Tai Chi Breathing

Tai Chi breathing primarily consists of first learning to belly breathe and then learning to breathe with your entire body. The next thing you learn is how to breathe with the Tai Chi movements. Eventually you work on being able to direct the breath inside of your body anywhere so that you can actually facilitate personal healing with the assistance of your mentally directed breath.

The basic physiology and method of Tai Chi Breathing can sometimes be confusing. Belly Breathing does not mean that you bypass your lungs and use your digestive tract to breathe. Instead it means that you breathe in such a manner that the breath reaches the bottom of the lungs and moves your diaphragm so that your belly expands and contracts naturally with your breathing causing the belly to move in and out or up and down as it normally does when a healthy person sleeps.

Whole Body breathing is a little tougher to learn and master. I have found that the best way for me personally to think about Whole Body breathing is the basic knowledge that every cell in the body needs and uses oxygen. Without oxygen it only takes cells a few minutes, at the most, to die. So, when we breathe the oxygen comes into our lungs and at the bottom of the lungs the oxygen enters our blood stream then circulates to every cell in the body. In Tai Chi we breathe and move in ways that enhance this process so that there is a conscious decision to fully utilize the breath.

There are many benefits to these practices including that Tai Chi Breathing puts our mind and body into better contact with each other. Here is a list of the benefits of the two primary Tai Chi Breathing methods.

Benefits of Tai Chi Breathing methods.

  1. Belly Breathing
    • Recharges. People naturally belly breathe when they sleep.
    • How babies breathe
    • Natural breathing method
    • Bottom of the lungs are larger and are not utilized fully in chest breathing.
    • Aids in digestion and waste elimination process
    • Massages and detoxifies internal organs
    • Promotes blood circulation and flow
    • Promotes strong immune system via lymph release and flow
    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Slows the heart rate
    • Most of these things equal longer and healthier quality of life.
  2. Whole Body Breathing
    • All of the above More and Better Also
    • Ability to dissolve tensions and injuries
    • Conserves and builds energy while you are in action
    • Activates your mind including giving clarity and better perception
    • Integrates Mind, Body and Spirit


  1. Hi, I want to know how Tai Chi breathing techniques compares or integrates breathing techniques such as, equal breathing, prolonged exhalation, alternate nostril breathing, humming (bumblebee).

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