Why deep breathing is important

Benefits of Qigong Breathing

If you can breathe slowly and deeply, chances are you’d live longer and be healthier.

There are many benefits of qigong breathing. You do the breathing naturally during exercise without thinking much about it. Still, it is – among other things – a gift that you don’t want to miss. It cultivates a long and deep breathing habit that can help you live longer.

Why deep breathing is important

The benefits of qigong breathing are not just what a qigong master stresses to their students, but also a finding substantiated by scientific studies.

Over the years, people have been curious about the correlation between health and breathing, including respiration rates. Empirically, people have found that the slower you breathe, the more likely you will live longer.

For that, we’re getting inspiration by drawing comparisons between animals.

It looks like we should not breathe like a rat. A rat breathes 85 times a minute and lives 2.5 to 3.5 years. In comparison, a dog that breathes 24 times a minute lives on average 13 years. As for human beings, depending on individuals, we breathe between 12 to 16 times a minute, and the average life span of a human being is 79 years.

We can see a pattern in the comparison: The slower the breath rate, the longer the lifespan.

It is also a trend observed by many qigong practitioners. And chances are you’ll also be healthy. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to live that long.

Qigong breathing – learn from the tortoise

If we want a benchmark, then we should look at the tortoise. Do you know how many times a tortoise breathes in a minute? 

Four times! And their lifespans average 50 to 100 years, with some of the species going beyond 200 years.

There’s a sweet spot, whether according to the traditional breathing masters like tai chi or qigong teachers or the scientific studies. There’s a sweet spot for you to breathe because it helps optimize your breathing capacity.

And how many times you breathe.

According to that advice, it’s six times.

But most people don’t breathe so slowly. The average breathing rate is 12 to 16 times. In other words, to be at the sweet spot, we have to cut our breathing rate by half, i.e., from 12 times to 6 times a minute! How can we do that?

Easy!

Just do qigong exercises. You don’t immediately master the art of slow and deep breathing, but you are on the way there.

Benefits of qigong breathing

If you are already doing qigong, you are probably already doing that. In most of our movements in qigong, we do it very slowly.

The exercise cultivates the habit of slow and deep breathing over time. 

Many qigong sequences begin the exercise by deep breathing. One of them is what I show in the videos. You draw energy from the earth when breathing in. Then you breathe along with the flow of energy, both internally and externally.

It helps my breathing to go slow and deep. My experience is that it takes me about 15 seconds for one breath, inhaling and exhaling.

So, wow, that’s four times a minute! That’s equivalent to an average respiratory rate of a tortoise. Of course, you may not be able to breathe that slowly and deeply throughout the day, but the qigong breathing habit would slow you down.

And it has many other benefits. For example, it will calm you down, so you’ll have less stress. Stress is one of the major culprits of many medical conditions that people suffer. Releasing it regularly with the slow breathing routine will significantly help improve your health.  

And then because you are calm, you are more able to make good decisions. It improves your quality of work and life. 

So why don’t you give it a try? 

Start doing deep and slow breathing by doing qigong exercises every day, and tell me what you think.

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