Compassion Strengths

Workshops, consultations, education and support for care givers.

Breath of Relief

“Letting go is a basic, if not THE basic principle of T’ai-chi-Ch’uan. It is said a student’s progress is determined by how much he is willing to let go of – tension, emotional programming, fear, thinking, defensiveness, etc. The natural being is already powerful and wise. You must let go of your interference with the body’s power and wisdom”   
 
- Bob Klein: Movements of Magic, The Spirit of Tai Chi Ch’uan


Practicing Breath of Relief

Breath of Relief is the first and possibly most important breathing movement to learn. It sets the stage for the next three breaths, Awareness, Acceptance and Transformation. Each of these breathing motions will build upon the foundation built from practicing Breath of Relief.

Watch the video several times to get a sense of the flow of one motion into the next, into the next. What is most important about Breath of Relief is to allow yourself to relax, breathe and get familiar with your body self. There is no one, single “correct” way to do Breath of Relief; your correct way will probably look different than my correct way.

What you may want to focus on initially is the smoothness of your motions in harmony with your breathing. This means letting go of the idea that one way of moving is better than another and allow your attention to simply focus on moving hands, arms and legs harmoniously with breathing in and out.

You will soon develop a rhythm, which is good as long as you don’t confine yourself to just one rhythm. Continually be responsive to your body-mind by being open to whatever speed, tempo, and intensity it wants to move. Learn to suspend the constant talk of the ego by continually returning to the flow of your breath, energy and motion.

Try varying the speed of the movement and listen for what feels right to you at that time. As you practice Breath of Relief you will become attuned to the various, subtle energy patterns and rhythms that flow through your body every day. The right speed one day may not be the right speed the next.

The more you can allow your awareness to flow in, between and through every motion of Breath of Relief, the more you will be attuned to the subtle energies that can help you establish your “inner rhythm” for the day.

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