#3: Waking the Breath

General Description

Recommended Repetitions: 6 to 12, or more.

Imagine you are breathing with your entire body with this exercise, as if you are pumping fresh air into every cell.
Movement: Inhale raising straight arms high; exhale lowering straight arms to the sides.
Main Purpose: Deepens breathing.
Main Qigong Principle: Coordinate breath with movement.

Description of the Physical Movements

Inhale as you raise the almost straight arms in front of the body until the hands are over the head. The arms are levered up, not pushed up. Exhale, arcing the straight arms down their respective sides (left and right.)

Waking the Breath start

Begin to Inhale

Raise the arms

Raise the arms

Arms continue to rise

Arms continue to rise

Until arms are over head

Until arms are over head

Begin the Exhale

Begin the Exhale

arcing arms down the sides

arcing arms down the sides

Finish exhale as arms come to hips

Finish exhale as arms come to hips

Modifying the Exercise: Double Breathing

If you are unable to breathe comfortably through the entire slowness of the inhale or exhale, you could take more than one cycle of breath through each cycle of hand movements.

Modifying the Exercise: Smaller Circles

Another way to modify is if one or both shoulders creak or complain when you raise the arms above the head. If you are unable to do the full raising and lowering of the shoulders, trying to make yourself do it just creates constriction, muscular resistance, and a shutting down of energy flow. By moving smaller, you can gain relaxation and qi and fluid flow.

Mental Focus

Imagine your whole body is breathing.

Energetic Movements

Inhale healing Qi to all parts of your body from every direction, spherically.
Exhale, releasing tension and stress to all directions.