Chapter Initial Preparations

A. Iron Shirt Breathing and Relaxation

You must not use force in any of these procedures. These exercises depend very much upon mind control and relaxation. In doing the chin press, which is accomplished by pressing the chin down to the chest and pushing out C-7, the chest must remain relaxed if you are not to develop chest pain and congestion and if you are to avoid difficulty in breathing. Practice the relaxation of the Inner Smile and run your Microcosmic Orbit (described briefly in this Chapter and more fully in the book, Awaken Healing Energy Through the Tao). If you find yourself shaking and jerking about, just simply let it all happen. It is a refreshing experience.

In a standing or walking position, you can stroke your chest with your palms from top to bottom from nine to eighteen times to relieve any congestion that might have accumulated there. Burp, if the need arises. If you begin to salivate copiously, tighten your neck muscles, press your chin to your chest, 'smile down" through all of your organs and then put your tongue to your palate and, using force, swallow saliva so that you feel as though you have indeed swallowed all the way down to your navel. Concentrate there until you can feel your navel grow warm.

Practice the Iron Shirt Chi Kung breathing twice per day only during your first week of practice and three times per day in the following week. By the second to fourth week, you can increase six to nine times and increase the length of time in Packing Breathing.

1. Abdominal and Reverse Breathing (Energizer Breathing)

Those who have not been trained in Chi Kung, Yoga or any other breathing exercise will be tense and will use very shallow, short breaths, uilizing only one-third of the lungs. This causes lose of Chi pressure in the abdominal cavity. With practice, proper breathing is accomplished.

Iron Shirt breathing combines various types of breathing. First, abdominal breathing is practiced to energize and loosen the fascial layers of the body. When the breath is harmonized, Chi is sent down to the navel. At this time, reverse breathing is initiated. Abdominal and reverse breathing are the two basic ways of breath training. Practiced together they are known as Energizer breathing, but have also been called "Breath of Fire" or "Bellows Breathing".

Breathe to create a round shape, expanding

Breathe to create a round shape, expanding

Abdominal Breath
Fig. 2.1 (a) Abdominal Breathing (b) Reverse Breathing

Abdominal and reverse breathing are caused by the up and down movement of the thoracic diaphragm. (Fig. 2.1 (a) and (b)) During abdominal breathing, the diaphragm lowers and forces the vital organs, especially the adrenal glands, to compress downward, allowing the lower lobes of the lungs to fill with air, and forcing the abdomen to protrude. The chest and the sternum sink, which presses and activates the thymus gland. Upon exhalation, the stomach returns to a flatter shape and the other vital organs return to their original size and shape. In reverse breathing, on inhalation we flatten the stomach, push the organs and diaphragm up, and allow air to fill the whole lungs. As your practice develops, you will be able to maintain a lowered diaphragm during reverse breathing, thereby lowering and compressing the organs. Upon exhaling, we fill the abdomen out. The motions thus created massage the vital organs to a certain extent. It is to reverse breathing that "Packing" Breathing is added.

a. Practice Abdominal Breathing (Fig. 2.1 (a))

(1) To practice abdominal breathing, keep the chest very relaxed. This may be difficult at first, but it is important. Begin by breathing in, drawing the air into the abdomen.

(2) Make the chest hollow and drop the diaphragm down. (Fig. 2.2(a)) Pressure is felt inside the abdomen which will begin to protrude on all sides in a rounded shape. Do not expand the stomach only. With the diaphragm lowered and the abdomen filled with air the inches of spacing containing the abdominal organs are minimized. (Fig. 2.2(b))

Diaphragm Spiritual

(3) Hold your breath for a moment and exhale, flatten the stomach to the spine and feel the perineum (the region between the genital organs and the rectum) flood with the pressure. Pull the sexual organs up. The chest and the sternum sink, pressing and activating the thymus gland. (Fig. 2.3) Do not use force. It is enough to feel a slight pull and flattening of the chest.

(4) Inhale and relax, maintaining a dropped diaphragm, and feel the air expand on all sides of the abdomen (not only the front) like a round ball. Exhale and feel the pull of the sexual organs.

