Description

Breathing exercises are those which allow a student to challenge and improve their lung capacity or attain a desired state of mind.


Exercises

  • Sitting in seiza, or any other comfortable position, breath deeply and slowly, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to think of nothing by letting thoughts enter and exit without focusing on any one thought. This exercise can be difficult and may take some time to accomplish, but as you do it more often you will find it gets easier and easier. This will lead to a calm or relaxed state of mind.

  • Breath in increasing increments starting from a breath every 3 seconds to a breath every 10 seconds. Allowing your breath to lengthen and become steady as you increase the amount of time for each breath. Once you reach 10 seconds, work your way back down to 3. This challenges your lung capacity and goes a long way in helping you understand your breathing.

  • Misogi Breathing - is similar but with a different cadence. It is always done in seiza. In Misogi Breathing, breathe in through the nose for a count of 8, hold for a count of 8, exhale for a count of 8. Practice this until you can do each action to a count of 16 (one-one thousand, two-one thousand, and so on). Practice Misogi Breathing at least once per week and you will notice a larger lung capacity when you are under stress. In fact, Misogi Breathing is a good prescription for overcoming stress.

  • Exhale - When we do our techinques, we should always exhale at the point of impact. This solidifies the body and creates a greater mass from which the technique emanates. It also focuses everything into one point. You should always be aware of your breathing no matter what you are doing. For example, during "Yoi," inhale with raising the arms, hold as you cross the arms and exhale as you lower the arms. This is a "mini" Misogi Breathing exercise and you should think about other motions that breathing applies to. As a general rule, impact requires an exhale. But to exhale, there must be air in the lungs, so think about when to inhale during the preparation of the technique prior to delivery. Your breathing should be a conscious effort as you refine a technique. It should not be left to chance or natural tendencies. It should be as trained as any other technique. In fact, it is a technique.