Breathing
Techniques, Practices, Exercises, Theory, Lore
In Yoga, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, Meditation, Fitness


Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

Links      Bibliography     Quotations     Exercises     Cloud Hands Blog

Relaxation     Grounding     Chi Kung (Qigong)     Taijiquan     Yoga  

Standing Meditation     Microcosmic Orbit            

 

 

 

Quotations

Breathing: Techniques, Practices, Exercises, Theory, Lore
Yoga, Qigong, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Meditation, Lore
Air, Prana, Penuma, Chi, T'u Na, Vital Energy, Qi, Pranayama, Breath

 

 

"In the case of a living being, this 'breath' (pneuma) was that particular combination of air and fire that was called psyche (life-soul), and by penetrating all the tissues it made them live tissues.  Similarly, in the macrocosm, God was conceived as a breath penetrating and controlling and unifying the whole of the world.  This unifying breath was the worlds' psyche: the world was a living being, as indeed it had been for Plato in the Timaeus, and it was animated by a perfect intelligence.  This conclusion is best seen as an act of faith, inspiring and comforting."
-  F. H. Sandback, The Stoics, p. 75

 

 

"The respiratory center of the brain, which receives chemical, reflex, somatic and cerebral inputs, is a good computer in automatically regulating the rate, depth and pattern of respiration under various situations.  Artificial regulation during physical exercise is not the best for health."
Journal of the American Medical Association 246:1967, 1981.  

 

 

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"The form of energy composing the chakras and currents in the subtle body is unknown to science.  The Hindus call it prana, which means literally "life" - that is "life-force."  The Chinese call it chi, the Polynesians mana, the Amerindians orenda, and the ancient Germans od.  It is an all-pervasive "organic" energy.  In modern times, the pyschiatrist Wilhelm Reich attempted to resuscitate this notion in his concept of the orgone, but he met with hostility from the scientific establishment.  More recently, Russian parapsychologists have introduced the notion of bioplasma, which is explained as a radiant energy field interpenetrating physical organisms."
-   Georg Feuerstein, "Yoga: The Technology of Ecstasy," 1989, p.258.  

 

 

"The Chinese character for qi is usually translated into English as "vital energy" or "life force," although its literal meaning is "breath."  No modern Western idea corresponds exactly to the range of meanings of qi.  It is the central explanatory concept in the Huangdi Neijing (The Yellow Emperor's Inner Book), the most comprehensive early medical document in China (c 50 B.C.).  In an analysis of qi within the Chen tradition, nineteenth-generation Inheritor Chen Zhenglei suggests that:

      It does not refer to the oxygen breathed into the chest and the different kinds of strength (Li)
      in  the human body, but refers to - from Traditional Chinese Medicine - Correct Qi (Zhen Qi),
      Original Qi (Yuan Qi), Meridian Qi (Jingluo Zi Qi), Refined Qi (Zhen Qi), and from the study of
      martial arts and qigong, Internal Jing ((Neijing) and Internal Work (Neigong).

Qi exists in the human body without form, color or substance.  The ancient Chinese likened it to fire, and early Chinese pictographic characters depicted it as "sun" and "fire."  Within Daoist literature qi was seen as a form of vital heat akin to sunlight, without which life could not exist.  Today, the most widely used character for qi depicts steam rising from cooking rice."
-  Davidine Sim and David Gaffney, Chen Style Taijiquan, 2002, p. 44-45.        

 

 

"The air they breathe, being a living element with both physical and psychical properties, carries a subtle vital energy.  This in India is named by the Sanskrit word prana; in Tibet it is called sugs, in Aikido, Japan, ki, and in China, chi.  By controlling its circulation throughout the body, man is able to attain spiritual enlightenment or illumination."
-   Frank Waters, Mountain Dialogues, p. 70

 

 

"One of the most important terms in Taoist lore is Ch'i.  The word has been variously translated as: passion nature, material principle, constitutive ethers, force, energy, breath, power, great breath, etc."
-  R. G. H. Siu, Ch'i, p 256

 

 

"The men of old breathed clear down to their heels."
-   Chuang Tzu

 

 

When I feel blue I start to breathe.  

 

 

"In 1973, a silk book, Fasting and Taking Qi (Que Gu Shi Qi Pian) and a silk painting Daoyin Chart (Dao Yin Tu) of the Western Han dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 24) were unearthed from the Han Dynasty Tomb Mawangdui No. 3 in Changsha, Hunan Province. The book records the Daoyin method for guiding Qi and the chart covers 44 colored paintings presenting human figures imitating the movements of a wolf, monkey, ape, bear, crane, hawk, and vulture. Thus, they reveal that the Chinese began to teach Qigong pictorially as early as the beginning of the Western Han dynasty."
History of Qigong

 

 

"The pneuma which is mixed with the two inert elements in any physical thing is at once moving outwards towards the surface and inwards towards the center.  The outward movement gives the object size, shape, and other qualities, the inward integrates it, causes it to be one thing, a single substance."
-  F. H. Sandback, The Stoics, p. 77

 

 

"Breathing Out -
Touching the Root of Heaven,
One's heart opens;
The Dragon slips into the water..
Breathing In -
Standing on the Root of Earth,
One's heart is still and deep;
The Tiger's claw cannot be moved.

