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patf
08-21-2008, 12:27 PM
Hi all,
I was wondering if anyone out there could give me some tips on breathing exercises that I can practice during my daily walk. I walk approx 5km each day at lunch and my pace is quite fast. I have been practicing breathing in through my nose and exhaling slowly through my mouth but I feel there is probably more to "good breathing" than just that.
I have read some articles that deal with breathing in slowly, holding, breathing out slowly, holding etc, but they seemed to be geared towards having the person in a static position where the body isn't really active.
My walk involves fairly varied terrain, so my breathing naturally adjusts to the effort I have to expend. The basic breathing I am doing right now seems to be helping me quite a bit as I find myself breathing better in class and ending up less and less winded after a spirited technique.
I'm hoping I can refine/correct what I'm doing (during my walks) and would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks!

dps
08-21-2008, 02:31 PM
I have a book about walking meditation given to me by a buddhist monk. In it they suggest as you inhale you count how many steps you take then as you exhale you count how many steps you take.

The goal is to lengthen the number of steps on the exhale so that the exhale is longer than the inhale. For example; it takes four steps for a complete inhale and eight steps for a complete exhale. But you start out with the inhale steps and exhale steps being the same and gradually increase the exhale steps.

David

patf
08-21-2008, 03:18 PM
I have a book about walking meditation given to me by a buddhist monk. In it they suggest as you inhale you count how many steps you take then as you exhale you count how many steps you take.

The goal is to lengthen the number of steps on the exhale so that the exhale is longer than the inhale. For example; it takes four steps for a complete inhale and eight steps for a complete exhale. But you start out with the inhale steps and exhale steps being the same and gradually increase the exhale steps.

David

Very interesting, thanks.

I wonder is there a difference in breathing for meditation versus breathing for energy/stamina or are they one and the same.

Also I wonder what would be considered appropriate inhale/exhale counts during vigorous walking. I've tried inhaling/exhaling for as long as possible during my walks but I don't seem to be getting enough air in to keep up with my pace.

Stefan Stenudd
08-21-2008, 05:02 PM
I was wondering if anyone out there could give me some tips on breathing exercises that I can practice during my daily walk.
I guess that you're interested in a kind of breathing relevant to aikido (and any budo). If so, it is important how you breathe. I'd like to call it ki breathing.

It's belly breathing, more precisely with your center, and long extensions - especially of the exhalation, as mentioned by David above.
If you focus on exhalation and extension, it increases your power (as in budo, where almost every decisive movement is done when exhaling). If you focus on inhalation it leads to a strong sense of inspiration (as in the arts).

I have some ki breathing exercises on my website:

http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/ki-exercises.htm

Check under the headline Breathing.
Also check the Extension exercises on the same webpage. There's one for walking.

patf
08-21-2008, 05:36 PM
I guess that you're interested in a kind of breathing relevant to aikido (and any budo). If so, it is important how you breathe. I'd like to call it ki breathing.

It's belly breathing, more precisely with your center, and long extensions - especially of the exhalation, as mentioned by David above.
If you focus on exhalation and extension, it increases your power (as in budo, where almost every decisive movement is done when exhaling). If you focus on inhalation it leads to a strong sense of inspiration (as in the arts).

I have some ki breathing exercises on my website:

http://www.stenudd.com/aikido/ki-exercises.htm

Check under the headline Breathing.
Also check the Extension exercises on the same webpage. There's one for walking.

Stefan,
I read through your webpage (very interesting I might add) and had a question about the belly breathing exercise (lying down), On the inhalation the belly presses against the hand and on the exhalation the belly also presses upwards against the hand. While I can generate both conditions I cannot do so without letting the belly relax (drop) between the inhale/exhale. If I end up with my belly extended on the inhale, there's no room for more extension on the exhale. Maybe I'm stating the obvious but is there an implied relaxation of the belly between in/exhale?

Thanks!

Stefan Stenudd
08-21-2008, 06:46 PM
On the inhalation the belly presses against the hand and on the exhalation the belly also presses upwards against the hand. While I can generate both conditions I cannot do so without letting the belly relax (drop) between the inhale/exhale. If I end up with my belly extended on the inhale, there's no room for more extension on the exhale. Maybe I'm stating the obvious but is there an implied relaxation of the belly between in/exhale?

Not really. The belly extends in slightly different places on inhalation and exhalation. Don't worry about it. The important thing is that you go really deep in your belly with each breath.
This is "power breathing" with a very strong spirit forward.