Opening and Closing the Ribs during Taoist Breathing Practice

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    I am practicing the beginner exercises in the Openeings and Closings Qigong series and I am trying to integreate the principles with practice of the Taoist breathing exercises that were included as a bonus. I just started the month 4 exercises and my experience of opening and closing the ribs during the breathing process is that it feels more natural/comfortable for me to close the ribs (decrease the space between them) on the inhale and open the ribs on the exhale. Rationally, this seems counterintuitive to me based on my understanding of the diphragm activity and the resultant lung expansion, but I find it easier to do. Do I have this backward? Am I doing this wrong?



    Hi Angelo

    I have asked a similar question for the Video Q&A Bruce is doing….

    I don’t know if there will be a direct answer, but on past experience I also know that if I don’t get too worried about it, experiment with the instruction as given… as best I can, (and in this case also with the breathing), then I come back to re-look at videos a few months later, I often feel differently based on wherever I have got to in later training….I think one has to keep circling back in the teaching to absorb different layers and maybe what at first run feels like a conflict in instruction can resolve itself as our capacity to do stuff increases. . It is the great benefit of having it on video, but also sometimes interesting to treat the videos more like a live teaching which you can’t fully absorb in the session…takes the pressure off getting it all exactly right in too much of a hurry …then come around back another time with less effort. They nearly always feel very different on later viewings.

    Personally I get a funny feeling when I am trying to work with ribs as I expand my breath up towards my back while the same time closing my ribs…It does seem counter intuitive, but something is I am going with it- maybe in a similar way that chi can go up and down simultaneously. Much is to do with awareness, focus and intent.

    Good luck…will be interested to see if he addresses it in Q&A

    Best, Nick

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