Tai Chi Baton Breathing
I do not study Tai Chi with a teacher, but to help my meditation and improve balance after my accident I studied Ramel Rones's "Tai Chi Energy Patterns" DVD. I found it really helped when I wasn't well enough to even go for a walk. These breathing patterns were the beginning of how I learnt to manage pain with meditation. They take focus and control.
This exercise 'Baton Breathing" is a good starting point to focus your breathing and meditation.
- Sit or stand with a neutral spine, imagining your head reaching to the sky and feet growing like tree roots into the ground. Slightly tuck the pelvis under to encourage a long lumbar spine.
- Picture an energy ball behind your naval. As you inhale the energy becomes more focused within you and centralizes at the energy centre. As you exhale the energy expands and grows inside your body, giving it strength. Keep doing this for 5 minutes.
- Picture the energy ball in your pituitary centre (in between your eyes in your forehead) and inhale and exhale, imagining the energy ball becoming larger as you exhale & smaller as you inhale. Keep doing this for 5 minutes.
- Connect the naval and pituitary energy balls drawing a line between them - creating a baton. Reside in the baton as you breathe. Sense the difference between the naval and pituitary, how does this feel in the baton? Stay here for at least 5 minutes.