Tai chi has become a very popular form of exercise that combines natural movement with natural and correct breathing. While many people are already familiar with this Chinese exercise, they do not know that it is part of a bigger system, the Qigong. Yes, Tai chi is an evolution of this breathing routine. Qigong mainly focuses on breathing routines to help maintain the healthy balance within the body and to aid in significantly reducing stress and relieving aches and pains. Since Qigong exercises are primarily breathing routines, the only thing that you should be able to do correctly to achieve the desired results will be to breathe correctly and properly. Sounds easy, right? Well, you shall soon see.
- Natural breathing. The first thing that anyone should know when doing Qigong breathing routines is that breathing should come naturally. Technically, breathing is natural but some people try to force the situation of breathing naturally, which is wrong. Of course, you cannot help but be conscious about how you breathe during the routine but being conscious and forcing your body to breathe properly within the realm of correctness is not how it is done. What you want to do is focus on breathing naturally, not too deep and not too shallow. The timing should be within the natural capacity of your body. At a certain point, once your breathing becomes rhythmic, you will want to release your focus on the breathing and transfer to a meditative state where you are somewhat hypnotized and enlightened.
- The stomach and not the lungs. People normally associate breathing with the lungs. Of course, the lungs are the primary organs responsible for breathing air but in Qigong, a person’s breathing should originate from the stomach, particularly the diaphragm located at the navel. The natural force that the diaphragm gives you body strengthens the lungs thus, releasing the full potential for breathing in the process. If you want a more realistic view of the correct breathing method in Qigong, watch a singer and how he uses his diaphragm to belt the notes out loud effortlessly. One singer that you should check out is Pavarotti, a world renowned Opera singer. If you still don’t get it, then you can simulate how breathing from diaphragm works by simply lying on your back and placing something somewhat heavy on your tummy. Try to breathe with this weight on your stomach. You will notice that the muscles in your abdomen, particularly the diaphragm, are controlling how your lungs inhale and exhale. Well, that is what Qigong needs you to learn.
- Think clearly. Qigong exercises will require a person to not only breathe properly but to think clearly. A clear mind will enhance your breathing and will take away all the worries and weight you are carrying as you go about your daily routines. Qigong helps you get away from all that but it will need you to make the effort to relax and rest. Hence, the clearer your mind will be the better results you will achieve from the exercise.
There you have it, the basics of doing Qigong breathing exercises. Constant practice will help you master the correct breathing and mental states the exercise requires. Do not expect to master all that on your first few sessions.