As you go on breathing in this frame of mind, with these associations, alternating between movement and stillness, it is important that the focus of your mind does not shift.  Let the true breath come and go, a subtle continuum on the brink of existence.  Tune the breathing until you get breath without breathing; become one with it, and then the spirit can be solidified and the elixir can be made."
Chang San-FengCommentary on Ancestor Lu's Hundred-Character Tablet
   Translated by Thomas Cleary, Vitality, Energy, Spirit:  A Taoist Sourcebook, 1991, p. 187. 
    Poetic interpretation by Mike Garofalo of expository text of Chang San-Feng.  

 

 

"If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly."
-   Andrew Weil, M.D., 1999  

 

 

"Viruses and microbes live best in low oxygen environments.  They are anaerobic.  That means, raise the oxygen environment around them and they die."
-   Edward Mccabe

 

 

"Only those who know how to breathe will survive."
-   Pundit Acharya

 

 

"While doing postures [yoga asanas], as a general rule keep the airway wide open, breathe only through the nose, and breathe smoothly, evenly and quietly."
-  H. David Coulter, Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, p. 18.  

 

 

" Energy is the essential stuff for structural integrity and mechanical and chemical processes, while ch'i is the essential stuff for pattern perpetuity and thinking and feeling.  While energy metabolism accounts for the vigor of health in the physical sense, ch'i-metabolism accounts for the well being of the person in the psychic sense."
-  R. G. H. Siu, Ch'i, p 263

 

 

"Breathing control gives man strength, vitality, inspiration, and magic powers."
-   Chuang Tzu

 

 

"Without full awareness of breathing, there can be no development of meditative stability and understanding."
-  Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

"For the living man, the psyche is a 'breath,' a compound of air and 'constructive' fire, that extends throughout his body, with which it is totally blended, giving life and warmth, growth and maintenance.  But there is a part, call the hegemonikon or centre of command, lodging in the heart, which is the seat of sensation, assent, impulse, passion, thought and reason.  From this there extend seven breaths to the eyes, ears, mouth, nose, and skin to convey the incoming stimuli which cause sensation."
-  F. H. Sandback, The Stoics, p. 83

 

 

"Ancient daoyin methods began to mature during the Warring States (770-221BC) period.  The inscription on a jade article of this period, now preserved at the Museum of Tianjin, is the earliest extant writing about ancient daoyin practice. Carved on a small jade ornament with 12 surfaces, it is an ancient-style prose composed of 45 Chinese characters, which was translated by the late poet and historian Guo Moruo into the vernacular as follows: ''Draw a deep breath, direct it downward and let it stay there. Then exhale and direct the breath upward like a growing sprout, in a direction just opposite to the inhaling route and up to its dead end. The heavenly essence thus goes up and the earthly essence comes down. One who follows this law will live, otherwise one will die." This is a description of the whole process of breathing in daoyin practice."
-   Ancient Daoyin: Mother of Modern Qigong 

 

 

"And now I see with eye serene,
The very pulse of the machine.
A being breathing thoughtful breaths,
A traveler between life and death."
-   William Wordsworth

 

 

"Of greater interest are differences in the actual practice of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.  Acknowledged Masters give conflicting instructions for breathing.  Books by Cheng Man-ch'ing do not specify when to breathe in or out.  In Body Mechanics of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, William Chen instructs you to breathe in when you push.  In Imagination Becomes Reality, T.T. Liang instructs you to breath out when you push.  In Yang Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming teaches you to breathe out when pushing, but using "reverse-brathing" in which the abdomen is pulled in while breathing in and pushed out while breathing out.  Perhaps there is more than one correct way to practice.  The instructions of any one skilled teacher or author should not be taken as gospel."
-   Dan Mozell, "Objectivity in the Internal Arts"
    Internal Arts, Vol. 3, #4, July 1988, p. 14 

 

 

"Deep flowing breath is essentially arousing and exciting."
-   Michael Sky

 

 

"Regulate the breathing, and thereby control the mind."
-  B.K.S. Iyengar

 

 

"There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted.  Then there's another way; a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity."
-   Rumi  

 

 

"Breathe the old out and the new in."
-  Adage of Taoist Breathing Practices (Tu Na)  

 

 

"Today, I want you to notice how you're breathing throughout the day. This simple activity can tell you the state of your nervous system -- and by learning to control your breathing, you can influence the regulation of your heart rate, blood pressure, circulation, and digestion. Since you have more control over exhalations, focusing on this part of your breathing is one good 
way of learning how to breathe deeper. Use the muscles between your ribs to squeeze air out of your lungs -- when you move more air out, you will automatically take more air in. As you breathe in and out, think of the cycle as having no beginning or end. Practice this exercise as often as you like, but I recommend doing it at least once each day."
-  Andrew Weil, M.D.,
Good Morning From Dr. Weil, On-line Newsletter, 6/9/2003

 

 

"Your breathing determines whether you are at your best or whether you are at a disadvantage."
-   Carola H. Speads

 

 

"For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth."
-  Sanskrit Proverb

 

 

"Nearly every physical problems is accompanied by a disturbance of breathing.  But which comes first?"
-   Hans Weller, M.D.  

