Both approaches have their own rationale. What is unique about a Taoist (or tai-chi) approach in full breathing? It is the use of meditative points (守意). My procedure of Full breathing in Taoist meditation (and tai-chi) is as follows:
- Seated, folder legs or with feet touching the ground.
- Hands in meditative stretched state
- Being alerted to meditative state, in particular Points-stretched; body-relax (點緊身松)
- To fill one's lower abdomen, push down one's pelvic floor muscles
- Point of focus to exercise force: perineum 會陰 (muscles between anus and genital，either of these two can also act as a focused point)
- To fill one's upper abdomen, push down one's diaphragm and expand it outward
- Point of focus to exercise force downwards: dantian 丹田 (point about 1-2 inches parallel to and behind navel)
- Point of focus to exercise outward expansion: Dai-mai 帶脈 or chi-belt around one's diaphragm, activated by dantian focus.
- To fill one's mid-lungs, push one's sternum outwards
- Point of focus to exercise force outwards: danzhong 膻中(position check Breathing page)
- To fill one's upper lungs, raise upper lungs upwards
- Point of focus to exercise force upwards: jianjing 肩井(position check Breathing page)
- Facilitative move: head slightly bending forward/downward (Indian Yoga's Jhalandara Banha, throat lock, serves similar purpose).
In future posts, I shall talk more about a comparison with Yoga's breathing approach.