This week's video is a breathing exercise adapted from the yijinjing set taught by Master Jiru of the Mid-America Buddhist Association (MABA). Ven. Jiru is my meditation teacher and I learned the yijinjing from him while on meditation retreat at MABA.
Humans are the only mammals (that I'm aware of) that have voluntary control over their diaphragm; in most other mammals, under load, the action of the diaphragm is controlled by the gait cycle. In other words, when the animal stretches out while running, the rib cage expands and inhales and during the "pull" phase of their stride the rib cage condenses and they exhale.
These movements are similar to what's called "bellows breath" from yoga.
In the second phase of the exercise, we bend over. Bending over relieves the diaphragm of it's obligation as a core stabilizer and allows you to use it 100% to assist in respiration, which is why you feel like you need to put your hands on your knees to recover your breathing after a big effort.
The third phase of the exercise slaps the kidney like a drum. The kidneys are a very important aspect of Chinese medicine and in fact play an important role in our endocrine system as well as filtering/eliminating waste from our system.
To learn more about Venerable Jiru and MABA click here: http://www.maba-usa.org/about/
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor. Video is for informational purposes only. Follow the exercises at your own risk. Always consult a physician before engaging in this or any other exercise or lifestyle change.
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