(5) With each inhalation and exhalation counting as one set, practice each set nine, eighteen, and then 36 times. Abdominal breathing, as the initiation of what is called "Energizer Breathing", is used throughout all the exercises as a pre-exercise to Packing Process Breathing. It is also used after packing process breathing to regulate the breath.

Fig. 2.3 When the diaphragm presses down on the adrenal glands, the sternum sinks. This activates the thymus gland.

Thymus Adrenal Glands

Thymus Gland

Diaphragm Adrenal Glands

Kidneys

Fig. 2.3 When the diaphragm presses down on the adrenal glands, the sternum sinks. This activates the thymus gland.

Thymus Gland

Diaphragm Adrenal Glands

Kidneys

(6) If you find that your diaphragm becomes tight and pushed up into the rib cage, rub the diaphragm with both hands using the fingers to gently work the diaphragm so that it will drop down out of the rib area into a relaxed position. (Fig. 2.4) Tightness in the abdominal area is one of the main causes of breathing problems. Abdominal massage will help to relieve the tightness of the diaphragm. Use your fingers to lightly massage the abdomen in the navel area until you feel the tightness ease. This will greatly improve your deep breathing.

b. Practice Reverse Breathing (Fig. 2.1 (b))

Tight muscles in the chest can be a problem, and so it is important to relax. It is not the muscles but this relaxation which holds the Chi packed inside. Moreover using and training the mind to direct and condense the Chi are the ultimate goals of Iron Shirt training.

As you begin to inhale for reverse breathing, the organs and diaphragm are pushed up as the air fills the entire lungs. As your practice develops, you will be able to control the diaphragm and organs, maintaining them in a lowered position.

Reverse breathing, as the preparation for Packing Process Breathing, also takes place in the lower abdomen and should be practiced in conjunction with abdominal breathing. Draw air into the abdomen while contracting the muscles in front of the abdomen.

Abdominal Breathing Distress

Fig. 2.4 Front View of the Diaphragm

Diaphragm down, lung capacity increases.

Diaphragm up, lung capacity decreases.

Fig. 2.4 Front View of the Diaphragm

Begin with abdominal breathing, and follow with reverse breathing.

(1) Practice abdominal breathing six times. Upon the last exhalation, flatten the stomach. Maintain the flattened stomach and begin reverse breathing upon inhalation. Feel the abdomen flatten even more, as if it were approaching the spine and feel the perineum flood with a pressure. Pull the sexual organs up and, at the same time, try to lower the diaphragm so that you are pushing down on the organs. Try not to let the diaphragm push up. Lowering the diaphragm is the hardest part of reverse breathing. It is very important now to practice the relaxing technique of smiling to the diaphragm and the abdomen.

(2) Exhale, releasing the pressure in the perineum and in the sexual organs. Exhale through the lower abdomen, allowing the pressure to protrude from the lower abdomen to all sides and not only the stomach. Relax, letting the fasciae expand while releasing and relaxing the chest totally. Smile down. Relax.

(3) Counting each inhalation and exhalation together as one, practice reverse breathing six, nine, and then eighteen times. Practice until you are able to control the diaphragm with your mind, commanding it to lower down or rise up.

2. Pelvic and Urogenital Diaphragms

The body also contains a pelvic diaphragm and a urogenital diaphragm which are exceedingly important in transmitting energy in Iron Shirt. (Fig. 2.5) The pelvic diaphragm is a muscular wall that extends across the lower part of the torso, suspended concavely downward from the level of the symphysis pubis (the joint of the pubic bones) in front and the sacrum (the back of the pelvis) in back. There are several organs that penetrate this muscular partition that lies between the pelvic cavity and the perineum. These are the urethra, the vagina and the rectum, and they are supported by the pelvic diaphragm. In fact, the pelvic diaphragm is the floor of the pelvic cavity which contains the large intestine, small intestine, bladder, kidneys, liver spleen, and pancreas. It is the pelvic diaphragm that lifts up and maintains the shapes of the vital organs.

