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Rules and principles of breathing technique whilst practicing Taiji

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7. Rules and principles of breathing technique whilst practicing Taiji
Q31: How long should I stand in the Taiji Stance or a fixed position for? Why is there so much pain and discomfort during the practice and how can you get rid of it?

A: For beginners, we recommend two to five minutes of practice each time should be long enough. Once you get fitter, 15 minutes or half an hour are highly recommended for serious students or martial arts purposes. All of the Taiji stances or fixed position postures always come with pain and discomfort after you have held the position for a while. Normally, you should take it and fight with the pain and discomfort at the beginning stage. Gradually, the pain and soreness will disappear once the level of your fitness and status of relaxation improves. The more relaxed you are the better your circulation is. Also, more lactic acid can be removed from aching or sore muscles. Eventually, you will. feel less pain and be able to stand in low, difficult postures for much longer. There is still pain, but it is bearable, the same as how a long-distance runner can keep going for much longer than normal people. Again, this takes time and personal effort, like any sport. Click to learn Migraine in TCM.

Q32: Do you need to change the speed of the movements when you practice Chen Style Taijiquan?
A: Yes, it is very necessary to change the speed whilst you practice Chen Style Taijiquan movements. When the original form was created, it was designed. under the Yin-Yang philosophy, which means everything is based on both the Yin and Yang that changes and complements each other. That is why the Chen Style Taiji masters always demonstrate and perform the movements in a speed-change format. The change ofthe speed varies and purely depends on the person and the circumstances. It is very creative and personal. Another advantage of changing speed is that it makes the practice of Taiji exercise more interesting and attractive for demonstration. Click to learn Intercostal Neuralgia in TCM.
Q33: Is it OK for people with chronic illness, such as arthritic knee and shoulders to practice Taiji exercise and what should they pay attention to?

A: Yes, it is a good solution to take Taiji as a recovery exercise. However, the type of exercises, intensity of the exercises and the amount of the practicing time are the main issues to pay attention to in general, take the soft, slow, light and easy-going movements to start with, then gradually practice more and train harder.

Q34: Where should your eyes look whilst you are practicing Taiji exercise?

A: Eye movements are very important in Taiji practice. The eyes are the window of your mind and it shows your spirit. The following are the key points where your eyes should normally look.

1) Look at the intention, the meaning of the movements.
2) Look sideways using the corner of your eyes with very limited head turning and pay a great attention to the feeling inside your body.
3) Look in the direction of the main moving hand.

Q35: What are the rules and principles of breathing technique whilst practicing Taiji exercise?

A: Breathing techniques are one of the main features of Chen Style Taiji. Taiji uses the lower abdomen (Dantian) to breathe in and out. This in turn deepens your breath and enables your internal organs to become more involved in the breathing movement and thus gain more benefits from this form of internal massage. Click to learn Epilepsy in TCM.

For beginners, just breathe in and out naturally, do not strain in any way. Try and use your lower abdomen as this allows for deeper and more efficient breathing, but do not strain. For experienced people, the reverse breathing method is recommended, where your lower abdomen goes in and lifts up a bit when you breathe in, goes out and sinks down a bit when you breathe out. Whilst practicing Taiji, breathing always cooperates with the movements simultaneously. It is a very complex training method and it is hard to say exactly where and when you should breathe in or out as most of movements in the form can be performed or practiced in various ways or formats, depending on the Taiji skill of the individual and the purpose of using the movements. Therefore, in general, I offer the following tips:
1) Hands rising up, breathing in.
 2) Hands sinking down, breathing out.
 3) Opening posture, breathing in.
 4) Closing posture, breathing out.

Gentle, smooth, deep and long breaths are the main requirements during the Taiji exercises. When you practice Taiji for health benefits with very soft and gentle exercises, you should only use your nose to breathe in and out. When you practice Taiji for the purpose of martial arts and releasing energy, you should use both the nose and mouth at the same time with sound effect.

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