moving it further down, closer to your crotch, and try again. If you can breathe down at the very bottom of your abdomen, then you have opened your breathing completely.
It is advantageous, not to say necessary, to let this exercise be followed by the next one — especially if you are in the process of learning belly breathing, and trying to make it a habit.
Qi Breathing ExercisesHere is a set of simple breathing exercises designed to increase your qi energy flow. I recommend that you do them in the given order, when you try them out. Once you've become familiar with them, you can do them in any order you please. Trust your instincts.
My Books About Life Energy
Here are the two books I have written on the subject of life energy. This website contains some of the material from the first one.
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Other Books by Me
Tao Te ChingThe Taoism of Lao Tzu Explained
The great Chinese classic, translated to English and extensively commented. Click the image to see the book at Amazon (paid link).
I'm a Swedish author and aikido instructor. I've written several books about aikido, qi energy and other life force concepts. I'm also an historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Click the image to get to my personal website.