Below the pelvic diaphragm and above the perineum is another muscular diaphragm called the urogenital diaphragm. (Fig. 2.6) This is penetrated by the urethra, while its underside is the attachment site of the root of the penis or vagina. The pudendal nerve connects the muscles of the urogenital diaphragm, the penis or vagina and the anus. There is a membranous superficial fascia that attaches to the back of this lowermost diaphragm that comes forward to engulf the scrotum or vagina (which also contains muscle) and joins with the abdominal wall. The importance of these anatomical structures will become apparent as you progress in your work in Taoist Yoga, especially in Iron Shirt I, II and III and in Taoist Secrets of Love (Seminal and Ovarian Kung Fu). These two diaphragms serve to assist the flow of pressure to the vital organs and glands, and help tremendously to increase Chi pressure in the organs and the abdomen. Knowing how to utilize and control these diaphragms will improve your capabilities in all levels of the Universal Tao practice.

Wushu Kung Pressure Vital Point
Fig. 2.5 Pelvic and urogenital diaphragms are the major lower seals which prevent vital energy from leaking out the lower openings.

Chapter II Pubic Bone

Chapter II Pubic Bone

Pubis BoneIron Shirt Chi Kung Seminal Retention
Fig. 2.6 A closer view of the urogenital diaphragm in the male

3. Iron Shirt Packing Process Breathing (Chi Pressure)

Packing Process Breathing is the most important breathing technique to master in the practice of Iron Shirt. It is used in all of the Iron Shirt postures and practicing it well will be a great aid in benefitting from the postures.

The Packing Process creates air pressure in a small space so that the body can have more pounds of pressure per square inch (psi). The importance of not only expanding the abdomen out in the front but allowing it to protrude on all sides has been stressed in the description of abdominal and reverse breathing. The same is true of Packing Breathing. The expansion of the front, back and sides occurs proportionately until the abdominal area becomes round like a ball. (Fig. 2.7) Watch a child breathe and you will notice that his/her abdomen is round. In Chapter 1, we compared this phenomena to a tire which inflates to a certain number of pounds of air pressure (psi) in order to lift and support a car By utilizing this process, the human body can store air pressure (energy) in various parts of the body. When the pressure (Chi) drops, all the organs will drop and stack on each other dropping down and giving a greater burden to the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms. Chi pressure will help the organs hold their shape and uplift the organs into their own positions so that energy can flow easily. Thus, the Chi pressure serves as an energy charger of the organs.

Fig. 2.7 Abdomen during Packing Process Breathing become rounded like a ball.

The Taoists believe that the body has many openings: one front door the sexual organ; one back door the anus; and the seven openings of its windows, two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, and one mouth. It is through these openings that energy can enter or leak from the body. In the practice of Iron Shirt, we learn to seal our bodies to prevent energy leakage and the loss of Chi pressure, enabling us to pack, condense and store energy in our bodies and organs. Pulling up the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms helps to seal the sexual organ and anus doors. Turning the attention of your senses down to the navel area will also help to seal the energy.

a. Preparation Using Abdominal and Reverse Breathing (Energizer Breathing)

Sit at the front edge of your chair (the best position for practicing the Microcosmic Orbit also). Place your tongue at the roof of your mouth to seal the leakage of tongue and heart energy. Listen inwardly to your kidneys and breathe inwardly to the lungs. Look inwardly to the liver, and all of the other organs as well, to seal the senses from the inside.

(1) Start with the first stage of Energizer Breathing; that is, abdominal breathing. (Fig. 2.8(a)) Inhale slowly but strongly. Keep the chest relaxed and feel the area of the lower abdomen below the navel and perineum bulge. (Remember abdominal and reverse breathing originates from the lower abdomen, approximately one and one-half inches below the navel.) Then, forcefully, exhale. Notice that when you exhale, the belly flattens toward the spine. (Fig. 2.8(b)) Feel the sexual organs pull up. The perineal bulge diminishes. Learn to keep the stomach flat after exhaling. Inhale slowly again and allow the perineum to bulge as you do so. Repeat in multiples of eighteen to 36. The purpose is to energize the Chi and is also called "Fanning the Fire".

