Aloha and Greetings from Maui. Below is the first excerpt from an article I wrote entitled, "Zhan Zhuang Wisdom - The Breath of Life" which comes out in the winter issue of Qi - The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Fitness
ZHAN ZHUANG BREATHING METHODSIt is often said in Zhan Zhuang that one’s breathing should be ‘natural.’ But what does this really mean? In one sense ‘natural’ breathing is however we happen to be breathing in each moment. Although there is truth in this, this type of natural breath often has embedded within it, various deficiencies due to injury, lifestyle or a lifetime of various habitual behaviors.
ORIGINAL BREATHBefore a baby is born and is still within its mother’s Bao, the baby breathes through its umbilicus without using it’s lungs. This is actually its ‘Original Breath,’ which sustains and nourishes it for the nine months prior to birth. This is breathing from your Centerpoint. (An old Daoist tradition says that this incoming transmission occurs more from the left side of the navel than from the right.)