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April 8, 2012

Dan Tian Breathing

When practicing qigong and meditation, use Dan Tian breathing.  It is similar to abdominal breathing which uses the diaphragm  to extend and contract the abdomen.  Babies use abdominal breathing; that is why you see their bellies moving up and down as they breathe.   As we get older many people breathe from their chest.

Dan Tian breathing is a deeper form of breathing.  It expands the lower abdomen plus the entire Dan Tian region which circles around the body below the navel, and includes the area inside.  If you find it difficult to practice qigong at a slow pace, chances are you are using chest breathing.  To see which type of breathing you use, place one hand on your chest and one on your lower Dan Tian (3 fingers below the navel).  Breathe deeply and see which hand moves.


How to practice Dan Tian breathing:

Lie on your back and place your hands (palms facing the ground) against your back at the lower Dan Tian.  Place your intention on this spot and breathe or think about expanding the area as you inhale.  Inhale through your nose and you should feel pressure on your hands.  Exhale either through your nose or mouth.

You will find this very relaxing, so it is easy to practice in bed before sleep or when you wake up.

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