(2) When you are ready and feel that you have sunk the Chi downwards towards the navel, exhale so that the abdomen flattens towards the spine. The chest and sternum sink down, pressing and activating the thymus gland. Exhale once more and lower the diaphragm down. (Fig. 2.8(c)) Hold for a while and then, using reverse abdominal breathing, inhale ten percent of your full capacity to the navel (ten percent means a short, little breath) while keeping the belly fiat (Fig. 2.8(d)), then relax the chest and belly. Try to keep the diaphragm low.

b. Building Chi Pressure

(3) Inhale about ten percent while contracting the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms. (Fig. 2.8 (e)) Pull up the sexual organs and tighten the anus to seal in your energy. Compress the abdominal organs in three directions: above from the lowered daphragm, below from the sexual organs, and in front from the abdominal wall. The ribs and spine hold from behind. (Fig. 2.2(b)) Inhale ten percent. Contract the left side of the anus, thereby bringing the Chi to the left kidney. Pack and wrap the energy around the left kidney and the adrenal glands. At the same time, pull in more of the left stomach towards the spine. Pull up the right anus and bring the Chi to the right kidney. At the same time, pull more on the right side of the abdomen wall, flattening it towards the spine. Pack and wrap the energy around the right and left kidneys. (Fig. 2.8(f)) Hold this position for as long as you can.

Remember if the diaphragm becomes tight and pushed up, rub it with both hands to gently work the diaphragm so that it will drop down into a relaxed position. (Fig. 2.4)

(a) Energizer Breathing

Lung

Diaphragm

Abdominal Cavity Pelvic Cavity

Lung

Diaphragm

Abdominal Cavity Pelvic Cavity

(a) Energizer Breathing

(b) Exhale, Flatten the abdomen to the spine.

(c) Exhale and lower the Diaghragm.

(d) Inhale ten percent, keeping the belly flat.

(e) Inhale ten percent, contracting the Pelvic and Urogenital Diaphragms.

Fig. 2.8 Packing Process Breathing

Pelvic Rub

(f) Inhale ten percent. Contract the left and right anus. Bring Chi to the left and right kidneys. Pack and wrap the kidneys.

Fig. 2.8 Packing Process Breathing

(4) When you can no longer hold your breath, inhale ten percent more air on top of the air that you already have inhaled. Contract the perineum more tightly especially the sex organs. You can jerk a little, in order to pack the energy in the lower abdomen. Seal and limit the energy to a small area. You must maintain a relaxed chest and sink the sternum so that the diaphragm will stay soft and lowered. The stomach is flat and held in. Feel the pressure extend to the area of the sperm palace/ovary palace. (Fig. 2.8(g)) Pull the sex organs and the anus up again and seal them so that no energy can leak out.

(5) Inhale ten percent more air. (You can exhale a little in order to inhale more air). Contract the pelvic area and lower part of the abdomen, and hold this position for as long as possible. (Fig. 2.8(h))

(6) Inhale ten percent more. Repeat. Feel the pressure build in the perineum. (Fig. 2.8(i))

(7) By this time, it may seem that you cannot accommodate any more air, but if you exhale a little bit, bend forward slowly and direct your attention to the kidneys, feeling them expand on both sides and backwards, relaxing and trusting that the air will have room there, you will be able to inhale the last ten percent of your full capacity to that area in the back. (Fig. 2.8(j)) Hold as long as possible. This will help to open the sides and back.

(8) Exhale. Sit up straight.

(9) Normalize breathing by using abdominal breathing.

When you exhale and relax at the end of such a session, you will immediately experience heat or feel the energy run all around the body. Put the tongue to the palate. At this point you should meditate and circulate the Microcosmic Orbit for a few rounds. Collect the energy in the navel when you have finished. (Fig. 2.8(k))

Using this breathing method, the organs are packed, compressed and strongly massaged. When you inhale, blood and energy (Chi) will rush in with great force to clear the organs out, making them progressively stronger and healthier.

If you feel energy stuck in the heart area, use both hands to brush the chest in a downward motion. In addition, you may want to do the Healing Sound for the heart (see the method described in the book, Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality) and walk around, shaking out the arms and legs.

Sperm/Ovary Palace

Sperm/Ovary Palace

Lower Abdomen

Lower Abdomen

Perineum

Perineum

(g) Inhale ten percent down (h) Inhale ten percent down (i) Inhale ten percent to the lower abdomen. to the pelvic area and lower down to the perineum.

abdomen.

