BDantien (Abdomen)Breathing Exercise
Every time I go downtown to teach my lunchtime Tai Chi and Chi Kung class, I see many people in a hurry to do something or go somewhere. Being busy and hurried has become a part of life modern life. Sometimes I heard my students complain about how their schedules are too full to do exercise. Here I would like to introduce a simple exercise everyone has time to do because we all breathe.
In Chinese we call it Dantien (abdomen) breathing exercise. We know breathing is very normal but important to our life. Many people think they know how to breathe since they have been doing it since birth but their breath is usually short and hurried. Doing Dantien breathing can help our body get more oxygen as well as relax our body and mind. Once you know how to breathe into your Dantien then you can do this exercise any time and everywhere.
You can find your Dantien this way;
With your hand flat against your belly, fingers together, thumb above and fingers below, put your thumb directly over your umbilicus. The “Sea of Chi”, an acupuncture point, is directly beneath your ring finger. Place your other hand beneath the first hand. Your second hand is now over your Dantien. The Dantien is a larger area that includes the “Hinge at the Source” or “Guan Yuan”. The word Dantien translated literally as “cinnabar or red field” and is loosely translated as “elixir field”. It is the main source of Chi/power in your body.
Dantien breathing has two variations.
Convex Breathing: The Dantien moves outward with each indrawn breath. Your hand moves out from your spine as the skin over your Dantien becomes convex, like the outside of a large balloon.
Concave Breathing: The Dantien moves inward with each indrawn breath. Your hand moves in towards your spine as the skin over your Dantien becomes more concave. You will feel more expansion in your chest and upper abdomen with this variation.
We usually do convex breathing.
There is one note of caution: You should wait two hours after any meal before beginning.
The benefits of Dantien breathing exercise:
When we are doing Dantien breathing it will produce one kind of prostaglandin in our body that can help our body eliminate free radicals and stretch our blood vessels. This exercise can also promote blood circulation and massage our internal organs.
When you face stress or feel nervous you can easily do Dantien breathing exercise. It could effectively reduce your distress and gradually slow your physical agitation.