Qigong movement and breathing: How to Breathe slowly and deeply
If you can breathe slowly and deeply, chances are you’d live longer and be healthier.
It is not just what a qigong master or tai chi master says, but it is a claim that is substantiated by many scientific studies.
Scientific studies have found out a correlation between health and breathing, or respiration, rates. The slower you breathe, the more likely you are going to live longer.
Some studies would draw comparisons between animals.
Don’t breathe like a rat. A rat breathes 85 times a minute and lives 2.5 to 3.5 years.
If you look at the dog, it breathes 24 times a minute, and it lives, on average, 13 years.
For human beings, we breathe, depending on individuals, something in between 12 to 16 times a minute, and the average life span of a human being is 79 years.
So you can see the pattern: the slower that you breathe, the longer that you live.
And chances are you’ll also be healthy. Otherwise, you’ll not be able to live that long.
If we want a benchmark, then we should look at the tortoise. Do you know how many times a tortoise breathes in a minute?
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 at that kind of breathing rate, you’re going to optimize your capacity for breathing.
And how many times you breathe.
According to that advice, it’s six times.
If you can maintain your breathing at the sweet spot of six exhalations a minute, this is likely to bring about significant improvement in relaxation through some kind of a positive feedback loop between the lungs, the heart and the brain.
But, you know, as I said just now that our average breathing rate is 12 to 16 times.
So how can we cut the breathing rate by half? From 12 times to 6 times a minute!
This is not easy, but don’t dismay. There is a close relationship between qigong movement and breathing.
Breathe like a tortoise - qigong movement and breathing
Just do qigong exercises. You don’t immediately master the art of slow and deep breathing, but you are on the way there.
If you are already doing qigong, you are probably already doing that. In most of our movements in qigong, we do it very slowly, and have some ideas about qigong movement and breathing.
The exercise cultivates the habit of slow and deep breathing over time.
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 do breathing that slowly and that deeply throughout the day, but the 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 are suffering. 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 exercise every day, and tell me what you think.
If you like qigong exercises, join the Magic Qigong program now. It is free.
I hope to see you soon.