The Art of Breathing

Tadao Ogura, M.D.


IX. The Final Level: Adding Physical Movements to Breathing

The final level in Controlled Breathing is to be able to add physical movements to the breathing and imagery. There are many different types of movements to choose from, such as Tai-Chi and Qi-gong. When I teach, I use Nishino's Biospark method and the Sohtai method in my own classes, but any slow, rhythmic, continuously flowing movements such as "Tai Chi" will do.

These movement forms are designed to loosen up your joints, tendons and muscles, which will help increase the "flow of Ki" in your body. This, in turn, will further enhance the healing process of the body and the mind. You will note that all these forms, when properly taught, include breathing techniques. It is not enough just to follow the physical movements — everything begins with the breathing.

Since there are so many different movement forms to choose from, I will not try to illustrate any here. I recommend that you try a few different ones, to see which you like best. Just concentrate on maintaining the Circular Breathing technique, with the proper abdominal and chest movements, and the "flow of Ki" imagery, while you perform the movements.

Again, you will have to be very comfortable with Circular Breathing before you will be able to add any physical movements. Just give yourself time, and practice consistently. You are not trying to win a race, and "getting there faster" will not be of any use if you are not performing the exercises with the proper technique. Better to progress slowly, one level at a time. If it takes you years, that's fine. You will still see amazing benefits just by practicing the exercises in the "lower" levels.

Consistency is the key. Nothing happens overnight, and a little practice each day will bring amazing results. At least two, ten-minute session a day is all it takes.


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