 

 

"According to a long-held tradition, Huang Ti, the so-called Yellow Emperor, who began his rule around 2700 B. C., practiced a form of exercise called Tao Yin with the aim of increasing his life span.  The word Tao means "guide," and Yin means "leading."  These terms give a hint of how the exercise works: the movements of the limbs guide the circulation of the blood so that the tissues throughout the body can be repaired and cleansed more efficiently.  The movements also lead the breath in and out of the lungs, so that more oxygen can be inhaled to nourish and energize the body and the poisons can be exhaled more efficiently.  ...  Essential to the practice of Tao Yin was the way in which the movements of the limbs were combined with the breathing.  It is actually this combination that make the exercise so beneficial for health.  Huang Ti's exercises were also know as T'u Na.  The word T'u means "exhale," and Na means "inhale."
-   Dau Liu,
T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Meditation, 1986, p. 3.

 

 

"Remember what makes the lungs move?  Your diaphragm.  That's the muscle that pulls your lungs down, so your lungs expand and you can really circulate oxygen down throughout the whole lung.  To learn proper breathing techniques, take yoga lessons ― where people focus as much on their breathing as they do on their ability to scratch their heads with their toes.  Lie flat on the floor, with one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest.  Take a deep breath in― slowly.  Lying on the floor at first when you practice is important, because if you stand up, you're more likely to fake a deep breath by doing an exaggerated chest extension, rather than letting it fill up naturally.  Imagine your your lungs filling up with air; it should take about five seconds to inhale.  As your diaphragm pulls your chest cavity down, your belly button should be moving away from your spine as you fill your lungs.  Your chest will also widen―  and maybe rise every so slightly― as you inhale.  When your lungs feel fuller than a sumo wrestler's lunchbox, exhale slowly - taking about seven seconds to let all the air out.  You can pull your belly button toward your spine to force all the air out of your lungs.

Okay, so now you know how to breathe deep, but what's the benefit?  What will deep breathing get you, besides stares on the subway.  A lot, actually.  For one, it help transport nitric oxide― a very potent lung and blood vessel dilator that resides in your nasal passages― to your lungs.  So it makes your lungs and and blood vessels function better.  Taking deep breaths helps your lungs go from 98 percent saturation of oxygen to 100 percent saturation of oxygen.  Another benefit is that it helps improve the drainage of your lymphatic system, which removes toxins from your body.  Of course, it also helps in stress relief.  The deep breaths act as a mini-meditation, from a longevity standpoint, is an important stress reliever.  Shifting to slower breathing in times of tension can help calm you and allow you to perform, whether mentally or physically, at higher levels."
-  Michael Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet Oz, M.D., You: The Owner's Manual, 2005, p. 165

 

 

"Next to the heart muscle, the diaphragm is the most continuously active and thus loyal muscle in the body, moving 20,000 times a day.  When healthy, neither the heart or the diaphragm fatigues for they obey one simple physiologic rule: the rest periods are longer than the work periods.  Expiration, or breathing out, is 1.3 to 1.4 times longer that the breathing in of inspiration.  While inhalation is an active process requiring muscular effort, exhalation is a long, passive process occurring when the lungs recoil and rest.  Like the circulation of blood, breathing is more about letting go that holding in.  It is about moving air, not trapping it.  It is about making space and emptying rather than hoarding and stagnating."
-  Joy Colangelo, M.S., Embodied Wisdom, 2003, p. 105

 

 

The atmospheric air pressure at sea level varies depending upon barometric conditions.  On the average, a column of air one square inch in cross-section would have a weight of about 14.7 lbs at sea level.  A barometric air pressure of about 30 at sea level would result in a reading of around 17 at the top of Mt. Shasta (14,000 feet).

 

 

 

"Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health."
-   Andrew Weil, M.D.  

 

 

"Emotional and physical states can be altered by changing the breathing pattern."
-   Wilhelm Reich

 

 

"Pranayama is the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention.  It is to be practiced only after perfection in asana (physical posture/form) is attained.   Pranayama has three movements; prolonged and fine inhalation, exhalation and retention; all regulated with precision according to duration and place.  The fourth type of pranayama transcends the external and internal pranayamas, and appears effortless and non-deliberate.  Pranayama enables the mind to become fit for concentration, and removes the veil covering the light of knowledge and heralds the dawn of wisdom."
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 11:49-53, c 500-200 BC
    Translated by B. K. S. Iyengar

 

 

"Breathing is the first place, not the last, one should look when fatique, disease, or other evidence of disordered energy presents itself."
-   Sheldon Saul Hendler, M.D.

 

 

Essential to the practice of qigong and taijiquan is the control of breathing, the coordination of breathing with specific movements, the requirement to do deep adominal breathing, relaxing and opening the upper torso to allow for deeper breathing, and the release of breath when power is given out.   

 

 

"Fear is excitement without the breath."
-   Fritz Perls, M.D.  