Fascia Perineal

(k) Collect the energy at the navel. Fig. 2.8 Packing Process Breathing

(j) Bend forward to accommodate more air.

(k) Collect the energy at the navel. Fig. 2.8 Packing Process Breathing

4. Points To Remember in Practicing the Breathing Exercises a. Always remember: Do not use force. Relax the chest so that the chest, sternum and diaphragm can sink down.

b. When packing, stay soft inside, not tense, at least for a good deal of the time. Soft energy is said to be unlimited.

c. Do no more than three cycles of packing per day for the first week. Gradually increase to six, nine and eighteen cycles per day. This exercise is much more strenuous than you might imagine. Energy, wrapped around the organs and pushed into the fasciae by opposing pressure, eventually increases the amount of energy stored in the fasciae and organs, protecting you against blows or unexpected injuries.

5. Preliminary Exercises

Here are some exercises which will be very helpful to you in the practice of Iron Shirt Chi Kung. All exercises should be performed as often as the body finds necessary in multiples of three.

a. Check the Diaphragm

The following is a procedure to check that the diaphragm is lowered. First, press deeply on the stomach with the fingers of one hand directly below the sternum. You will feel a sharp pain that will tell you that you have pressed on the stomach. Next, inhale, allowing the abdomen to balloon out. Touch the diaphragm under the rib cage near the sternum, above the stomach. You will feel a pain which is quite different from stomach pains. Make sure you are relaxed so that the diaphragm lowers. This is the most important part of Iron Shirt practice. Keep the diaphragm lowered at all times while using the packing process. This will prevent the Chi from congesting the lungs and heart and allow it to continue its course downward to the navel.

b. Massage the Diaphragm

Many people have a very tight, stiff diaphragm which sticks to the rib cage. To release the diaphragm, you can massage above the rib cage: (a) massage along the rib cage from top to bottom; (b)

use the index, third and fourth fingers to push downward from the rib cage, and feel the stretch of the diaphragm. (Fig. 2.9) When the diaphragm is stretched, you will feel breathing to be easier and deeper. This can easily be accomplished in the morning when you rise.

c. Abdominal Breathing in a Lying Position

Your greatest reservoir of Chi is in the area of the navel. Concentrating on this area can increase Chi pressure and stimulate its flow. Your Chi always travels to where your attention and activity is centered. When you breathe high in the chest, your Chi goes there and, because Chi cannot be stored there, you will begin to feel distress. Abdominal breathing will avoid this problem.

This exercise will help you accomplish abdominal breathing in a lying position easily.

Lie flat on your back with the legs flat on the floor or with the feet on the floor and the knees raised just enough to allow the lower back to flatten against the floor. Place one hand on the sternum and the other hand on the lower abdomen. When you inhale, allow

Stomach And Sternum

Diaphragm

Press in and down all along the edge of the rib cage. Fig.2.9 Releasing Tension in the Diaphragm

Diaphragm

Press in and down all along the edge of the rib cage. Fig.2.9 Releasing Tension in the Diaphragm the belly to swell enough to raise the hand that you have resting on it, while the chest remains comparatively still. Do this to the count of nine, and then put the arms at the sides. Exhale. Breathe in for nine more such cycles. Breathe abdominally without using the hands. Then place the hands on the chest and lower the abdomen again and repeat the exercise. Be alert to this breathing process and not to how you feel. Put the hands at the sides of the body again, and realize what you have learned.

Repeat this exercise lying on one side and then the other. To give you stability in this position, bend the knees in front of you so that if someone were to look at you from above, you would look as if you were seated in a chair. When breathing, gradually feel the air expand from the lower lungs to the middle, the left, the right side and up, until the chest feels like a cylinder.

d. Abdominal Breathing on a Slant Board

This exercise will greatly increase the pressure and strength of the abdomen and strengthen the diaphragm.

