Breathing the Limbs and its Uses

Breathing the limbs, a technique I discussed in my book Living Yoga.  It is a good way to improve chi circulation in the body, clear blockages, relax and align the limbs.  There are 3 ways you can practice this, the third is related to condensing breathing and is a good way to start practicing that technique.

First, as you inhale you visualize chi coming into the body through the arm, leg or head and to the nearest center (lower center or heart center) and when exhaling visualize the chi moving out of the body.  Note, with all of these it is important to really feel the chi moving through the body.  This is going to help you build chi and body awareness.

Second, as you inhale visualize the chi coming in through the top of the head from the universe to the center closest to the limb and then exhaling and visualizing the chi moving out of the arm or leg.  I find this technique is a little more effective than the first and very useful while in yoga poses for helping to relax muscles, align the body and chi strengthening (strengthening chi and body by using chi as strength).

Third, with this technique you are not moving chi in and out of the body.  If you are familiar with condensing breathing it is like that.  When you inhale you feel and visualize the limb condensing and when you exhale it expands.  Condensing breathing uses this specifically on the bones because chi moves along the marrow.  This may be hard at first, to feel your bones, this is why I recommend you just breathe each section of your limbs first.  This is helping you to increase awareness of your body and the feeling of chi deeper into your body until you can start to feel your bones.  Also if you want to practice condensing breathing you can physically touch your bones to help bring the mind to the bones through sensation.  This technique is great for as I said building awareness but also relaxing tension and it can be used for relaxing the hips and pelvis, shoulders and any oart of the torso and the head.


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