Welcome to AikiWeb Aikido Information
AikiWeb: The Source for Aikido Information
AikiWeb's principal purpose is to serve the Internet community as a repository and dissemination point for aikido information.

Sections
home
aikido articles
columns

Discussions
forums
aikiblogs

Databases
dojo search
seminars
image gallery
supplies
links directory

Reviews
book reviews
video reviews
dvd reviews
equip. reviews

News
submit
archive

Miscellaneous
newsletter
rss feeds
polls
about

Follow us on



Home > AikiWeb Aikido Forums
Go Back   AikiWeb Aikido Forums > Training

Hello and thank you for visiting AikiWeb, the world's most active online Aikido community! This site is home to over 22,000 aikido practitioners from around the world and covers a wide range of aikido topics including techniques, philosophy, history, humor, beginner issues, the marketplace, and more.

If you wish to join in the discussions or use the other advanced features available, you will need to register first. Registration is absolutely free and takes only a few minutes to complete so sign up today!

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
NekVTAikido
Location: Wolcott Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
United_States
Offline
reverse breathing

Beginner question:

I've heard reverse breathing explained as: When breathing in, contract the abdomen. When breathing out, extend the abdomen. My questions are based on this understanding - but if this is wrong, or incomplete - please help me see what I am missing.

Is the abdominal expansion/contraction strictly physical? or is it more a matter of intention/attitude? Or some point along the spectrum? If it's a spectrum from strictly physical to strictly awareness/visualization, are there specific instructions for how to work with that spectrum?

For those familiar with Bill Gleason's approach - When combining breath with different postures as in the video below, Does the in-breath coincide with expansion of the chest cavity (while at the same time contracting the lower abdominal cavity)? Does breathing out coincide with expansion of the lower abdominal cavity? Should you have the same sense of "pushing out" through your arms and legs? If so, should the attention/intention/awareness given to the limbs predominate over the attention in the abdomen, or do they balance, or does the abdominal awareness predominate?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-E_Q...yer_detailpage

PS: "Intention", "Attention", "Awareness", "Visualization" - different words, different nuances, none of them quite capture what I mean, but all of them are kinda close...so I'm using I'm using them in conjunction.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

I'm only replying because no one else has so far; hopefully people with better experience will chime in. I have only beginner answers:
I think the practice is a matter of existing on a spectrum and perhaps bouncing back and forth between the "opposites" to better enagage them into a cohesive whole (better mind-body interactions). When I've been playing around with it I've been focusing on feeling the expansion pressure inhaling causes when I don't allow my abdomen to inflate. I think of it as breathing through the back (mostly) and I usually feel it just above my hips/below my kidneys and traveling up my back along the rear "corners."
FWLIW
Take care,
Matt

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 06:53 PM   #3
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Matthew Gano wrote: View Post
I'm only replying because no one else has so far; hopefully people with better experience will chime in. I have only beginner answers:
I think the practice is a matter of existing on a spectrum and perhaps bouncing back and forth between the "opposites" to better enagage them into a cohesive whole (better mind-body interactions). When I've been playing around with it I've been focusing on feeling the expansion pressure inhaling causes when I don't allow my abdomen to inflate. I think of it as breathing through the back (mostly) and I usually feel it just above my hips/below my kidneys and traveling up my back along the rear "corners."
FWLIW
Take care,
Matt
I'd like to add I actually try to feel down into my hips when I'm doing this...not sure how right or wrong that is though.

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
Dave de Vos
 
Dave de Vos's Avatar
Dojo: Shoryukai, Breda (aikikai) & Aiki-Budocentrum Breda (yoseikan)
Location: Baarle-Nassau
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 335
Netherlands
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

I think the physical part more or less defines reverse breathing: contract abdomen when breathing in, expand abdomen when breathing out.

But depending on the goal of the practise, I think the visualisation, intent and other details differ from art to art, teacher to teacher or even from one exercise to the next (around 0:25 Bill Gleason says he will show a more complicated version the next day).

I don't know Bill Gleason personallly, but I hear and see him explaining that in this variation you visualize drawing energy up from the earth through the legs into the hara when breathing in and sending energy out through the palms when breathing out. He explains this variation is for building ki.

I was taught a different variation for body conditioning (it could be related to the variation Bill Gleason is teaching in the video, but I'm not sure).
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 08:09 PM   #5
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Based on my understanding only, subject to correction by Those Who Know:

I think this practice it is all about building connections throughout the body using the visualizations of breath coming in and going out through palms of the hands and soles of the feet. When you breathe in, you visualize the hara compressing in on itself, pulling breath and ki in from all directions but especially through the limbs. It is *not* about 6-directions as Dan talks about it; that's another exercise with different visualizations.

