Monday, April 26, 2010

Dan-Tien Breathing

[Path to Mastery 4/26/10 – Wk33 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:
Dan-Tien breathing is nothing more than breathing with your lower abdomen.

The good part of the equation is diaphragmatic breathing.  But it is not all.  It is a good place to start though so let’s start there.  Relax your rib cage, and imagine that your lungs move (diaphragm) moves down as you inhale instead of your chest expanding outward. You will notice that your breath sinks down and low.  You will also notice that the lower abdomen expands as you do this breathing. 

The lungs don’t have much space to expand outward because of your rib cage.  However, the lungs are well designed to move downward.  When you inhale downwards, you will notice that you can take a much deeper breath.  Not only that, as your lung moves downward, it creates movement in your intestines.  This is part of the reason why your lower abdomen expands since your diaphragm squishes your organs.  This effectively creates a massage for them which promote internal organ health. 

Now here is where the Dan-Tien breathing becomes a little more mysterious.  On a simple level we can say that Dan-Tien breathing is diaphragmatic breathing.  However, there are some differences.  When you do Dan-Tien breathing properly, your lower abdomen area really heats up.  You feel like a hot air balloon and your whole body is energized.  It also feels as if you have a little pump about 3 finger widths below your navel that moves in and out.  You pelvic floor feels lifted and supported.  The heat that is created is not generalized either.  It is a point.  Another way effective way to feel Dan-Tien breathing properly is by breathing in from your Ming-Men towards the Dan-Tien.  Imagine the air is coming in through your lower back towards your Dan-Tien. 

Before you start do a intestine warm up exercise, where as you exhale, you draw your lower abdomen in, and push it out as you inhale.  Do that about 30 times before you attempt this breathing.  When you do this exercise, draw in or pushing out as much as you can without causing tension in your body.  This will help you to feel loose before you practice this.  Don’t force anything.  Stay relaxed and it will come. 


History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:
Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Chi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Chi-Gong); 2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Meditation; 4. 7 Basics; 5. Basic Form; 6. 30 Form; 7. 108 Form
8. 4 Type Pushing Hands

Interactive training after we went public with the blog. 
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11); 2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19); 4. Weapons (Covered on 2/23)
5. Healing System (Covered on 2/24)

Non-Structured System:
1.Introduction (Covered 2/25); 2. Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26); 3.Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1); 4.Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2); 5.Free hand weapon (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/3)

Detailed Instructions:
1.Principles (Covered 3/4)
2.Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3.Principles of Upper Body #1~5 (Covered 3/8 – 3/15)
4.Principles Governing Lower Body #1~5 (Covered 3/16 – 3/22)
5. Principle Governing the Whole Body: (Covered 3/23)
6. Principles Governing Movement #1~5 (Covered 3/24 – 3/31)
7. Principles Governing Relaxation – General Concept (Covered 4/1 – 4/14)
8. Principles Governing Breathing
    1. Awareness of Breath (Covered 4/19)
    2. Breathe Naturally (Covered 4/20)
    3. No Sound Breath (Covered 4/21)
    4. Crow Bridge (Covered 4/22)
    5. Dan-Tien Breathing (Covered 4/26)
    6. Directed Breathing
    7. Small Heavenly Circle
    8. Great Heavenly Circle
    9. Reverse Breathing
    10. Whole Body Breathing

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