A Simple Breathing Exercise

One of the keys to successful martial practice is that of correct breathing. Here is a simple exercise to relax the body and mind:

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet uncrossed and your palms lightly on your knees. Close your eyes gently.
  2. Slowly breathe in with your mouth closed. Imagine the air coming up from the ground, into your feet and up into your torso area.
  3. Hold the breath for about four seconds.
  4. Slowly exhale the breath out while imagining that it is leaving out the top of your head.
  5. Repeat at least five times.

This is a form of reverse breathing and will help you concentrate on focusing your breathing and developing your energy. It will also help cleanse your energy levels. The exercise can also be done while standing up, feet slightly apart and hands either relaxed or in the "hugging a tree" position.

Rick Zanotti runs a multimedia software development firm and teaches Northern Shaolin as well as Tai Chi.