 

 

"One of yoga's great gifts to making is the discovery of the link that exists between energy, breath, and mind.  As you change one, you also change the other two.  If you excite one, the other two become excited and, conversely, if you calm one, the other two respond by becoming calm also."
-   John Novak, Lessons in Meditation, p. 27

 

 

"The first task of breath control is to regulate, or harmonize, the various life currents in the body.  The second task is to guide the life force (prana) along the central axis, the sushumna-nadi ("most gracious conduit"), which extends from the lowest energy center or cakra at the base of the spine to the energy center at the crown of the head.  This is the acknowledged method for achieving both health and ecstasy (samadhi) through the awakening the serpent power, the "support of all Yoga practice," as the Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika (III.1) puts it.  Through breath control the yogin energizes and harmonizes the body and thus creates a solid foundation for mental concentration and the induction of higher states of consciousness, as well as the complete transcendence of the body-mind in the moment of enlightenment."
-   The Shambhala Guide to Yoga, Georg Feuerstein, p. 77  

 

 

"Breathing in, I calm body and mind,
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is the only moment."
-   Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

Opening Hands, Closing Hands

"Standing at the Mysterious Pass
Centered in the Eternal Now,
Balanced in Body and Open in Mind,
Rooted into the Sacred Space,
Motionless as the Golden Mountain,
Fingers around the Primeval Sphere.

Dragons and Tigers are still dreaming -
Ready for Rebirth. 

I breathe in, the World Breathes Out.
The Gate of Space opens;
Heaven moves and Yang is born.
The hands move out, embracing the One.
The mind settles and is clear.
The Dragon Howls,
Ravens fill the Vast Cauldron,
Mind forms melt like mercury,
Spirit rises in the Clouds of Eternity.
Yin appears like the moon at dusk.

I breathe out, the World Breathes In.
The Doors of Emptiness close;
Earth quiets and Yin is born.

The hands move in, entering the One.
The body settles and becomes whole.
The Tiger Roars,
The Great Ox is nourished by the Valley Spirit, 
Substances spark from flaming furnaces,
Essence roots in the Watery Flesh.
Yang appears like the sun at dawn.


Dragons and Tigers
Transformed within the Mysterious Pass -
Chanting and Purring.
Awakened,
Peaceful,
Free."

-   Michael P. Garofalo, Opening at the Mysterious Pass
    Opening Hands and Closing Hands in Sun Taijiquan

 

 

"Ninety percent of metabolic oxygen comes from breathing.  Ten percent comes from food."
-  Gabriel Cousens, M.D.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography and Links

Breathing: Techniques, Practices, Exercises, Theory, Lore
Yoga, Qigong, T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Meditation, Lore
Air, Prana, Penuma, Chi, T'u Na, Vital Energy, Qi, Pranayama, Breath

 

 

Alphabetical Index to the Cloud Hands website.


Alternate Nostril Breathing (Nadi Sodhana)
  


Anatomy of Hatha Yoga: A Manual for Students, Teachers and Practitioners.  By H. David Coulter.  Foreward by Timothy McCall.  Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Body and Breath, 2001.  Index, bibliography, appendices, 623 pages.  ISBN: 0970700601.  2002 winner of the Benjamin Franklin Award for Health, Wellness and Nutrition.  


Anatomy of Movement.   By Blandine Calais-Germain.   Seattle, Washington, Eastland Press, 1985, 1993.  Translated from the French by Nicole Commarmond.  Index, 289 pages.  ISBN: 0939616173.   


"The Anti-Drug for Anxiety."  By Stacie Stukin.  Yoga Journal, April, 2003, pp. 108-113.  A brief discussion of pranayama techniques used to reduce anxiety.  


Articles on Breathing, Health, Qigong, Taoism.   Authentic Breathing Resources.


The Art of Breathing
: Six Simple Lessons to Improve Performance, Health, and Well-Being.  By Nancy Zi.   Frog Ltd., 2000.  4th Edition.  240 pages.  ISBN:  1583940340.


Ashtanga Yoga " Practice Manual
" An Illustrated Guide to Personal Practice.  The Primary and Intermediate Series plus Three Short forms.  By David Swenson.  Foreward by K. Pattabhi Jois.  Ashtanga Yoga Productions, 1999.  263 pages.  ISBN: 1891252089.


Ashtanga Yoga: The Definitive Step-by-Step Guide to Dynamic Yoga.  By John Scott.  Foreward by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois.  New York, Three Rivers Press, 2000.  Index, bibliography, 143 pages.  ISBN: 0609807862.  


Authentic Breathing    Articles, links, exercises, resources, products.   Articles by Dennis Lewis. 


Awareness Through Movement; Health Exercises for Personal Growth.  Easy to Do Health Exercises to Improve Your Posture, Vision, Imagination and Personal Awareness.   By Moshe Feldenkrais.  San Francisco, Harper Collins, 1972, 1977.  173 pages.  ISBN: 0062503227.   


Basic Yoga Breathing Control   25Kb.  


Beginner's Guide to Healthy Breathing.   By Kenneth Cohen.  73 minute CD.  


Belly Breathing.   By Dennis Lewis.


