Copyright © 2002 James Deacon
very specific respiratory practice, from the Art of Tenchi Seiki
Te-Ate, is used to stimulate the student's internal energy.
can be practiced either standing, or seated on a chair, stool
or bench, or in a crosslegged posture or in the seiza posture,
or whilst reclining.
a time and place where you are unlikely to be disturbed - initially
5 -10 minutes will be quite sufficient for practice - with time
you may want to increase this.
Remove your shoes. And wherever you are doing this exercise -
indoors or out, make sure (if standing, or seated on the floor)
the floor/ground is both comfortable and warm. Do not practice
this on cold floors/ground, do not practice in the cold, generally.
If you are doing this standing up, begin by standing with your
feet about shoulder-with apart, arms by your sides.
If seated, sit up straight (comfortably so - no need for rigid
military-style posture - this will only impede the technique).
Rest your hands, palms down, on your legs.
If reclining, rest your arms by your sides.
by 'hara-centering', and 'watching the breath': loosely focussing
on the natural rhythms of your breathing. There is no interference
with the natural process - no seeking to consciously breathe -
merely to be aware that you are breathing effortlessly.
a few moments, begin to consciously intervene in your respiratory
process. Without straining, inhale a long, slow breath - until
the lungs are almost (yet not quite) full, then immediately, smoothly,
start to exhale at the same slow rate, continuing until the lungs
are almost (yet not quite) empty; immediately and smoothly beginning
again to inhale - almost to capacity, then exhaling again.
a steady rhythm - continue this cycle of breathing, focussing
on quality, pace, and smoothness of respiration for a total of
the ninth exhalation is completed, immediately start to inhale
once more, but this time the breath, though still smooth, and
at the same slow rate, is only inhaled to the point where the
lungs are approximately half-filled, then immediately, smoothly,
exhaled again at the same slow rate, continuing until the lungs
are almost empty once more. This 'half-capacity' breath is followed
immediately by another long, slow breath - until the lungs are
almost full, then exhaled at the same slow rate, continuing until
the lungs are almost empty, followed by another 'half-capacity'
so the pattern continues - a long, full breath followed seamlessly
by a short 'half-capacity' breath followed by a long breath followed
by a short breath - and so on.
breathing pattern can be continued for a short while - as long
as you feel comfortable with the process. While this pattern involves
controlled breathng, the aim is for this process to become an
almost subconscious, effortless one. At no time should there be
even the slightest degree of strain or forcing involved in the
practice of this breathing pattern, and if at any time there is
any sense of even the mildest discomfort, you should simply relax
into your natural breathing rhythms once more.