Taoists were greatly concerned with promoting longevity and became renowned for their longevity practices. An essential component of their most successful longevity techniques is called "turtle breathing," which is an eight-minute breath. Giant turtles are known to live for hundreds of years. They commonly submerge themselves in the water and hold their breath for more than five minutes at a time.Turtle Breathing instructions below are provided by Bruce Frantzis.
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Many Qigong forms evolved from the ancient Chinese observation of animals. Learning the habits and movements of animals that had a long and harmonious life were of special interest. Turtles live an exceptionally long and peaceful life for which they have become venerated in China. A longevity practice called Turtle Breathing developed from observing and understanding the habits of turtles.
by Bruce Frantzis
Sit in a comfortable Qigong posture.
Put your hands naturally on your knees. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Exhale while very, very slowly bending forward and down.
Bend with one vertebra at a time until finally your spine is curled. Remember to tuck your chin under just before bending down.
Inhale as you slowly sit back up until your spine is straight. This forms one cycle.
Go as slowly and prolong your breathing as much as possible. You should not hear any heavy breathing. Don’t hold your breath. Adjust to your own pace while performing it.
If your breathing is not in sync with your movement, take a breath to adjust your breathing. Do not rush through each cycle.
Relax and take your time and do not hunch your back.
Repeat daily, in multiples of 3 cycles.
Taoist Longevity Breathing goes beyond increasing oxygen capacity. Longevity Breathing will help you rejuvenate and supercharge not only your lungs, but also all your internal organs. It improves circulation, increases performance and reduces stress. It also helps you cope with negative emotions, such as fear and anger.
Contrary to what most people believe, it is not your lungs that activate air intake. The diaphragm is responsible for moving air in and out of your lungs. So Taoist Longevity Breathing initially focuses on your diaphragm since it's the starting point of breathing. Breathing with your belly strengthens your diaphragm. However, the breathing technique must be learned systematically and gradually, and should only be done with an instructor skilled in monitoring these progressive stages. The connections between your diaphragm and heart, if excessively forced, could get overstretched or dislodged.
"A healthy body is necessary otherwise all the Qi is spent on healing, leaving none spare to develop the spirit. Speculation aside, on a truly practical level those who follow ‘The Way’ and Daoist health regimens unquestionably attain longevity and in China 100 years in good health is tantamount to ‘Immortal’"--by Adam Wallac
Golden Turtle Immersing in Water (Yang)/Water Buffalo Emerging from Water (Yin)
(Pages 161–73) from Iron Shirt Chi Kung by Mantak Chia
Yang Position: Golden Turtle Immersing in Water
1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and tongue on the roof of the mouth. Do 9 or 18 rounds of abdominal breathing, inhaling more air than you exhale. On the last inhalation, flatten abdomen toward the spine.
2. Inhale as you tighten your fists, fold your forearms against your upper arms, round the back, and sink the chest. Then exhale and bend forward as you straighten your back, so that your whole spine is parallel to the floor. Keeping the forearms folded on the upper arms, expand the scapulae and feel the back energized with chi.
3. Lock the sacrum and open the knees, letting your body weight sink down to the hips, then knees, then feet, then into the ground.
Iron Shirt third posture: Golden Turtle (yang position)
If you feel a strain in the thigh, back, or hip joints during the Golden Turtle/ Water Buffalo positions, rest your arms on a chair.
4. Pull energy into the groin area. Tuck in the chin and lock your neck. Press your elbows outward against the insides of the knees while simultaneously pressing the knees inward.
5. Inhale a small sip of air and pack energy into the navel, then inhale a bit more and pack to the lower abdomen.
6. Inhale and pack to the perineum, then pull on the sexual organs more tightly, pulling earth energy up to the perineum. Inhale a bit more and pack to the sacrum, then tilt the sacrum to activate the sacral pump.
7. Inhale and pack to T11, the area of the kidneys and adrenal glands. Press T11 toward the back, then inflate the lower back with chi pres-sure, energizing the kidneys.
8. Inhale and pack at C7. Tighten the neck and cranial bones, and clench your teeth. Then inhale and pack to the base of the skull, the Jade Pillow. Finally, inhale up to the crown.
9. Now harmonize the breath with abdominal breathing, letting the body relax and flow with chi.
Iron Shirt Chi Kung
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Frontier Thyme Leaf Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bag
Foundational Practices to Awaken Chi Energy
Chinese Esoteric Art of Health and Longevity
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A Taoist Guide to Longevity
The Shaolin Qigong Workout For Longevity
My favorite Meditation for Self-Healing by Yogi Bhajan
Breathing exercise to overcome all of your physical shortcomings
Also try Bliss Meditation
Meditation to receive Universal Love
Please also try my Heart-opening Exercise/Visualization
Books and DVDs on Qigong:
Qigong Meditation: Small Circulation
Livelight ~ Yoga and Meditation Music
Wuji Qigong Meditation
Spring Forest Qigong - Small Universe - Meditation
Three Treasures Qigong Healing Meditation
Qigong Meditation: Embryonic Breathing