Books about Breathing    Annotated links.  


Breath, Breathing and Pranayama   Numerous articles.  


Breathe Better, Feel Better.   H. Kent.  


Breathe Deep - The Qigong Newsletter


Breathe Well, Be Well.   By Robert Fried.  John Wiley & Sons, 1999.   224 pages.  ISBN:  0471324361.  Subtitle:  A Program to Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Asthma, Hypertension, Migraine, and Other Disorders for Better Health.  


Breathe!  You Are Alive: Sutra on the Full Awareness of Breathing.  By Thich Nhat Hanh.  Brekeley, Parallax Press, 1960.  


"Breathing and Higher Accomplishments."  By Wu Ta-yeh.  Internal Arts, Vol. 4, No. 2, April 1989, pp. 36 - 38.  An excellent article that critically examines the issue of using breath control during the practice of Taijiquan.  Wu recommends "that beginners completely forget their breathing in learning the solo forms exercise of Taijiquan," and that intermediate and advanced students interested in self-defense make limited use of specialized breathing techniques in selected postures.  He defends the position that the manipulation of breath in the solo form or in gigong can be injurious to one's well being.  


Breathing and Taijichuan.   


Breathing and Yoga: Lowering Stress   10Kb.  


Breathing as a Metaphor for Living: Teachings and Exercises on Complete and Natural Breathing.  By Dennis Lewis.  A two-cassette audio-tape program.  Boulder, Colorado, Sounds True, 1998.  


The Breathing Book:  Good Health and Vitality Throught Essential Breath Work.  By Donna Farhi.  Henry Holt, 1996.  238 pages.  ISBN: 0805042970.   


Breathing Exercises (Qigong) and Articles


Breathing Exercises - Yoga   15Kb.


Breathing Free: The Revolutionary 5-Day Program to Heal Asthma, Emphysema, Bronchitis and Other Respiratory Ailments.  By Therese Hale.  Foreword by Leo Galland, M.D..  Three Rivers Press, 2000.  304 pages.  ISBN: 0609806343.


Breathing in the Practice of Tai Chi Chuan   By Greg Brodsky.  


Breathing Lessons
.   By Anne Tyler.  Berkley Publishing Group, Reissue Edition, 1994.  352 pages.  ISBN: 042511774X.


Breathing Practices and Pranayama.  By Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati.  89KB.  


Breathing Techniques: Qigong, Yoga, Taijiquan


Breathing Techniques - Kundalini Yoga   34Kb


Breathing: The Master Key to Self Healing.  By Andrew Weil.  A audio product read by Andrew Weil.  Sounds True, 1999.  110 pages.  ISBN: 156455726X.


Breathing Work with Dennis Lewis


Chen Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan


Chi    Commentary, quotations, links, bibliography.  


Ch'i.  By R. G. H. Siu.  


Chi Kung Breathing Practice   10Kb.  Outlines tummy, complete, and circular breathing techniques.  


C'hi: The Power Within.   By Geoff Pike and Phyllis Pike.  Chi Kung Breathing Exercises for Health, Relaxation and Energy.   Boston, Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1993.  Index, 272 pages.  ISBN: 0804830991. 


Cloud Hands Blog  By Mike Garofalo. 


Cloud Hands: Tai Chi Chuan and Qi Gong
   


Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Person Mastery.  By Gay Hendricks.  Bantam Books, 1995.  189 pages.  ISBN:  0553374435.  According to the author "Conscious Breathing: releases stress and tension, builds energy and endurance, contributes to emotional mastery, prevents and heals physical problems, contributes to graceful aging, manages pain, enhances mental concentration and physical performance, and facilitates psychospiritual transformation," pp. 5-31.


Cultivating the Chi: The Secrets of Energy and Vitality.   Compiled and translated by Stuart Alve Olson.   Revised and expanded third edition.   Chen Kung Series, Volume One.  
St. Paul, Minnesota, Dragon Door Publications, 1993.  Index, 166 pages.  ISBN:  0938045113.   


Dao House: Of Discourses and Dreams   "
A compendium of links to great online Daoist (Taoist) resources."  An excellent selection of fine links with informative and fair annotations; all presented in an attractive and easy to read format.  The in-depth and creative collection of links are arranged by 18 topics.  The attention to detail and research involved to create this guide are worthy of high praise.  This website is outstanding!  A must visit for students and enthusiasts of Taoism.  


Deep Breathing in Savasana (Corpse Pose)

 
Deergha Swasam - Three- Part Breathing Technique   


Dr. Breath: the Story of Breathing Coordination.  By Carl Stough and Reece Stough.  New York, NY, Stough Institute, 1982.  


Eight Section Brocade Qigong   By Michael P. Garofalo.  Provides information about the history and purpose of this popular Chi Kung practice.  Detailed descriptions are provided for each of the eight movements; including information on movement variations, health benefits, qigong meaning, and cautions.  The document includes the most extensive bibliography, link guide, and comments on Ba Duan Jin Qigong resources available anywhere.  This document is updated as new information is discovered.  This qigong set is the most popular set practiced around the world, and is also known as: Baduanjin, Pa Tuan Jin, Eight Silken Treasures, Ba Duan Jin,  Pal Dan Gum, Ba Duan Gin,  Pa Tin Kam, Otto Pezzi di Tesoro, Acht Delen Brokaat, Les Huit Exercices del la Soie, Eight Silken Treasures, Brocade Qigong, Wudang Brocade Qigong, Brocade soft qigong (Rou Gong), Eight Treasures inner qigong (Nei Gong), Silk Treasures Qigong, and the first eight Buddha Lohan Hands.  


