I was told by Master Reeders to think of if or when you have ever dived into the water (a lake or a river, etc.) and gone down too far, so far that when you tried to come up within one breath, you ran out of air maybe ten feet from the surface from which you dived. At that time, you felt you would die because you could not breathe. You started to panic. You gave one last burst of frightened energy upward and somehow you made it. You rose above the surface to safety. That last effort was Kun Tao. That last effort took Chi. When you can understand this, you know what Kun Tao is. So the way you breathe reflects just how much natural chi power you are prepared to exert. This is that exercise. If you want to move naturally as fast as you can you should be exhaled before you move. If you want to move and not have the air knocked out of you, you should be exhaled before you move. If you want your voice to be strong, low, powerful, you should be exhaled before you talk. A person gives away how much they are frightened because their voice gets unnaturally higher when they start to talk. If you want your center of gravity to be lower and natural, to be rooted to the ground, you should be standing exhaled. If you want to be more sensitive to motion, intentions, danger, you should be exhaled also. You do not want to be struck when you are inhaling as you are much more vulnerable to pain and shock. You do not anyone to see when and how you breathe. Lastly, in the touch sensitivity exercise, you coordinate your breathing with eye dilation. This exercise was taught to me with the intention to always be exhaled, thus always ready. To start, stand naturally, feet shoulders width apart and parallel. First realize how you are naturally breathing. Now, when you inhale, usually through your nose, or through a combination of nose and mouth, your shoulders slightly raise and your upper chest pushes up and outwards. When you exhale, the opposite of the before said occurs. Do this several times so you can compare and be able to criticize yourself initially, and set a standard to gauge your breathing performance by throughout the day, everyday. You inhale, and in contrast to your normal breathing, you push your stomach out instead of pushing it in. Now interlock your hands on top of your stomach. Feel the outward pressure when you inhale, and see and feel your stomach go inward. Push out with your inhale, come in with an exhale, over and over and over. You want to strive to do this part all day long, all night long. You cannot keep your hands on your stomach all of the time, so you must keep your mind, your awareness there, all day long, everyday, from now on. Your shoulders should not rise at all, anytime. Watch your shoulders closely as much as you can. You should see no discernible movement when you breathe. Now, this part is diaphragmatic breathing, not diaphragmatic-residual breathing. To experience the difference in the two types of breathing you know, here is a test to take. This will take either one or two more people besides you. This is the first way.
1. Stand between two strong friends.
2. Have each friend take hold of your elbows with their hands. They should grasp your elbows at the bottom after you have raised your hands. You should raise your forearms so that your hands are in line with your face, your elbows should be hugging your ribcage. Your friends should cup your elbows firmly, but not try to intimidate you. Your hands make fists.
3. Your friends are to try and lift you into the air straight upwards off the ground when you lift your hands.
4. First, breathe as you normally did before this exercise, and when you inhale, open your hands simultaneously. Think upward (i.e. like you are going to jump). You should be easily lifted off the ground.
5. Start again with the same positions as in parts 1,2, and 3. This time think down and heavy. Note to yourself that your friends cannot lift you. Inhale, push your stomach out and down. Resist your friends lifting with your mind. Open your hands. If you did breathe and think correctly, your friends will not be able to lift you completely off the ground.
Another way to test your ability to root yourself is to have a strong friend stand directly behind you, facing your back, standing about two inches away from you. He should place one hand on one of your elbows, which are bent and placed the same way as the previously explained exercise, and the other hand under the other elbow. You do the same as you did in the previous exercise. A variation is for you to sit in a chair and place two friends on each side of the chair, trying to lift the chair with you in it. There are more ways to do this. You can e-mail us and we will send you more information.
This concludes the diaphragmatic portion of diaphragmatic-residual breathing. Now for the residual part.
1. Stand in position three, feet parallel.
2. You inhale and push your stomach out diaphragmatically as you raise your arms above your head.
3. You drop your hands and bend over at the waist, exhaling all of the air in you and bending your knees until you can touch the floor. As you are bending downward and exhaling, do it forcefully with a whoosh-like sound, forcing all of the air out of you. After all of the air is out of you and before you inhale again, you make as loud a yell as you can while striking the floor simultaneously with the yell. You show the amount of residual air with which you are able to breathe by increasing the intensity and length of the yell. If you have not done this exercise before, you will probably get lightheaded and see flecks of light or stars, but with focused, consistent repetition you will able to sustain and increase the length of time you are able to breathe diaphragmatic-residually until it is the only way you know how to breathe naturally.
Copyright © 1998 by Guy L. Savelli. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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