Most of us breathe without much awareness. In other words, we are passively breathing whatever way the body is doing. Most of the time, shallow breathing.
Through practicing QiGong (breathing exercise), we can make the breathing slower and deeper. As a result, we will be able to bring much more oxygen into our blood stream, down to each cell.
When first start practicing, follow your body’s natural capacity, or natural breathing. Then focus on DanTian (lower abdomen) breathing. Three times a day, 5-20 minutes each time. This is to get your body prepared for the next step.
Then you may start to practice holding the breath. Inhale–hold–exhale. Hold for 2-4 seconds. It has to be gentle. Don’t force it.
Before you practicing, I suggest you measure the number of breath per minute (count inhale and exhale as one). Most people count 6–8 per minute. Measure again after 6 months of practice. You may be surprised how much you can improve after practicing QiGong.
For personal instructions, come to Nan’s Tai Chi classes at Long Branch Community Center (Thursday evenings) and Langley Park Community Center (Saturday mornings).