Here you will find the symbols of Inhale and Exhale. There is an ancient practice called Qi Gong, or Chi Kung, which relies on the breath as an integral piece of the practice. Qi Gong is described as: “the philosophy and practice of aligning breath, physical activity and awareness for mental, spiritual and corporeal health, as well as the development of human potential. It includes certain forms of martial arts and the spiritual awakening to one’s true nature.”
Like Dan Brule of BreathMastery (who’s website offers 5 core breath practices) you might see in these symbols the following:
“I see in the symbol for the exhale a bold vertical stroke that reminds me of the spine. It has what appears to be a serpent rising and coiling upward around the spine. (depicting what in Yogic literature is called the “Kundalini Serpent”). That same vertical stoke appears on the inhale too. But on the inhale, I see a downward diagonal stroke shooting thru what looks like a rounded belly. This reminds me to send the breath deep into the abdomen. Directing the breath energy into the “dan tien” is a basic practice in Chi Kung.”
It is within this movement of inhale and exhale that we live and thrive. In the rising like a serpent up the spine, and the softening of the rounded belly, we move the life energy/chi that is necessary for our vital health and aliveness.
In our often sedentary lifestyles in the Western culture that natural breath is squelched and contracted into a shallow chest effort that often never, ever gets down to our bellies, let alone front, back and sides. Stagnation and dis-ease converge on our already stimulus overloaded bodies and we lose our zest for life – or perhaps life itself.
This on the other hand is what we aim for: “For the most part, when the breathing mechanism is uninhibited, it will reflect and express your moment to moment natural state. A healthy breathing mechanism will automatically adjust itself to your energy. It will respond naturally to chemical or metabolic changes, to the intensity of your emotional experience or physical activity. And, it should respond easily effortlessly to your conscious will.” Dan Brule
Continually seeking practices that enhance the practice of breathing consciously, shake us lose from our inhibited and habitual breath patterns, and that increase life energy there appeared on my Facebook page today a very fun video with Dr. George Love (http://www.freewebs.com/4doorstohealth/) of Baton Roca, Florida. Dr. Love is an acupuncturist, Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and a Master of Blue Dragon Qigong. I don’t think that he will be able to make his living doing rap….but what he does have to offer here is a way to move that chi around and BREATHE! Have fun!!
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