You do *not* want the chest to inflate on inhale. It just sits on the hara. Actively pull the diaphragm *down* on the inhale, compressing the hara from above. Raise the pelvic floor, compressing from below. (People say go easy on this because it raises blood pressure; maybe, but you've got a lot of structural weaknesses down there (think about it) that need to be reinforced or you'll have other problems.) Pull the abs in, compressing from the front. I don't generally feel the need to compress from the rear because you have the backbone providing stiffness and you generally want to get more expansion/breath/ki in that area anyway.

Breathing out is the reverse. Hara expands pushing ki out through the same channels as breathing in. This is expansion, not swelling up. Chest expands with the rest of the body but don't puff it out.

Watch out for tension on inhale and exhale. You should be lose and free to move throughout. Joints should not lock up. I find thinking of the breath going through the joint and out the body and across the room helps with this.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
mathewjgano
 
mathewjgano's Avatar
Dojo: Tsubaki Kannagara Jinja Aikidojo; Himeji Shodokan Dojo
Location: Renton
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 2,113
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Thank you, Hugh and Dave!

Gambarimashyo!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 05:06 AM   #7
Carsten Möllering
 
Carsten Möllering's Avatar
Dojo: Hildesheimer Aikido Verein
Location: Hildesheim
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 833
Germany
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

I don't know the teaching of Bill Gleason.

As far as I know there are a whole lot of different ways to use reverse breathing. A lot of different Images, Intentions and aims. So it is also used for packing qi in the abdomen.
Another aspect of reverse breathing can be to concentrate the qi while breathing in into the dantian.
And to expand the qi while breathing out onto the surface of the body, i.e. the skin.
And if this works, to expand the qi further, like the bubbles sprinkling out from a soda.

To my experience the most difficult part of reverse breathing before it comes to images or intent is first to really manage the physical part of contracting and expanding the abdomen. (Not the chest.) Because as far as I understand it, this is about actively and correctly moving the diaphragm, the pelvic diaphragm and the inner mucles of front and the back. Which is not easy to do.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 06:09 AM   #8
gregstec
Dojo: Aiki Kurabu
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,110
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

We were working on this yesterday with 'Those Who Know' and Hugh has a pretty good summary from that perspective - as he says, the drill is for help in establishing connection on in the body - However, it is only a first step at a low level to learn what connection feels like - you really need to use intent to take the slack out of the body and maintain that while breathing normally.

Greg
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2012, 07:35 PM   #9
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 847
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Just to add to what Hugh said about the structural weaknesses. I've found that early on, sitting down helps you to feel things more easily. Breathing, just like everything else it seems, takes conditioning. Sitting seems to squeeze off the body a bit and let you really focus on relaxing and slowly working those breaths lower into the body without having to tense up too much and still get some of the same overall conditioning results. Everything else still applies.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-18-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
NekVTAikido
Location: Wolcott Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 36
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Thank you all for your responses!

What I'm getting out of this is:
Work the muscles in the abdomen, but don't get tense.
It's about connecting, training the body, and also training ones awareness. It's a beginner step to having a connected body. (whatever "connected" means).

New questions: How important is posture? Is it ok to work on this when lying down?
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 12:16 AM   #11
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
Location: Peterborough, NH
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 653
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Posture is very important. Why do you think there are so many positions in the video you posted?

*I* wouldn't do it lying down, but that's just me. I do it standing up and work at the same time on everything else I'm working on: centered on my feet, open in 6 directions (on inhale and exhale, duh), no tension in the joints (have to work this one all over again every breath), ki extending from hara through limbs and out to infinity, etc. etc.

Evolution doesn't prove God doesn't exist, any more than hammers prove carpenters don't exist.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2012, 08:14 AM   #12
chillzATL
Location: ATL
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 847
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Gordon Young wrote: View Post
Thank you all for your responses!

What I'm getting out of this is:
Work the muscles in the abdomen, but don't get tense.
It's about connecting, training the body, and also training ones awareness. It's a beginner step to having a connected body. (whatever "connected" means).

New questions: How important is posture? Is it ok to work on this when lying down?
connectedness: notice in the video you linked how he always keeps the body slightly extended and full, but not tense. If you do that with your arms and then add the breathing, you will feel that same stretch in your torso that you should feel in the arms and they kind of come together to connect your upper body as one unit. With enough of that combined with the various visualizations/intent you will get to a point that you feel that same tingly stretchy feel with having to stretch and/or breathe.

lying down: I wouldn't do it that way. One of the benefits I've found in doing reverse breathing is using it to help identify my center. When I breathe now I feel the expansion/pressure in my pelvis and I think laying down might be counter productive to that, initially at least.