Lie on a slant board with the head towards the floor while doing this same exercise. Using a weight on the lower abdomen while lying flat, breathe in so that the weight is raised as the diaphragm lowers. Exhale. The diaphragm goes back to its normal position and allows the belly to flatten and lower the weight. Practice this daily, increasing the weight once a week and you will soon acquire a great control in directing Chi to the lower abdomen while strengthening the abdominal muscles. By putting the board higher up on the wall, you can increase the demands made on the abdomen and diaphragm. This approach allows you to discover various ways of adapting to a new position and gain greater control. Always repeat in multiples of three to 36 times. When you are proficient at abdominal breathing, you may go on to the next exercise.

e. Strengthening through Counter Pressure

For this exercise you will need a partner who will exert pressure on specific points of your body using a fist. Your partner should coordinate with you to determine the correct amount of pressure required for you to respond.

(1) Have your partner hold a fist against your solar plexus. (Fig. 2.10) Inhale, directing your attention and your diaphragm to the point of contact, and produce a counter pressure. Practice this six times only, resting after each time, and you will see how quickly you have learned to respond.

(2) Your partner should hold a fist against your navel area. (Fig. 2.11) Inhale, direct your attention and your diaphragm to the point of contact, and produce a counter pressure. Practice at this spot six times, resting after each time.

(3) Now, have your partner hold a fist against the lower abdominal area. Inhale and direct your attention and your diaphragm to this area, producing a counter pressure. Practice this exercise six times also, again resting after each time.

(4) Finally, ask your partner to hold a fist against each side separately, a little towards the back in the kidneys' areas (vulnerable areas which are easily hurt by a blow). (Fig. 2.12) Inhale, direct your attention to the spot and produce a counter pressure. Do this six times, remembering to rest after each time. This exercise will begin to strengthen the kidneys' areas.

(5) Change places with your partner and repeat (1) through (4). The effects of this simple exercise are widespread. It is invigorating, will mobilize an otherwise lax abdomen and can help you complete the Microcosmic Orbit quickly. If you cannot do it with a partner use a wooden dowel affixed to a flat board. The dowel should be about one and one-half inches in diameter. Simply place the fiat surface against a wall and lean against the dowel so that it presses against those places described above.

f. Abdominal Breathing in a Standing Position

Standing positions are mostly used in the Iron Shirt practice. It is harder to accomplish abdominal breathing in a standing position, thus you need to be more relaxed.

As your abdominal breathing in a lying position improves, you will more easily control it in a standing position. While standing, the fasciae have tension to hold the muscles and the organs. This exercise is to strenghthen the abdominal fasciae. This is a means of acquainting you with the way the mind and body work together and of learning how to bring energy to a fascial area. Stand with the feet a shoulders' width apart. Relax the entire body and make sure the diaphragm is lowered. Take a deep abdominal breath, swelling out the belly. Hold it as long as you can comfortably. Exhale. When you feel the need, inhale. Repeat this cycle in multiples of three.

Deep Abdomen Pressing

Fig. 2.12 Your partner pressing with his fist against your side, towards the back, in the kidney area.

Pudendal Meridian Points

g. Getting Energy to Abdomen by training the Mind to direct it.

After you have learned Iron Shirt Breathing, you can practice sending energy to the abdomen. With this exercise, you will gradually train your mind to direct and increase the Chi pressure at will to the upper middle and lower abdominal areas, or to the left or right kidneys, packing, wrapping and energizing them, to the adrenal glands, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, the lungs, the heart, the thymus gland, or the thyroid and parathyroid glands. (Fig. 2.13) (In the advanced level, you will learn to direct Chi to other parts of the body as well.)

h. Practice: Development of Iron Shirt Protection

Make your left hand into a fist, with the inside edge of the fist facing inward as if it were holding a knife, and hold it over the abdominal area. Inhale. Imagine that Chi is filling the lower abdomen and that the edge of the fist is exerting 100 pounds of pressure against the abdomen. (Fig. 2.14) Resist. Now relax. Inhale. Do not force the energy in any way. When you feel comfortable with this pressure, gradually increase it so that the body will be able to handle it. This prepares you so that if you were hit without any warning anywhere on the body, you could send Chi to those points to cushion the body and vital organs from harm.

Most people cannot take a punch to the stomach, which is located at the level of the solar plexus. With this training, you would be able to do just that. However in the Taoist practice we do not encourage people to show off by taking a punch.

