Many newcomers are attracted by reverse breathing, namely that breathing which works the opposite of how most of us breathe. And many schools teach it too soon.
In the circular breathing “normal”, as described in my post A Breath of Long Life, the body expands to inhale, in inverse instead it “compresses”. Or for better saying, it’s not a compression, but an internal pressure coordinated with the inbreath. The belly retracts as we inhale, expands as we exhale. You can try it by activating some muscle, it is not difficult. This breath is very powerful, and in fact is one that should accompany free or rhythmic, each Taoist internal art in its advanced forms (Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Ba Gua, etc.).
Beware, though: I remind you that one of the objectives of these practices, the first and most important, is the psycho-physical relaxation. You must know that if we undertake to breathe “inverse” before the body is dissolved, clean, free from energy blocks, etc etc etc … we create a lot of psycho-physical tension (not to be confused with the healthy internal pressure)! Psycho: the mind forces the body to do things for which it is not ready yet. Physical: the body obeys, poor guy, using muscles that should not be used, creating imbalances and stress that reflect on the whole being.
Basically, if you reverse our breath too soon, we practice stress, not relaxation! Therefore: keep an eye (and an ear) to when your body tells you that it is really ready for advanced practices such as reverse breathing. Any practice should be done without effort, in a natural way. Got it? And do not fall into the ego-trap of those who promise to get you to the moon in one night…
Copyright © 2014 Cosimo Mendis.