Qi Gong Breathing

Method & Learning Control

1. Breathe Out so you feel there is the requirement to take a deep breath.

2. Breathe Through Your Nose throughout the exercise.

3. Breathe Deeply down to your abdomen (Dan Tien).

4. Count While You Breathe one count longer out than in.

5. Slow Your Breathing Down, add a number or two to the count.

This breathing method can also be practised to help deal with anxiety and panic attacks. These ‘breathing control’ techniques may not be suitable if you have a chronic lung condition.


1. Breathing out first is to set the field to gain control. 2. Helps deal with hyperventilating. 3. Helps stretch the diaphragm and relax the stomach muscles when it becomes hard to breathe. 4. Counting helps combat against panicky breathing and slows down the breathing process. 5. Breathing out one beat longer helps empty the lungs to take in more air.

On Tai Chi Breathing

Yang Jun

Should be natural, not forced. Don't hold your breath! Breathe through your nose. The mouth is closed but not sealed tightly and the tongue gently touches the roof of the mouth. In traditional Yang style the emphasis is on naturalness and spontaneity. Some movements are not straightfoward. For example the Needle at Sea bottom. It is hard to draw a breath because the position compresses the abdomen. However, as you practise a natural rhythm will result without any conscious effort.

Summary based on reponse Q&A Yang Family Discussions Board.

Additional Info:

The first point to remember is you are going to breathe so don't get wound up about it. Apart from the above advice, you are far better reading up (I've included two sources at the bottom of the page) than relying on people's views. It gets really confusing when you talk to people on the spot. Some students like to feel they are doing something different / special while they do the various routines and practise various breathing techniques. You don't have to do everything the same way every time. For example, instead of practising the precise movements of the form your concentration is placed into trying out a breathing pattern.

Applications: If you are doing Form to applications then the 'Out' breath would be on the strike or blocking/redirection of energy from your partner.. For example Raise Hands & Step Up to White Crane Spreads it's Wings contains the addtional obvious Press or Shoulder Stroke. In preforming that movement the 'Out' breah would be breath In, breath out - Press - breath in, breath out - White Crane. So in applications the breathing is completely dependant on which of the 13 Posture applications you are imagining and dictated by the begining and end of the move. Which is completely up to you so cannot be a set pattern.

Natural Breath. To time it with the form, in general, you breathe 'Out' on extending your movements and 'In' on closing. For example, when pushing out you tend to be on the 'Out' breath, when drawing yourself in you tend to be on the 'In' breath.You will find you are already doing this. Try lifting a full kettle and thinking about your breathing. You'll find you take a breath and lift because you are lifting up, not pushing out. Now try lifting the heavy kettle while breathing out. It will feel more uncomfortable. This type of breathing is often referred to as After Heaven Breathing. The type of breath you take after birth and are already doing.

Before Heaven Breathing. Same as above 'timing wise' during the form. Pre-birth breathing imitates the supposed general breathing of a baby in the womb. Through the umbilical cord the baby recieves oxygen and food and eliminates through the same path. This ends when the cord is cut. It's generally described as a person who contracts the abdomen upon inhalation and expands during expiration. Often known as 'Reverse Breathing'. As you breathe in your stomach looks like it goes in and as you breathe out it, looks like it going out.

During static Chi Gung exercises I prefer to imagine breath travelling up my back on the 'In' and 'Down' the front on the 'Out' in a circular motion. There are other methods, but after a while, you tend to stick to one and generally give it no thought. It should not be made into a big deal. As my wife points out, if I could learn to breath through my ears I might be onto something.

Small Circulation Breathing. Imagination. Inhale

and exhale through the nose. Breath travels up the back

and down the front to Dantien (Imagined centre point

of your body if a you were dangling from a string running

down through your head / torso.)

Cleansing Breath

Kind of deep breath you take in open spaces, by the sea. In through the nose out through the mouth. Emphasizes exhalation, which is longer than inhaling.

Tonic Breath

Other way around. Inhaling through the mouth and out through the nose. Kind of breath one takes before diving.

Long Breath / Abdominal post-birth breath

When inhaling the lower abdomen expands because of the air coming in and contracts as the air comes out. You would appear not to be expanding your chest, you are pushing / pulling the breath down further to the Dantien (in your imagination).

Alternate Breath

Inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other. Said to help relieve headaches / Stress. If the pain is on the right side of the head, inhale through the right nostril, if it's on the left, inhale through the left. If it's on both sides of your head, go home and lie down.

Tortoise Breath

Being able to comfortably slow your breath down to 3 - 4 breaths per minute.

"Heng Ha" The noise Yang LuChan was said to have heard while watching the Chen family train in secret.

It would seem this requires breathing / exhaling in part through the mouth as you can't make any sound if you don't. First Practice breathing naturally in the Pre-Birth method. When "Heng" is sounded, pull in the breath, when "Ha" is sounded push it out.

In Through The Nose / Out Through The Mouth With Spirit. Very popular martial arts breathing style. "Ha" or "Kiai!" is widely used in martial arts for good reason. I've seen it yelled as "Key Eye!" which I feel is nonsense. The sound is a raw explosion of energy and breath. It's from the soul. It serves to raise the sprits, increase power and time the breath to the strike. It also means you hopefully don't get hit while breathing in (which winds you). In Ju-Jitsu / Judo If you breath out on a fall you often avoid injury, if you breath in while falling that tends to hurt more. This is perhaps why people scream as they hurtle off the top of a building, but that won't work.

There are more ways contained in the following books. What weight you lend to it is a personal experience.

Sources: (in general)

Books to read:

The Dao Of Taijiquan. Jou, Tsung Hwa. ISBN 0-8048-1357-4 Page 138 + (Deep and complex, a genuine study.)

Tai Chi Theory & Martial Power. Yang, Jwing-Ming. ISBN10: 1-886969-43-4 Page 58 + (Highly respected author. Complex and intended as one of many studies for advanced practice.)

Art: A candle on long exposure. Neil Bradley.