This Article is About
inhalation and exhalation
chinese martial art
solar plexus
qi gong
natural phenomenon
breathing exercises
tip of the tongue
breathing technique
flight response
mental focus
positive energy
Two Unique Ways To Breathe While Meditating
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Two Unique Ways to Breathe While Meditating

Breathing is such a natural phenomenon that you may think that you have it down. But you shouldn't think it's that easy to master, young grasshopper. Qi going masters spend a lifetime training and mastering the art of breathing. Why is it so important about the way we breathe and or the concept in general? Our ancestors believed that we could affect our autonomic system, or fight or flight response, by our breathing habits. They were thinking well ahead of their time! Studies have shown that the practice of breathing exercises have been associated with improved mood, lowered blood pressure, and increased mental focus.

The Basics

Both methods of breathing utilize inhalation and exhalation through the nose only, mouth closed, and the tip of the tongue slightly curled and touching the roof of your mouth, close to the back of your teeth. This method is used in Chinese Martial Art systems and has multiple benefits to the body. The teeth are touching but along with the jaw are relaxed.

Using The Heart

This first breathing technique was taught to me through a professor who was big on the research conducted by the Hearthmath institute. It uses the power of mood and thought to induce a state of calmness, relaxation, and happiness. This is achieved through sending positive energy into the heart and solar plexus. During inhalation, feel a positive feeling or memory and send it downwards to pass through the heart and solar plexus. During exhalation just relax and let everything go. The key to effectively performing this meditation method is to feel, not just think. Use visualization to combine your inhalation with the positive energy you're internally generating and send it to your heart and stomach, places of great joy.

Circulating Your Qi

This next technique was taught to me by one of my first tai chi and qi gong teachers. Even though I learned this breathing technique to be used in tai chi and qi gong forms, I use it as my primary method for meditative breathing and really, breathing in general. It's actually a very simple maneuver that follows the principles of yin and yang. Inhale slowly down into the solar plexus about an inch below your belly (an area in Traditional Chinese Medicine called the Dan Tian), and as you exhale imagine you moving that feeling up the spine and out the body. If you visualize it a bit it, looks just like a circle, one side inhaling sending your breathe and down, the other side up though the back. The use of guided imagery helps with creating the feeling of learning how to control your chi. Through practice you will learn how to use this sensation to send qi (pronounced “chee”) to any areas that need healing.

Breathe With Someone Local

This is just an article intended to educate and not instruct, so I recommend you practice with someone who has experience in slow breathing exercises such as yogis, tai chi chuan practitioners, or a healthcare provider experienced in teaching breathing techniques. breathe gives us life, and with each breathe we take it's a reminder that each breathe equals one more chance at anything we want to accomplish. So breathe!

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