09 March 2009

The Shintaido non-method of breathing (1)

Occasionally students ask how they should breathe when doing a certain Shintaido movement or technique. Of course, breathing is very important, and many martial arts, Qigong (氣功), yoga etc. have quite sophisticated and developed breathing methods.

Generally in Shintaido we don't use many methods of consciously controlling the breathing (with the exception of just a few breathing exercises (kokyu-ho 呼吸法). The two most common elements of Shintaido practice that influence the breathing are using the voice, and the many movements using the center of the body, especially the jumping exercises (shin-shin kaihatsu taiso 心身開発体操) . These movements can have profound effects on your way breathing. The key is to practice these movements vigorously enough and often enough that the effects work their way into your body, and then they can re-shape your movements patterns and cause your breathing to spontaneously re-adjust itself.

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