AiShinKai - Harmonious Heart Association - Achieving Peak Performance in Daily Life
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Breathing & Meditation Exercises

AiShinKai Breathing and Meditation Exercises

It’s weird, but it works!  Many activities use breathing and meditation exercises to cultivate calmness, relaxation, and focus.  The development of these exercises in the martial arts is lost in the mists of time, but their forms remain especially relevant to meeting high  performance demands since they include a high degree of wakefulness in the mix.  Many of us lead relatively inactive lives, with little attention given to the refinement of mind and body coordination.  Higher than normal performance demands lead to great stress, which in turn results in poor health and mind-body disunity.  AiShinKai breathing and meditation exercises promote attentiveness, calmness, relaxation, and good health.  They facilitate complete oxygen exchange, and careful observation of natural technique and bodily rhythms fosters the growth of self-confidence and development of a more positive attitude.  AiShinKai meditation exercises are specifically designed to help focus the mind on the body’s center of balance.  Attention and awareness then extend outwards from a clearly identified center.  A platform is created from which individuals can spring forward on the path to achieve higher overall performance, balance, and effectiveness in all activities of their daily life.

Breathing Technique (perform in early morning when the air is fresh)
Sit comfortably on your knees, or on the front edge of a chair.  It’s important to have your feet properly aligned with your knees and hips.  Breathe in through your nose, settling the air into the lower abdomen, your center.  Support the breath, but do not hold it.  Using your diaphram for control, open your mouth in the shape of “AH” and allow the air and your mind to extend outwards to the horizon.  Avoid any excess of tension in the throat or mouth.  Bow forward slightly to naturally compress any remaining breathe from your lungs, close your mouth, and gently inhale.  Rise again to expand the chest cavity.  Repeat this process for 5-10 minutes.  As you become more relaxed the cycle will elongate.  While 45-60 second cycles as an ultimate goal, seek to find a rhythm comfortably sustainable for yourself.  

Meditation Exercises (immediately following the Breathing Technique)

1.    Meditation on an infinitely small Center (2-5 minutes)
Maintain your center, envisioning it as a basketball-sized sphere centered in the lower abdomen.  With every exhalation, the size of the sphere shrinks by half, eventually reaching a sense of the infinitely small.

2.    Meditation on infinite extension (2-5 minutes)
Maintain an infinitely small center.  Imagine energy or light gushing in all directions from your center, filling up your whole body.  Visualize a sphere two meters in diameter forming around you, centered in the lower abdomen.  With every exhalation this sphere of energy extension doubles in size, eventually leading to a sense of the infinitely large.

3.    Meditation on Personal Space (2-5 minutes)
Maintain your sense of center.  With each exhalation your energy extension returns to yourself as the sphere decreases in size by half.  Eventually return to a sphere two meters in diameter, centered in your lower abdomen.  This is your personal space, the area your body can affect by reaching with arm or leg.

During each exercise, sit comfortably and straight on the floor or the front of a chair.  Three points of contact with the floor are ideal for stability: either knees and tail bone, or both feet and tail bone.  Keep your eyes open to preserve wakefulness, and focus about six feet in front of you on the floor.  Many people find visualizations easier to manage with their eyes closed, but this may give rise to sleepiness or hallucinations.  Your tongue should lightly touching the roof of your mouth just behind your teeth to reduce the flow of saliva.  Feel big in body, mind and spirit to experience a sense of relaxed engagement with your surroundings.



Mind-Body Coordination Exercises

 

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