This article will walk you through a quick Qi Gong breathing exercise that can help you start your journey towards better health; as discussed prior, the benefits of abdominal breathing can be read about here.
This exercise can be done standing or seated, if you are prone to getting light headed or dizzy then please practice this exercise while sitting.
1) Go into a horse stance (feet one and a half to two shoulder widths apart) and bend your knees slightly just to the point where you can not see your toes. Place both hands on your dan tian (roughly an inch below your navel).
2) Begin by taking a few breaths at your own pace, ensure that only your abdomen is moving as air enters and leaves your body. Each breath should be slower than the last.
3) The aim of the exercise is to straighten and compress the body in alignment with the breathing. Visualise a balloon filling to full capacity and emptying. Breathing in causes the balloon to inflate.
4) As you visualise the balloon filling to 1/3, straighten the legs and continue to straighten (but remain in a horse stance) until you can no longer take in any more air; the balloon should be full in your mind. Breathe out and lower your body accordingly with the visualisation of the balloon emptying.
5) Repeat this exercise three to five times.
Note: for those practicing seated, use the same visualisation however straighten the back and relax it as necessary.
The intake of oxygen into the body at a slow rate should ground you while also relaxing you and helping to relieve tightness and stress in the shoulders. There is no limit to how often this can be done in a day and it should be made into a routine done at least once daily.
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