Elements of The Human Body  By R. L. Alsaker, M. D.; Author of "Eating for Health and Efficiency."


The Eligibility Rule Grammar and Ontology (ERGO) 


Ergonomics Guidelines
 

Five Animal Frolics Chi Kung


Fitness and Well Being 


Four Ergo Elements 


Free Your Breath, Free Your Life.  How Conscious Breathing Can Relieve Stress, Increase Vitality, and Help You Live More Fully.   By Dennis Lewis.  Boston, Shambhala Press, 2004.  Index, recommended reading, 193 pages. ISBN:  1590301331.  Reviews.   


Greenway Research   Red Bluff, California


Hatha Yoga Breathing.   By Rich Szabo.  18Kb.  


The Healing Path of Yoga
.  Time-Honored Wisdom and Scinetifically Proven Methods that Alleviate Stress, Open Your Heart, and Enrich Your Life.   By Nischala Joy Devi.  New York, Three Rivers Press, 2000.  Index, 238 pages.  ISBN: 0609805029.   


The Healing Promise of Qi
: Creating Extraordinary Wellness Through Qigong and Tai Chi.  By Roger Jahnke, O.M.D..  Chicago, Contemporary Books, 2002.   Index, notes, extensive recommended reading list, 316 pages.  ISBN: 0809295288.


How to Calm Down: Three Deep Breaths to Peace of Mind.  By Fred L. Miller and Mark Bryan.  Warner Books, 2003.  128 pages.  ISBN:  0446679712.


Healing with Ki-Kou: The Secrets of Ancient Chinese Breathing Techniques.  By Li Xiu-ling.  Agora Health Books, 2nd Edition, 2003.  156 pages. ISBN: 1891434179.


Healing Sounds:  Six Daoist Healing Sounds


Jumpstart Your Metabolism: How to Lose Weight By Changing the Way You Breathe.  By Pam Grout.  Fireside, 1998.  192 pages.  ISBN: 0684843463.   


Light on Prānāyāma: The Yogic Art of Breathing  By B.K.S. Iyengar.  Introduction by Yehudi Menuhin.  New York, Crossroad Pub. Co., 2012.  Originally published in 1985 in English.  Index, glossary, appendices, 296 pages.  ISBN: 9780824506865.  VSCL. 


Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: Patanjala Yoga Pradipika.  Hammersmith, London, Thorsons, Harper-Collins, 1966, 1996.  337 pages.  ISBN: 1855382253.   


The Little Book of Yoga Breathing; Pranayama Made Easy.   By Scott Shaw. Red Wheel, Weiser, 2004.  96 pages.  ISBN: 157863301X.


Meditation


Muscle/Tendon Changing and Marrow/Bone Washing Chi Kung.  The Secret of Youth.  By Yang, Jwing Ming.  Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Association,
1989.  Glossary, 286 pages.  ISBN: 0940871068.


Musician: Physician for Times to Come.  By Don Campbell, Editor.  Wheaton, Illinois, Quest Books, 2000.  


Nadi Sodhana - Alternate Nostril Breathing   


Nine Segment Buddhist Breathing Qigong.  Master Shou-Yu Liang and Wen-Ching Wu.  Rhode Island, Way of the Dragon Pub., 1997.  Instructional videotape, 50 minutes.


Oxycise! Easy Does It.  By Jill Johnson.


The Perceptible Breath: A Breathing Science.  By Ilse Middendorf.  Paderborn, Germany, Junfermann-Verlag, 1990.  


Pilates: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes


Prana, Pneuma, Air, Chi, Qi: Taijiquan and Breathing   


Pranayama Beyond the Fundamentals: An In-Depth Guide to Yogic Breathing  By Richard Rosen.  Includes an instructional audion CD.  Boston, Shambhala, 2006.  Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 214 pages.  ISBN: 1590302982.  VSCL. 


"Prescriptions for Pranayama."   By Claudia Cummins.  Yoga Journal, 2001.


The Primordial Breath: An Ancient Chinese Way of Prolonging Life Through Breath Control.  Translated by Jan Huang.  Translations from the Tao Tsang in the Taoist Canon.  Volumes 1 and 2.  Torrance, California, Original Books, 1987.  


Qi Gong Bibliography and Links  


Qigong Breathing     


Qigong Breathing and Overcoming Depression  


Qigong Meditation: Embroyonic Breathing.   By Yang, Jwing-Ming.  YMAA Publications, 2003.  389 pages.  ISBN: 1886969736.  


Qi Theory    14K


Qi Gong for Beginners: Eight Easy Movements for Vibrant Health.   By Stanley D. Wilson.  Photographs by Barry Kaplan.  Sterling Publications, 1997.   148 pages.   ISBN: 0915801752.  See pages 23-32.   


