Breathe for Life

In this blog, I will present Breathe for Life - Levels 1 & 2.

Proper breathing is essential to achieve balance, harmony in life and to release your "Power Within" ... your "chi." Everyone has a natural breathing rhythm. We hardly ever enjoy our natural rhythm because of all the things in our life that we have to deal with: this and that - that and this - always something.

Tai Chi and More presents four levels of Breathe for Life. This blog presents Levels 1 & 2.

Level 1

The first step in breathing is to relax and let your body breathe - in and out - at its natural rhythm. Breathe in via nose - out via nose, softly, and stay relaxed. Do not force expansion (inhale) - do not abbreviate contraction (exhale). Just breathe naturally and stay relaxed.

When you breathe in – envision breathing in all that is good. When you breathe out – let go of all your tension, stress, and pain. With relaxation and easy, smooth breathing, you will come to enjoy this.

That's it for Breathe for Life, Level 1. Do this regularly every day until it becomes your new normal.

Level 2

Proper breathing is essential as you continue your journey. Level 1 is fundamental. But it is also vital. Take your time: no worries, and no hurry. Let Level 1 be your normal breathing pattern. When you are ready, you decide when to move to Level 2.

In Level 2, we envision our lungs and the diaphragm/abdomen as a ballast. Our lungs are the expanding and collapsing flexible vessels that fill up as the handles of the ballast spread open and empty as the handles close. Our diaphragm is a sort of membrane muscle that is between our lungs and the abdomen. Our abdomen is below the diaphragm. See the illustration below.

To breathe correctly, envision your diaphragm and abdomen as the handles of an air ballast. Since most of us do not know and cannot control our diaphragm, we use our abdomen as a surrogate.

Spread the handles open (abdomen out) pulls air in; close the handles together (abdomen in) pushes air out.

Abdomen out - air in. Abdomen in - air out.

This is a simple way to incorporate Level 2

Over time, Levels 1 & 2 will become your new normal and natural rhythm. And as you improve your Relaxation under Tension, you will begin to experience your centeredness and your internal connections that are natural but not generally in conscious presence. The feeling of centeredness is incredible.

No worries - Level 1 or Level 2. Just start, do every day, and let it come to you. No matter - no worries. Just let it come to you naturally—no worries - no hurry.

Level 3

In a separate blog and many Tai Chi and More Play, I will refer you to concentrating on Level 1 and Level 2 training. As you begin to follow the exercises in Relax under Tension, it is essential to maintain this natural breathing rhythm to help with your relaxation.

Relaxation is the secret sauce of all Tai Chi. Relax Under Tension will create a pathway to harmony, peace, and balance in all you do - in every walk of life, and no matter what you face.

Level 3 will come later - it is incredible and transformative.

Level 3 Breathe for Life is presented to Silver Members.

Level 4

Breathe for Life is presented to Gold Members.

Shifu Ward

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