Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Correct Breathing For Qigong Exercises

Qigong is a Chinese system of breathing exercises that is thousands of years old. Although many individuals might try and convince you that Qigong is some type of Eastern "magic," understand that it is mainly just meditative methods used to reduce stress. There are many different styles of Qigong, many having been developed alongside Eastern religions such as Daoism or Buddhism. However, do not think that you must practice these religions to benefit from Qigong--you need not. You only need to know the proper way to breathe.

Remain Natural

The first and most important tip for effective Qigong practice is to remain natural at all times. Qigong functions by placing the body into a relaxed state. Constantly worrying whether you are performing the exercises correctly subverts the entire process. Thus, strive to keep your breathing both natural and carefree during your Qigong practice. While you will be consciously minding your breath during a number of exercises, do not attempt to "wrestle" your breath into compliance. If you stay aware of your breath with a gentle, natural intent, and gradually allow your body to relax, your breath will naturally become deeper and smoother as your practice continues.

Breathe From the Stomach

Stomach, or diaphragm, breathing is crucial to your Qigong development. Most people breathe shallowly in daily life, thinking that the breath should expand the chest and ribcage. Qigong breathing is more akin to the breathing techniques of musicians, who actively breathe into their "belly," relaxing the diaphragm and unlocking the full capacity of the lungs. To illustrate this, lie on your back and place a book on your stomach. With each breath, your stomach (and the book) should gently rise and descend. Mastering abdominal breathing is the first key to further relaxing your body, thus benefiting from the exercises to a greater extent.

Clear Your Mind

Although not directly related to breathing, keeping your mind worry-free is a tangential step that is necessary to regulate the breath effectively. Most people go through life with their minds racing a mile a minute all day long, without a moment's rest or relaxation. Although many systems of our body are beyond our control (such as heart rate and digestion), those systems nonetheless function in tandem with our moods, thoughts and emotions. When the body is under stress, whether physical, environmental or internal, it responds by regulating our heart rate and other systems. For example, think about how you felt the last time you received horrible news or were nearly in an accident. Clearing the mind of these internal stresses will steady the breathing and promote an environment conducive to relaxation, which is an ideal environment for the practice of Qigong.

Tags: your breath, Although many, heart rate, Most people, Qigong practice, your body, your Qigong