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October 18, 2015 at 12:55 pm #129431
Good morning Paul –
I am enjoying the course and I just have a comment on the circling exercise. I noticed that you didn’t mention anything about the breath when performing the exercise. From my experience in China with the Taoist, when we performed circling exercises we inhaled half and exhaled the other half. Not a big deal Paul. I’m just used to doing it that way from habit. Now back to the course.October 25, 2015 at 11:42 am #135430
I don’t disagree with the breath cycle you’ve described. However, this is
an entry-level qi gong course and not where the breathing work begins in our
system. The first phase of breath work is training the body to breathe as I’ve
described in the breathing section of this programme. When you learn the
breathing methodology, you don’t make the body breathe in any particular
pattern with the physical motions as it’s possible to strain the breath. In the
beginning it’s hard enough to get the body to breathe correctly, i.e. into the
diaphragm and belly while keeping the chest still. So you want to follow the
instructions for whole-body breathing and allow the body to choose when to
breathe in and when to breathe out. If you force a breath cycle upon the body
to fit the physical form, you can strain the nerves or, worse, suppress
stagnant emotional blockages. The Water method is all about relaxing, releasing
and letting go. Therefore, you train the body first to let go of the bulit up
tensions and stagnancies, and then (and only then) synchronise the breath work
with the physical motion.
I understand that you’ve formed this habitual application of
your breathing, but the question is: Is it smooth and relaxed? The next time
you practice, you really want to feel your breath and how your breath affects your nerves and your body. If there is any sense of push, force or
strain, you need to back off and let your breathing do what it wants. If the
breathing is easy for you, continue. However, what a lot of people end up doing
is synchronising the breath with the movement, half in/half out for each circle,
and in so doing, lose the depth and quality of their breathing. If you focus on
the synchronisation of the breath, you can lose depth. If you focus on depth,
you can lose the synchronisation. Bringing the two together takes time and a
very soft intent.
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