Breathing is very important for almost all traditional Chinese health promotion exercises. A good breathing pattern is deep, smooth, and slow. Animals that breathe slowly, such as elephants and turtles, have longer lives than those that breathe quickly. A correct pattern of breathing is the basis for all of the exercises in this book. You do not have to practice all the breathing methods every time. Practicing one or two of them is recommended.
You are supposed to do the exercises slowly, gracefully, and in a relaxed manner. Exhaling usually takes a little longer than inhaling. There is usually a half-second interval between the inhaling-exhaling switching, when you can adjust your breath a little, but body movement does not stop during this interval.