Breathing certainly keeps us alive. But that's not it's only function. Used correctly it can bring us back into the present moment and ground us physically, emotionally and spiritually. It keeps your organs working efficiently and plays a vital role in reducing stress and managing nerves.
Your breath has allowed you to do everything you have in your life until this moment - to sing, to dance, to act, to run, the play, to exercise, to laugh, to cry, to argue, to make up... EVERYTHING. It makes sense to me to pay a little respect to the sacred art of breathing everyday.
As we run about our daily lives we breath high into the chest. We have stopped breathing in the natural way we did as new born babies and children. Dancers especially must spend a fair amount of time connecting back with abdominal breathing. As a result of keeping your core engaged when you dance, the belly will find find it harder to release, and it is common to breath into the upper back. This can add to digestive and respiratory problems. Spending some time every day working on low abdominal breathing will help greatly.
Qigong breathing is based on Taoist breathing methods that focus on returning the way we breathe to what is in harmony with nature. These methods focus on creating a circular breath that starts from the belly and is relaxed.
I always think the simpler the better. So here is a short, simple exercise to get you going. I prefer to do this lying down with my knees up, feet flat and hands on my belly. A great way to start and end the day. Enjoy and leave your comments, ideas and thoughts below.