Before explaining Breath Empowerment, a Supreme Science Qigong practice, let’s look at Qigong Breathing. The “Qigong Breath” is long and slow. The average person breathes 12-15 breaths per minute. Slowing down the breath, learning to regulate the breath, is known to be a key to longevity. The Qigong Breath is a relaxed form of breathing and should be used in your daily living and working state, not only during Qigong practice.
Let’s break down the Qigong Breath here.
Inhale: Bringing air in through your nose, inhale to below the abdomen. This rounds out the belly, like a Buddha belly, Santa Clause belly, pregnant belly. If you look at a baby breathing, you see that this is how they breathe, naturally and effortlessly inhaling into the lower abdomen. According to Jeff Primack, founder of Supreme Science Qigong, this is the most important practice in Qigong and the mastering of this deep belly breathing is the mark of a master. As you advance, you will begin slowing the speed of your inhalation. The belly must literally come outward in order for this to work. If you don’t feel or see this happening, just keep practicing, and in the mean time, use your imagination, the power of your mind.
Exhale: While expelling air out sweep your abdomen back towards your spine. This is a literal sweep as the abdomen physically moves slowly inward. This creates a strong Qi flow in your body every time you breathe. It also massages your internal organs. The exhale is done only with your abdomen so don’t think about your chest. Bring your mind to your navel and visualize your abdomen moving all the way inward. This is equally important to the inhalation since this action removes the toxins from your body.
Now, for Breath Empowerment! What is it? First of all, it’s important to understand that the empowerment is not given by another person or master, but by your own breath. Although Breath Empowerment ends with the Qigong breathing described above, the practice itself involves a different kind of breath called the Warrior’s Breath. The Warrior’s Breath is a strong inhale coming from the tip of your nose, and it’s audible. You should be able to hear it. The exhale though is gentle, just allowing gravity to do the work. The Warrior’s Breath is a chest-focused breath, with the chest expanding and rising up. This is different than the abdominal breathing taught in Yoga or even in the standard Qigong Breathing. It’s still a deep, full breath, not shallow, but focusing on the chest rising, not on the belly rounding. Although the quiet belly breath of qigong is ideal for most of the time, these full, connected breaths into the chest serves a healing purpose. Using this breathing technique allows for large amounts of Qi to enter your body and create a vibration. The cycle of inhaling and exhaling is a connected, smooth, breathing rhythm, no pauses, no hesitation. This is important because many people hold their breath in daily life, such as when stressed, without even knowing it. This Breath Empowerment practice will eventually correct a shallow subconscious breathing pattern. Some will feel this vibrating very powerfully like an engine and others will simply notice a slight tingling. It depends on your body constitution. Either way, you’ll be hyper-oxygenating and are likely to feel blissed out on oxygen and qi!
Breath Empowerment is simply amazing. I feel like I am bathing in bliss. It is a must experience and I look forward to returning. The work and effort is worth the reward and Rebecca provides a safe and supportive environment for the experience to unfold. — J.R., Seattle, WA
Breath Empowerment for beginners is a 35-minute practice in which you’re lying on a mat or pad on the floor and being guided along by a certified instructor. There is explanation and instruction before the practice begins. After it ends, we share our experiences because talking helps ground us. Alternatively or additionally, we practice some Qigong movements. After attending Breath Empowerment with a certified instructor, you may practice on your own along with a CD.
PLEASE NOTE: Although this practice is safe and healing, it is not advised for those who are pregnant or have seizure disorders. And individuals with irregular heart beat, high blood pressure, or asthma are discouraged from participating in Breath Empowerment without professional guidance.
Breath Empowerment in Austin, TX at AOMA, September 20, 10:30a.m.-12pm;
Details and registration here.
Breath Empowerment in Seattle, WA at New Seattle Massage, October 19, 4:00-5:30pm; Details here; Call (206)632-5074 to register.