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Breathing or technique?

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  • Breathing or technique?

    I would like to start by thanking Joan for keeping me on her mailing list and letting me know about this forum.
    I have been learning a Tai Chi/Chi Kung form for the last year or so and I find that I get a great deal of benefit from it.

    I have been reading some of the postings about Chi Kung experiences and I am delighted to say that I have experienced alot of the effects that you are all talking about.
    I was having a discussion the other day with a friend who has alot of Tai Chi and some Chi Kung experience. The main point of the discussion was that when doing a Chi Kung exercise, is the breathing meant to be in time with each movement, e.g. breathe in on the upward motion and out on the downward motion?
    My friend had been told that it is ok to take more than one breath as long as the movement was done very slowly, but I would tend to disagree with this. Can anyone put me right.

    This is a great idea by the way, and I will be a regular reader.

    Many thanks,


  • #2

    Hi Richard and welcome

    Your question is not going to be easy to answer. It will likely end up as a yes, no, yes and no or neither yes nor no. There is no hard and fast rule you can apply to ALL Chi Kung excercises and/or ALL systems. The best is to ask your instructor/master what you should do for a particular excercise or part of the form. Follow his/her instructions and don't worry about what another system may do.

    Practice well,


    • #3
      chi kung tai chi breathing

      generally you should aim to inhale on the defensive/upwards etc. movements and exhale on the offensive/downards ones, but its more important to keep the breath relaxed. thus if you find your breath as getting a little out of sync theres nothing wrong with breathing twice etc. - much better than struggling with your breath.

      deliberately practising a movement intended for one breath with two breaths is obviously taking liberties - and you shouldn't be surprised if it goes wrong. also I *think* (altho dont have firsthand experience) that with doing slow moves the idea is you gradually learn to go slower and slower but still using the same breaths. you dont just straight jump in an do an hour long tai-chi set. you gradually do it slower and slower and maybe in a year you can do it an hour with the same breaths.