Posture is important, but I don't think there's anything specific to breathing that's going to help you identify good vs. bad posture. I used other things to help gain some semblance of a relaxed but stable posture. Once I felt that and could comfortably get there without a lot of prep work, I know what to shoot for when doing anything else, breathing or otherwise, but I don't think I would have found that same stability from breathing alone. YMMV on that though.
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2012, 06:25 AM   #13
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,800
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Gordon Young wrote: View Post
I've heard reverse breathing explained as: When breathing in, contract the abdomen. When breathing out, extend the abdomen. My questions are based on this understanding - but if this is wrong, or incomplete - please help me see what I am missing.
keep forgetting to ask this question. have you read this blog http://mikesigman.blogspot.com/2012/...note-this.html ? and this thread http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21906 ?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 08:42 PM   #14
Messias
Location: Praha
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 17
Portugal
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Carsten Möllering wrote: View Post
I don't know the teaching of Bill Gleason.

As far as I know there are a whole lot of different ways to use reverse breathing. (,,,)
To my experience the most difficult part of reverse breathing before it comes to images or intent is first to really manage the physical part of contracting and expanding the abdomen. (Not the chest.) Because as far as I understand it, this is about actively and correctly moving the diaphragm, the pelvic diaphragm and the inner mucles of front and the back. Which is not easy to do.
Although I´m quite new to Aikido, I´ve been an "obcessed" freediver for over 20 years now, and breathing (as you can imagine) plays a big role in there.
Carsten Möllering has hitted the spot on his comment. Breathing is only diaphragm! Big expanding chests burn down more energy (oxygen) than what they can intake.
And Men (males) are worst "breathers" than females and far worse than children... Have you noticed how a baby breathes? only diaphragm work.
As we grow old we accumulate some "vices" on our body movements and breathing is no exception (and again, male "machos" with big inflating chests... get on the loosing side of the breathing coin)

Relaxation is the mother of breathing...
In Aikido I don´t have the slightest clue on how to direct the energy, but in freediving (if relaxed) you can redirect energy from less used muscles/functions to where it is really needed.

Cheers,
Messias.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2013, 03:51 AM   #15
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 391
United_States
Online
Re: reverse breathing

I think reverse breathing is one area that needs a big CAUTION sign over it. Something along the lines of DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY REVERSE BREATHING - BEFORE YOU HAVE ACQUIRED THE UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO MOVE AS A UNIFIED WHOLE DIRECTED BY THE CORE.

And you can get that far with just regular abdominal breathing. Even learning to breath abdominally and have it feel natural is a study in and of itself for a lot of people.

The inexperienced playing around with reverse breathing would be like putting a kid who had no driving experience in a car on a highway in heavy traffic. And, yes, it can be that dangerous.

I never write in all caps, I don't swear that much, and I rarely use exclamation points. But in this case:

DON'T FUCKING DO IT!!!!!!

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 06:22 AM   #16
Dan Richards
Dojo: Latham Eclectic
Location: NY
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 391
United_States
Online
Re: reverse breathing

If you want to work on breathing, read the sections at the link, starting with chapters VI and VII. And then VIII will give you information on complete breathing.
http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sob/index.htm

  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2013, 06:30 AM   #17
Nicholas Eschenbruch
Dojo: TV Denzlingen
Location: Freiburg
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 308
Germany
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Just for the record: while there are of course potentially dangerous breathing exercises, I have found soft, mindful and fully concentrated reverse breathing the probably most generally useful and healthy practice I have so far encountered in the IS field. But then, we may be talking about different things.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #18
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

i have been sometimes able to make things happen with reverse breathing. I still have to think about it while I am doing it, but I have been able to lift and tip people over with it if I can time my inhale with getting into a good position.

Inhale and pack the breath down into your center - I try to be careful so I don't rupture anything. Then as you exhale, expand outward. The idea I work with is that I my outward breath inflates my body on the way out.

I think the idea here is that the reverse breathing, combined with intention, activates ki. But I have also heard that in other martial paradigms, reverse breathing distorts your partner's sense of where you are and what you are doing by changing subtle queues...someone may be trained to strike as you are inhaling, only to find that you are actually striking them, because you already inhaled.

There are a lot of different types of martial breathing, though, not just reverse breathing. It may not be the solution for all problems.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #19
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
I think reverse breathing is one area that needs a big CAUTION sign over it. Something along the lines of DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY REVERSE BREATHING - BEFORE YOU HAVE ACQUIRED THE UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO MOVE AS A UNIFIED WHOLE DIRECTED BY THE CORE.

And you can get that far with just regular abdominal breathing. Even learning to breath abdominally and have it feel natural is a study in and of itself for a lot of people.

The inexperienced playing around with reverse breathing would be like putting a kid who had no driving experience in a car on a highway in heavy traffic. And, yes, it can be that dangerous.

