Qigong breathing means breathing fully from your abdomen or from the bottom of your lungs. It is exactly the reverse of the way you breathe when you’re anxious or tense, which is typically shallow and high in your chest. This is the way we breathe when we were a baby. All mammals breathe this way whenever they are in a state of relaxation, i.e., when there’s no clear and present danger in their environment.
Qigong breathing helps center your awareness in your body, rather than in your head, so that you feel more physically and energetically grounded. It helps you to relax your neck, shoulders and arms. It improves the circulation of blood and the flow of Qi in your internal organs.
Belly breathing provides a wonderful massage for your internal organs and increases the blood circulation throughout your internal organs. It expands our oxygen intake to a maximum, and releases accumulated toxins rapidly.
Steps of Qigoing Breathing
Qigong breathing can be done sitting down, laying on a floor, or walking. To practice abdominal breathing, follow these steps:
- Take several slow and deep breaths through your nose, focusing your mind only on your breaths.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose from your abdomen in a circular motion, as if you’re drawing a circle with your breath. You will see your stomach rises (inhale for 5 counts, and gradually increase to 10 to 20 counts).
- When you inhale fully, pause for a moment and squeeze your sphincter muscle (around your anus) slightly.
- Exhale slowly through your nose for 5 counts which can increase at a later point. (Some prefer to exhale through the mouth and/or a longer exhalation, but they are not critical). Imagine your belly flattens all the way back to your spine, when you exhale.
- Repeat the above process as long as your feel comfortable, up to 30 minutes to an hour.
- Resume your Qigong breathing when you are about to sleep.
This will induce a peaceful and restful sleep.