You must make sure you are relaxed throughout this exercise. begin by "filling the abdomen with air". You can achieve this by concentrating on the area around and below the navel. The area from the navel to the sternum is divided into four parts. (Fig. 2.15) Wherever you direct your attention, Chi appears and protects the area like an inflated rubber tire. Use no force at any time in this practice. Simply breathe into the area you want to cushion, and concentrate on it while gradually pushing your palm into it. Do this systematically so that you cover all the body surfaces that you can reach.

Once you develop energy in the region between the sternum and the navel sufficient to protect you against unexpected injury, the rest of the abdomen is more easily protected. The counterpressure that is created drives Chi into the fasciae. When the deep fasciae fill with Chi pressure, the Chi pressure will spread out to the second layer of the fasciae. (For more detailed information regarding fasciae, see Chapter 4.) Soon, as you increase pressure in the abdomen, you will be able to move the Chi pressure around the abdominal area. Practice this constantly in conjunction with all of the Iron Shirt exercises.

Once you have become proficient with the hand, you can use a short stick. Press the stick in the abdominal area and push in as you bring the Chi pressure to the area to counteract the stick.

Spiritual Development Pudendal Nerve
Fig. 2.14 Imagine exerting 100 pounds of pressure against the abdomen.
Wushu Kung Pressure Vital Point

B. Summary of Iron Shirt Breathing

The breathing processes explained in this Chapter may seem to be numerous but, in fact, all relate and lead to Iron Shirt breathing.

1. Exercises to Improve Abdominal Breathing a. Abdominal Breathing in a Lying Position

(1) Lie supine, legs flexed or extended, hands on belly. Inhale nine counts. Raise hands. Exhale. Repeat nine times with your hands at your sides.

(2) Lie supine, legs flexed or extended, hands on chest and lower abdomen. Inhale nine counts, allowing the belly to rise. Exhale. Repeat nine times with your hands at your sides.

(3) Repeat (1) and (2) on each side with knees flexed.

b. Abdominal Breathing on a Slant Board

(1) On a slant board, using a weight on the belly, inhale, raising the weight. Hold. Exhale.

(2) Lower the weight. Repeat, adding to the weight on a weekly basis. Repeat in multiples of three, nine, eighteen and 36.

c. Strengthening Through Counter Pressure

Use mind and body to direct pressure from within against an outside force, concentrating Chi in a particular area of fascia.

d. Abdominal Breathing in a Standing Position

(1) Stand with feet a shoulders' width apart. Inhale and hold as long as comfortable. Exhale. Repeat in multiples of three.

2. Iron Shirt Chi Kung Packing Process Breathing a. Abdominal Breathing

Begin with abdominal breathing, expanding the lower abdomen.

b. Lower the Diaphragm

Lower the diaphragm upon inhalation while keeping the chest relaxed. Exhale, flattening the stomach, and feel the pull of the pelvic and urogenital diaphragms and sexual organs.

c. Reverse Abdominal Breathing

When you have brought the energy down to the navel, begin reverse breathing with an exhalation, flattening down the stomach. When inhaling, relax the chest and maintain a flattened stomach.

d. Slightly Contract the Pelvic and Urogenital Diaphragm

Contract the pelvic and urogenital diaphragm and, at the same time, slightly pull up the anus, and pull up the testicles or contract the vagina.

e. Packing Process Breathing

Begin Packing Process Breathing with an inhalation. Using the packing process, seal and limit the energy to a small area. The diaphragm is lowered. The stomach is flattened and held in. Pull up the sexual organs and anus and seal them so that no energy can leak out of these three areas.

f. Pack the Organs with Chi

The energy goes back, filling out and packing the kidneys' areas.

g. Exhale and Relax

Exhale and let the Chi out. Relax.

The Newbies Guide To Yoga

The Newbies Guide To Yoga

Yoga is extensively know as a form of exercise that stretches and strengthens the body through various poses know as ASANA. For other people yoga is the realization of inner self satisfaction. For other it is a religion that the believe and must follow. Learn more within this guide by downloading today.

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Responses

  • hiewan
    How does the diaphragm work in reverse breathing?
    6 years ago
  • Todd
    How to keep diaphragm lowered?
    1 year ago

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