View Full Version : Breathing

12-26-2004, 09:30 PM
I was also taught to breath, like some in here quoted, to breath through the nose with the tongue touching lightly behind the front teeth. However, I am aware that many instructors now aren't very concerned about breath control, especially as a new student--they have enough to worry about just learning the movements and the sequence. When I'm teaching new students and they ask me about breathing, my simple reply is "yes you should" In all seriousness though, I don't want them to be overly concerned with the "proper breathing" Concentrate on learning the movements and alignments well for positive health benefits.

The other point I'd like to share here is when I learned the correct breathing for the 108-movement Yang long form, I also learned the "combative breathing", which is a bit different than breathing for the health benefits only. Again, I feel we have to watch putting too much emphasis on the breath and concentrate more on the basics. However, that's just my opinion.


Dr. Paul Lam
12-26-2004, 11:24 PM
i have written an article re tai chi breathing in one of my newsletter

12-27-2004, 05:57 AM
When I first started Tai Chi I was told don't worry too much about your breath, just allow it to flow. As my training progressed I was taught better breathing techniques, and my breathing has improved.

Breath control depends on the training you are doing and the job you do, for example an opera singer and a ballett dancer have different techniques for controlling their breathing, but breath control is equally important to both!

On a very basic level, we all know what would happen if we decided we would stop breathing. If some one is panicing or getting anxious, how often are they told to take a deep breath? If our breathing is calm and relaxed, as a rule everything else that follows is calm and relaxed too.

Before I start my Tai Chi practice, I like to stand and just breath gently for a few moments. This then helps my practice. We all have an opinion on good breathing technique, and the advice is a good pointer. Thank you all for your words of wisdom and good advice!

12-27-2004, 11:10 AM
bobo,what you've illustrated is precisely what separates the men from the boys in the taichi teaching arena;the challenge for the teacher relies on his/her ability to get the whole volume of information accross to the student so that they can 1) understand it and 2) apply it correctly.
improper breathing habits will impede the learning process and diminish the health returns and it's better to instill proper habits sooner rather than later.
i feel differently than you do,breath IS the basics

12-27-2004, 05:51 PM
Breathing correctly is most important, I notice myself that my form and movements simply become more accurate when I breathe properly. I am able to perform movements I wouldn't think i could do.

However, for educational reasons, students have to learn and remember a lot, balance, shift weight, back straight, relax and last but not least the sequence. Being obsessed with breathing in at a certain move, breathing out EXACTLY at another move will cause tension, an absolute Tai Chi killer

For this reason I encourage students to flow first, relax, enjoy and breathe naturally. The correct movements result in correct breathing. Later breathing can be executed more precisely. I also teach to find the opening and closing of every movement and coordinate it with breathing but try not to push too hard in the beginning.

Last but not least: the tongue attached to the palate keeps a person from mouth breathing. Apart from this, it closes the circuit of the meridians and not only that the qi flows better but it doesn't escape. Otherwise all the practise will be wasted. NOse breathing is healthier because the tiny hairs filters dirty hair to begin with. One qi gong exercise is to rotate shoulders, similar to physical therapy and other exercise warmups

12-27-2004, 05:53 PM
A separate lesson should be spent on breathing. TCA with open/close hands is easy and most effective