BREATH

While we advocate that a healthy diet and regular exercise is needed to maintain a healthy and strong body, we also need to advocate practicing breathing techniques as well. Arguably air, which is free, and we can access pretty much everywhere, is more important than diet and exercise. Proper breathing part of our body’s cyclic patterns.

The main breathing practices at Attilius:

NATURAL BREATHING (aka Belly Breathing, Buddha Breath)

The type of breathing that we use throughout the day is this, natural breathing. When we breathe naturally, on the inhale our diaphragm contracts and pulls downward, the belly pushes out, and the lungs expand. When we exhale, (which is a passive act) our diaphragm relaxes back up into a dome shape, pushing air out of the body, and the belly will contract inward. Our breathing should be slow, deep, and fine.

REVERSE BREATHING

Reverse breathing is the opposite of natural breathing. With this technique we inhale deeply contracting our abdomen, while filling up the upper half of our lungs. On the exhale we push out our abdomen and allow our breath to drop within the body. With the decreased pressure in our lungs during this, the diaphragm moves down. Our breath moves vertically up and down in our body, like a piston or pump. Whether you realize it or not, we have all used this type of breathing when we instinctively breathe while pushing or moving something heavy.

EMBRYONIC BREATHING

Stopping the breath is sometimes what embryonic breath is called. Yet, its important to keep in mind that we do not hold our breath. While practicing embryonic breathing, our breath should feel like an effortless internal movement. One where you are not even aware that you are breathing. Basically, imagine that you are like a child in the womb while practicing this. During practice, you may find that your spirit and breath become more aligned, allowing you to be present in the moment as you focus on and become only aware of your breath.

FOUR GATE BREATHING

Four Gate Breathing has been used for centuries in Qigong, both medical and martial disciplines. In a martial art capacity, it has been primarily used to energize the hands and feet for martial power. It can also be used as a sensory method in which the more you practice this technique, the more sensitive you can become listening to energy. During practice we use our natural breath to inhale into the lower dan tian, then exhaling out into the Four Gates which are in the centers of the palms and the bottom of the feet. These areas are considered bubbling wells as it is believed that Qi springs from them like water from a well. This can be practiced standing, sitting, or laying down.