Popping up and Down Breathing Exercise
Begin with the starting position and look ahead. Lift your arms in front of your body with palms facing downward and inhale at the same time. When your hands reach the level of your shoulder, switch your breath to exhaling while your hands beginning to press down. Bend your knees and lower your body a little. Continue to exhale and the press your hands down until they reach the level of dantian. Repeat cyclically for eight to thirty-six times. Imagine you are playing with a ball that is moving up and down in the water. Inhale while popping up and straightening your knees, exhale while pushing down and bending your knees.
This exercise is one of the basic exercises for Tai Chi Chuan learners. It helps you to build up a breathing pattern that is rhythmic and in harmony with body movements. It is also an auxiliary therapeutic exercise for limb numbness and arthritis. Do not lean backward while inhaling or forward while exhaling. The arms and hands wave just like the tail of a fish. People who have arthritis in their knees can add the image of the knees holding a balloon. The balloon is so fragile that a little bit of pressure will break it. Keep the idea that the balloon will neither fall by releasing it nor break by pressing it.