I never write in all caps, I don't swear that much, and I rarely use exclamation points. But in this case:

DON'T FUCKING DO IT!!!!!!
Now what you could have done here, instead of using profanity, is to actually explain why you think inexperienced experimentation with reverse breathing is bad.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 05:39 PM   #20
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,155
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Dear All,

I really do not care one way or another whether I breathe through/in or out of my toes, fingers, navel,anus or whatever.At the age of 74 my main concern is to continue breathing.As long as I keep breathing I know I am still alive.Cheers, Joe. Ps the last part of my anatomy, [my posterior breathing] is particularly difficult.So far I can exhale really well [the vibrations are loud and clear] the inhalations are much harder to master.No doubt in a few decades I may well become proficient.Needless to say when I train this part of my anatomy ,I usually find myself alone in the dojo.I wonder why??
Cheers, Joe.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2013, 07:15 PM   #21
phitruong
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,800
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Dan Richards wrote: View Post
I think reverse breathing is one area that needs a big CAUTION sign over it. Something along the lines of DO NOT ATTEMPT ANY REVERSE BREATHING - BEFORE YOU HAVE ACQUIRED THE UNDERSTANDING OF HOW TO MOVE AS A UNIFIED WHOLE DIRECTED BY THE CORE.

I never write in all caps, I don't swear that much, and I rarely use exclamation points. But in this case:

DON'T FUCKING DO IT!!!!!!
so what you say here is don't do it, right?

what if you have been doing for awhile now, would that be bad? would ki firing out of your rear and eject you to mars? or maybe your chest hair grew a few extra inches and acquiring english accent then usually introducing yourself starting with Bond... just wondering about what could happen?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
http://charlotteaikikai.org
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 02:41 AM   #22
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,155
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
so what you say here is don't do it, right?

what if you have been doing for awhile now, would that be bad? would ki firing out of your rear and eject you to mars? or maybe your chest hair grew a few extra inches and acquiring english accent then usually introducing yourself starting with Bond... just wondering about what could happen?
Dear Phi,
How this for starters?You might end up with a prolapsed colon, hernia aching ,aching testicles and and if a woman a series of gynaecological ailments? For that matter does reverse breathing done badly harm the prostate?N.B. The above is not clinically proven ,just speculating here.Anyone who knows the downside of incorrect breath please enlighten us.Joe
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 08:18 AM   #23
Cliff Judge
Dojo: Aikido Shobukan Dojo
Location: Columbia, MD
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 976
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Phi,
How this for starters?You might end up with a prolapsed colon, hernia aching ,aching testicles and and if a woman a series of gynaecological ailments? For that matter does reverse breathing done badly harm the prostate?N.B. The above is not clinically proven ,just speculating here.Anyone who knows the downside of incorrect breath please enlighten us.Joe
I am not a doctor and this is not a knowledge-based opinion, but I worry about hernias and hemorrhoids.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 08:37 AM   #24
sakumeikan
Dojo: Sakumeikan N.E. Aikkai .Newcastle upon Tyne.
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,155
United Kingdom
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
I am not a doctor and this is not a knowledge-based opinion, but I worry about hernias and hemorrhoids.
DEAR CLIFF,
AS YOU SHOULD BE.HAVING A HERNIA IS NO JOKE NEITHER IS IT FUN HAVING A LOAD OF DUKE OF ARGYLLS.
WHO WANTS TO STRUT AROUND LIKE A LATTER DAY JOHHN WAYNE?? JOE,
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #25
Rob Watson
Location: CA
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 698
United_States
Offline
Re: reverse breathing

http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/ScienceOfBreath.pdf

"In my opinion, the time of spreading aikido to the world is finished; now we have to focus on quality." Yamada Yoshimitsu

Ultracrepidarianism ... don't.
  Reply With Quote

Please visit our sponsor:

Handmade Aikido Gifts - Handmade functional ceramic art with aikido themes



Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Breathing Practices Marc Abrams Non-Aikido Martial Traditions 36 02-21-2011 08:30 AM
068) Focus on Breathing: April 2010 Marc Abrams External Aikido Blog Posts 4 04-01-2010 08:50 AM
Breathing Training while Exercising patf Training 5 08-21-2008 05:46 PM
Breathing exercises roadster Training 11 06-29-2007 06:01 AM
Deep Breathing and its meaning Dennis Hooker General 58 09-01-2006 02:08 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:48 PM.



vBulletin Copyright © 2000-2014 Jelsoft Enterprises Limited
----------
Copyright 1997-2014 AikiWeb and its Authors, All Rights Reserved.
----------
For questions and comments about this website:
Send E-mail
plainlaid-picaresque outchasing-protistan explicantia-altarage seaford-stellionate