View Full Version : Breathing

01-13-2001, 05:29 PM
Would increasing your inhale/exhale just a little bit longer than what is natural help or hurt qigong practice?

01-13-2001, 06:47 PM
If you are relaxing and sinking into a state of "no thought" YOU do not have to do anything but breathe.

If you practice properly and relax into it, your inhale/exhale will get deeper and longer in duration on its own.

Resting respirations on "normal" people are 12 to 16 breaths a minute. When you practice Qi Gong, this will get to under 10. The inhale will get longer as will the exhale. They should both be about the same duration (for example inhale 5 seconds, exhale 5 seconds - 6 breaths a minute....) If they vary significantly, you are not relaxing and you are probably forcing things a lot.

You have to proceed at your own level and speed...and DON'T PURSUE things like how long you breathe, sensations in different parts of your body, anything...other than relax, sink, calm, no thought....

All of that other stuff is an example of the result of practice but not the practice or real benefit.

02-28-2001, 01:41 AM
I definitely respect and am not contradicting what GLW said... here is my input...

Everyone is different and my experience is that if your mind is still enough, your breath will eventually feel as if it has stopped and your body like a corpse, returning to the realisation that we are all beings of impermanence. When you dont think or do much, you dont breath much either.

There are two different schools of thought when it comes to breathing being controlled and not being controlled. They both have good fruits to offer, and they both help the vitality of the mind and body.

Perhaps as someone else said in another thread, you should stick to one technique and practice it diligently :)

Breathe till there is no breath...

02-28-2001, 08:45 PM
prana - yes, there seems to be 2 schools of thought on this, and I wonder if one is just higher level than the other or if they're perhaps just yin/yang aspects of the same thing.

One is to focus on breathing, the other is to relax and let your breathing come naturally. Similarly, in meditation, I've heard you can either focus intently, or allow your mind to empty completely into nothingness.

So, perhaps do you progress from a beginner stage of focusing to the ultimate stage of wu-wei? Like when Bruce Lee said a kick was a kick, then was more than a kick, then was just a kick again? Or are they just 2 equal means to achieve the same end

02-28-2001, 10:26 PM
Focus on your breathing, yes, but don't control it. Forcing your breath is one of the main mistakes people make in qigong, and can be very damaging. Just relax and your breathing will slow all by itself like GLW said. I don't know about 16 breaths a minute - I'm down to 4 without any conscious control at all.

03-01-2001, 02:05 AM
When we went to Lamaze class before my 2 1/2 Y/O son was born. The teacher had us time our breath, my wife and me the coach. The teacher was surprised at my 5 breaths per minute. :cool:

03-01-2001, 02:15 AM
The 12 to 16 per minute for respiration comes from the days when I had to take vital signs in the psych hospital I worked at.

For resting, respirations of 12 to 16 per minute is normal and heartrate of 68 to 78 or so...been a few years so I forget the exact number on heartrate....

But if you drop resting heartrate to 60's or lower you tend to live longer (long distance runners have them in the 50's).

The interesting thing about Qi Gong is that the heartrate slows due to relaxation. The respiration rate slows...but the oxygen level in the blood should increase due to the extended amount of air taken in in each breath.

After you have practiced Taijiquan and Qi Gong for a while, you begin to realize just how inefficient most of us breath on a daily basis.

03-01-2001, 08:07 AM
Actually, it's funny... I just had a chest x-ray taken, and the radiologist commented about how deep my lungs went on full inhale.

03-01-2001, 03:53 PM
I don't focus my attention on my breathing anymore when I meditate.

I observe the not-so-silent passage of images and sounds before me. I don't fight it - I just watch it.

That's what reminds me how full of vitality life is.