Aloha from Maui,
Here's a new excerpt in which I discuss allowing the breath to become round and then spherical…
THE DEPTH ASPECT - FULL MOON/SPHERICAL BREATHINGThe Full Moon breathing method adds three additional points on the back to the five Half-Moon points already mentioned. These are Mingmen, GV-4 and two points roughly equidistant between Mingmen and the two Jingmen points. These are located in the vicinity of Zhishi point BL-52, on either side. In combination, these eight points create a complete circle, and when the inhale is generated from the body’s centerpoint, they form the basis of Spherical Breathing. That is, an equal expansion in all eight directions from the tiny sphere of our centerpoint to an energetic sphere that eventually encompasses the entire torso and later the whole body, including the extremities. As this technique becomes comfortable, the practitioner finds that the vertical elements also come into play, that is, from our centerpoint downward through Huiyin point, CV-1 in the perineal region and also upward to Baihui point GV-20.
When we exercise the Half-Moon method, often we can see and feel a lot of movement in the tissue, even on the sides. But when we add the points on the back something unusual happens. All of a sudden the amount of abdominal movement we had earlier appears to become greatly reduced. This results from the stretching or expanding of the tissue of the back which takes away from the elasticity in front. But as we become more comfortable with the equilateral expansion in all directions, this feeling will change. With enough experience, one begins to feel a sense of unified, equal expansion without resistance. At that point we are ready to add one final element which will lead us into what some have called Longevity Breathing.
But before we do, a brief recap is in order. The navel - which expands forward, and the Mingmen - which expands backward, together create the archetype for the depth [front to back] dimension. The two Jingmen points, each expanding laterally generate the archetype for the horizontal aspect or width. And finally Huiyin and Baihui points, activated from our centerpoint induce the vertical dimension or height aspect. With enough daily practice all three dimensions will find their correct dynamic tension, at which time the breath seems to expand and condense without a sense of impediment from the muscles or other tissues.