Cycles of breathing & the flow of Qi

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    Colin Malsingh

    It was great to experiment with controlling and allowing the breath to flow in the lesson on 10th Feb

    When I tried applying it to some of my other qigong, I realised I’d either been doing it “wrong” for a long while, or that we have more choice than we realise.

    I generally exhale when doing outward movements and inhale when the arms are coming back in towards the centre (such as the two below).
    For the first one below, inhaling as the arms draw back towards the chest always seemed logical. I assumed that I was “expanding” as I exhaled and my hands & arms moved out.

    Example Qigong movements

    But I realise that’s at odds with your suggestion of feeling our Qi ball expand as we inhale,
    then the Qi ball returning back towards to our Hara as we exhale.

    If I’ve totally misunderstood your teaching, please let me know.
    It’s been really interesting trying both versions!

    Bill Palmer

    Lovely question Colin. There is not a right-wrong answer – it all depends on what you are doing with the breath.

    If you are focusing on PROJECTION of QI (which emphasises the Outer World) then IN-BREATH is used to build up the energy in the body and OUT-BREATH is used to project it outwards. This is what your pictures show. In that case it makes sense to talk of the Qi-Ball.

    What we are doing in the first family Inner Qigong is focusing on CENTRING AND EXPANDING FROM THAT CENTRE TO THE EDGE OF OUR SPACE. We are not acting on the world, we are asserting ourselves.

    In that case the IN-BREATH is used to FILL the BODY and FILL our personal space. But this outward movement is YIN. It is not acting on the world.

    Then the OUT-BREATH can have two functions.

    1) To SETTLE DOWNWARDS to accept the support of the expansion.
    2) TO CONTINUE EXPANDING OUTWARDS but still not beyond our boundary. We are still asserting our space, not acting on the outer world. But this Large Intestine movement is more YANG. It actively pushes invaders out of our space. The expansion has a protective function as well as an assertive one.

    The key idea is that the Large Intestine is a gentle giant. The outward pressure is soft and non-violent but also irresistible. It is not violent because you are coming from a place of ASSERTING yourself rather than DEFENDING yourself.

    Colin Malsingh

    Thanks Bill
    Plenty to play with here!

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