Circling Exercise

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  • #129431
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    Anonymous
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    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.

    #135430
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    Anonymous
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    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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