Breath is essential to life and it is something that we all do without thinking about. After all, if you are not breathing then you are not living. But you might be surprised to discover that many of us are not breathing properly and are not benefiting enough from this. This is why breathing plays a big role in many Qigong practices and why it forms an integral part of all Spring Forest Qigong practices.
You need to breathe properly to meditate properly, and to exercise properly. You need to breathe properly to heal, to sleep and to ensure you are always happy and healthy. Many of the courses at the SFQ discuss proper breathing to some extent, but the Energy Breathing practice goes one step further. This practice is all about the breath and the healing potential that lies within.
But what are the benefits of this exercise, where can you find it and what are the next steps once you have completed it?
Benefits of Energy Breathing
It may sound a little hard to believe, but proper breathing can work wonders for your physical and mental health. Only when you breathe properly can you supply your body and your mind with the oxygen that it needs. Think of it this way, your body needs oxygen to survive, your organs (brain included) need it to function at normal capacity. So it goes without saying that by increasing the amount of oxygen that you breathe in and by devoting more time to getting this right, you will be giving your body and mind more of the stuff it needs.
Energy Breathing can therefore help with every aspect of your health, from increasing your energy levels and decreasing fatigue, to eliminating stress, anxiety (which is why you will be told to “take a deep breath” when you are in a panic) and insomnia.
Master Lin describes the benefits in full during the introduction section of the Energy Breathing guide. These include all of the following points, which were taken from the SFQ website:
- Relaxation of the body
- Balance of the emotions
- Calming of the mind
- More energy and vitality
- Increased oxygen update (more fuel for your body and mind)
- Stress relief (and stress is the leading cause of illness)
- Lowering of high blood pressure — often dramatically
Where to Find Energy Breathing
You can download the Energy Breathing practice as a standalone guide from the SFQ Digital Library. Here it is available as an MP3, and you can also stream it directly from the SFQ website. If you would prefer, you can purchase it as a CD and have this sent to your address.
However, the best way to experience the Energy Breathing practice is via the level 2 course Qigong for Healing. This course covers a wide range of level 2 techniques and exercises and Energy Breathing features as the audio element of this course. This way you get more for your money, as Qigong for Healing teaches you about your breath and about a number of other useful techniques, including:
- How to heal others
- How to control energy
- How to meditate on the wellbeing of loved ones
- How to fast
- How to control your diet
Although many SFQ courses are also discussed at seminars and retreats, that is not the case with Energy Breathing. It is something that many students visiting these seminars are expected to understand, as it is one of the most fundamental practices. So, if you plan to attend one of these retreats, then make sure you pickup the Energy Breathing guide and learn it in full first.
Once you have finished the Energy Breathing practice, then you need to find a way of working it into your daily practice. Many SFQ guides and courses will instruct you to take deep breaths, to relax or to prepare for meditation and in all cases, you should look to perform what you learned in the Energy Breathing meditation. What you learn here should get you through the beginner and intermediate levels, helping you sporadically throughout.
Once you make it to the final steps of the intermediate stages or once you take your first steps in the advanced levels, you should move onto Enhanced Energy Breathing. This can be purchased separately as a standalone guide and is not included on any main courses, unlike Energy Breathing. This advanced practice will teach you even more advanced and even more useful techniques than what you learned in the Energy Breathing practice.