Relaxing Into Your Being.  The Water Method of Taoist Meditation Series, Volume 1.  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis.  Fairfax, California, Clarify Press, 1998.  Reader's Edition.  208 pages.  ISBN: No ISBN given.  VSCL. 


Relaxation in Taijiquan and Qigong   


Ripening Peaches:  Daoist Studies and Practices


Roar of Silence: Healing Powers of Breath, Tone and Music.  Wheaton, Illinois, Theosophical Publishing House, 1994.  


The Root of Chinese Chi Kung: The Secrets of Chi Kung Training.  By Yang Jwing-Ming.  YMAA Chi Kung Series #1.   Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, Yang's Martial Arts Association, 1989.  Glossary, 272 pages.   ISBN: 0940871076.      


Savasana (Corpse Pose) Deep Breathing Techniques  


Science of Breath.  By Swami Rama, Rudolph Ballentine, M.D. and Alan Hymes, M.D..  Honesdale, Pennsylvania, Himalayan Institute, 1981.  


Secrets of Optimal Natural Breathing.  By Michael Grant White.  Waynesville, North Carolina, Optimal Breathing Press, 2003.  


Scientific Basis of Qigong


Seven Stars Qigong Breathing Exercises   Instructions and line drawings.  


Shaolin and Taijiquan (Medicine) Ball Qigong and Strengthening Exercises 


Spring Forest Qigong  Detailed instructions for this form.  


Standing (Zhang Zhuang) Mediation 


Sun Style of Taijiquan


Sung (Relaxation) and Taijiquan


T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Meditation
.   By Da Liu.   New York, Schocken Books, 1986, 1991.  Index, 173 pages.  ISBN:  080520993X.  Refer to pages: 49-59.  


Taoism
   


"Taoist Breath Work in T'ai Chi."   By Charlie Fechter.   T'ai Chi: The International Magazine of T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Vol. 27, No. 6, December, 2003, pp.44-47.


The Tao of Natural Breathing: For Health, Well Being, and Inner Growth.   By Dennis Lewis.  Mountain Wind Pub., 1997.  Index, 208 pages.  ISBN: 0965161102.  Foreword by Taoist Master Mantak Chia.  Information.  More information.


Temple Qigong   


Thirteen Treasures Walking Qigong.  


Three- Part Breathing (Deergha Swasam)


Traditional Chinese Medicine - Qi Theory   An in-depth essay. 


Traditional Yoga Breathing Techniques   


Transform Stress Into Vitality.   By Mantak Chia.  Huntington, New Jersey, Healing Tao Books, 1985.  Includes the Taoist practices of the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds, and Microcosmic Orbit.  


Types of Paranayama


Valley Spirit Qigong   Guides, Lessons, History, Bibliography, Links.  By Mike Garofalo, Red Bluff, California.


Vitality, Energy, Spirit:  A Taoist Sourcebook.   Translated and edited by Thomas Cleary.  Boston, Shambhala, 1991.  281 pages.  ISBN: 0877735190.   


Warriors of Stillness: Meditative Traditions in the Chinese Martial Arts.  Volume 1.  The Teachings of Grandmaster Cai Song Fang.  Qigong Qi of the Center, Essence of Taijiquan.   By Jan Diepersloot.  Walnut Creek, California, Center for Healing and the Arts.  Glossary, 226 pages.  ISBN:  0964997606.  A study of Wu Ji meditation, 13 postures, and push hands. 


The Ways of Walking: Quotes, Bibliography, Links, Resources


Ways to Better Breathing.  By Carola Speads.  Rochester, Vermont, Healing Arts, Press, 1992.  


Yang Style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan


Yi Jin Jing Qigong (Muscle/Tendon Changing Qigong): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Lessons.   By Mike Garofalo. 


Yoga: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes   


Yoga and Breathing     


Yoga Breathing


Yoga Breathing: The Art of Pranayama.   By Richard Freeman.   150 minutes, CD.  


Yoga Breathing - Google Links


Yoga Breathing Exercises   


Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) - The Art of Yoga Breathing   Many articles on the subject.


Yogaflows: A Dynamic and Fluid System to Transform Your Yoga Practice.  London, Firefly Books Ltd., 2003.  Index, glossary of postures, 144 pages.  ISBN: 1552976874. 


The Yoga of Breath: A Step-by-Step Guide to Pranayama
 By Richard Rosen.  Foreword by Rodney Yee.  Illustrations by Kim Fraley.  Boston, Shambhala, 2002.  Index, notes, 304 pages.  ISBN: 1570628890.  VSCL.    


Yogic Techniques for Stress Relief   67Kb.  Includes breathing techiques.  


Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health.  By B.K.S. Iyengar.  London, Dorling Kindersley, 2001.  Glossary, index, 416 pages.  ISBN:  0789471655.  Lavishly illustrated compendium of essential poses, routines, prop use, and yoga routines to help specific health problems.  The renowned Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar was born in India in 1918.  VSCL. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breathing Exercise

 

1.  Sit up straight, or stand tall. 
2.  Breathe gently in through the nose.  Relax the abdomen as you breath in. 
3.  Breath out through the slightly parted lips.  Gently tighten the abdomen as you breath out. 
4.  Try to make the inhale and exhale equal in length. 
5.  Try to breathe in for four or five seconds, and breath out for four or five seconds each time. 
6.  Enjoy and be grateful for the ability to breathe fully and deeply. 
7.  Relax and take the time to breathe fully and deeply. 
8.  Smile outwardly and inwardly. 
9.  Think pleasant, wholesome, and kind-hearted thoughts; or don't think at all. 
10.  Don't complicate matters and be natural. 
11.  Do this exercise for ten minutes, twice a day. 

 

 
 

 

Microcosmic Orbit

 

This is a popular exercise in Chinese Chi Kung practices.  This energetic practice involves controlled breathing, visualizations, and meditation.  One circulates energy (Chi) up the spine to the head (as you slowly inhale), and then draws the energy down the front of the body to the lower energy centers (as you slowly exhale).  We can find descriptions of this practice in many books on Chinese Chi Kung. 

Wang Tao wrote a number of Taoist essays around 1400 CE.  Eva Wong translated these essays in her book "Nourishing the Essence of Life" (Shambhala, 2004).  She discusses concepts underlying Microcosmic Orbit circulation practice.  Ms. Wong writes:

    "The dragon and tiger are respectively the yang and yin components of generative energy.   Other names for the dragon are: the yang dragon that hides within the fluid, the yin within the yang (symbolized by the broken line flanked by two solid lines in the trigram li), the vapor within the fluid, the vapor of pure yang, and the true fire.  Other names for the tiger are: the yin tiger that hides within the vapor, the yang within the yin (symbolized by the solid line flanked by two broken lines in the trigram k'an), the fluid within the vapor, the fluid of pure yin (or the the vapor of pure yin), and the true water.  The dragon and tiger are therefore the components or ingredients of mundane generative energy.  Do not confuse them with their carriers, fluid and vapor.
    Central to the preservation and cultivation of generative energy is the process know as the copulation of the dragon and the tiger.  The yin and yang components of generative energy meet and merge to become purified generative energy, which is called the primordial vapor.  The process begins with the vapors of pure yang (dragon) and pure yin (tiger) rising from the base of the spine and traveling separately up the spine and through the shoulder blades.  When the vapors reach the head, they interact (copulate) and merge to become one unified vapor.  The unified vapor descends to the palate of the mouth and is manifested as nectar, a sweet, sticky fluid.  Swallowed down the throat, the nectar enters the middle tan-t'ien (in the area of the solar plexus) and eventually completes its circuit when it reaches the base of the spine again."
-  Eva Wong, Nourishing the Essence of Life, 2004, p. 9  

 

Inhaling:  Hui Yin to Ming Men to Shen Zhu to Yu Zhen to Bai Hui
 

Exhaling:  Bai Hui to Yin Tang to throat to Zhan Zong to Du Qi (Tan T'ien) to Hui Yin


Correspondence to Chakras in Kundalini Yoga

1st Chakra   Muladhara  =  Hui Yin

2nd Chakra  Swadhisthana  =  Du Qui, Tan T'ien, Ming Men

3rd Chakra   Manipurna  =  Tan T'ien

4th Chakra   Anhata  =  Heart  =  Middle Tan T'ien

5th Chakra   Vishuddha  =  Throat  - Dai Zhui 

6th Chakra   Ajna   =  Third Eye  =  Yin Tang  or Yu Zhen

7th Chakra   Sahasrara  =  Crown of Head  =  Bai Hui


   

             

 

 

 

Doctrine of the Elixir: Microcosmic Orbit.  By R. B. Jefferson. 


Dragon and Tiger Medical Qigong: Health and Energy in Seven Simple Movements.  By Bruce Frantzis.  245 pages.   North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2010.  ISBN: 9781556439216.  VSCL. 


Open the Microcosmic Orbit.  By Michael Winn.  Qigong Fundamentals 2.  Healing Tao Home Study Video, 4 Audio CDs, 2008.  The video DVD is titled "Open Chi Flow in the Orbit."  1 DVD, 2004.  


Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body: Chi Gung for Lifelong Health (Tao of Energy Enhancement).  By Bruce Kumar Frantzis. 
Illustrated by Husky Grafx.  North Atlantic Books, 1993.  Second Edition.  174 pages.  ISBN: 1556431643.  VSCL.     


Qigong Meditation: Embroyonic Breathing.   By Yang, Jwing-Ming.  Boston, Mass., YMAA Publications, 2003.  Index, glossary, 389 pages.  ISBN: 1886969736.  VSCL. 


Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation.  By Sifu Yang Jwing-Ming, Ph.D..  Boston, Mass., YMAA Publications, 2006.   Index, extensive glossary, 402 pages.  ISBN: 1594390673.  VSCL. 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-Mail


 

Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Qigong, Red Bluff, California
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California, 2004-2014

The information on this webpage was first published on the Internet WWW in March of 2004. 

This webpage was last changed or updated on January 26, 2014. 

 

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