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August 07, 2006

"Ki Breathing" by Koichi Tohei Sensei (27)

This article is translation of Koichi Tohei sensei's book, "Ki breathing (Ki no Kokyuho)". We will upload new article every Monday.

Shinichi Tohei


Relieve your fatigue of the day

If you practice Ki breathing for 10 minutes, you will have 10 minutes of benefit. If you practice Ki breathing for one hour, you will have one hour of benefit.
You can practice Ki breathing anywhere or anytime. Therefore, I would like to ask you to use time wisely, and practice Ki breathing frequently.
When practicing Ki breathing while walking, do not move your upper body or lean forward and backward because if you do this, you will not be able to walk. Calm your mind by concentrating on the one point in the lower abdomen, and keep a correct posture, and exhale as calmly as possible.
After exhaling, count off 4 steps, then inhale. After inhaling completely, count off 4 steps, then exhale again.
If you inhale immediately after exhaling and vice versa, your body will become stiff and tense. It is important to pause a short time between exhalation and inhalation.
I was ordered to report to the army in February 1944, and was then dispatched to the war front in China. When I departed from Japan, I decided that I would do 200 breaths of the breathing method each and everyday. Up till then I had been training Ki breathing method one hour every night.
I had time to do Ki breathing 200 times in sitting while traveling by boat. However, when I had to march, I did not have any time to do Ki breathing. It takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to accomplish Ki breathing 200 times. (one breath takes one minute)
Therefore, I decided to do Ki breathing while marching.
After the war began, I did Ki breathing everyday without fail even when our enemy was close. I did it until I returned to Japan after the war was over.
We sustained assaults many times while marching. However, I was full of Ki in my body and I could extend Ki all around. I brought back to Japan all 80 soldiers in my platoon without any injury. I think this happened because I practiced doing Ki breathing daily.
When we do Ki breathing for short periods while sitting seiza in the room, even if we do wrong Ki breathing, we might be able to cover it up. However, while marching, if I did wrong Ki breathing, I could not continue Ki breathing. I had to do Ki breathing by calming my mind at the one point in a state of oneness of mind and body.
In later years, I developed Ki breathing from Misogi breathing. I could do this because it was the result of Ki breathing while marching.

The most effective time to do Ki breathing in our daily life is before going to bed. It is okay to do it just fifteen or twenty minutes.
Everyone takes a bath or shower to clean up ones body before going to bed.
If you clean up the surface of the body, you should also clean up ones organs and bowels. Those organs and bowels are also tired and get dirty. By doing Ki breathing, you can clean up your organs and bowels.
You should relieve your fatigue of the day.
If you take good care of a car, it will have a much longer life. If we take good care of our own mind and body, we can have a much longer life.
Ki breathing is an elixir of life.
Plenty of people can see a lofty tree, but few notice the roots. A tree can grow to be lofty only if its roots are firmly planted. Such things as breathing methods are disciplines that form the roots of progress. If you do Ki breathing, you can grow to have a towering stature.

To grow strong in health

As I stated before, most of modern diseases are due to nervous problems. Most people disturb their own mind with small things, and capillary vessels contract, causing the body to tense.
This is like a traffic snarl-up on the highway. It causes problems with the flow of the blood and the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Internal breathing cannot function well in this state. This may be the cause of many diseases.
Through your 20's, your living power is very active. However, after the age 50, your living power starts to decrease. If your living power decreases, you cannot maintain your health. There are many health problems that can arise as a result of decreased living power. This could result in having problems with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart and liver diseases.
To maintain your health, it is important to do correct breathing and be able to have all your body working well.

When we eat food, we can remember eating and swallowing.
However, we can not perceive the stomach digesting foods, the hepatic degradation and the kidney ridding our body of impurities.
While we are sleeping, those activities are constantly in process. We do not consciously do it by ourselves. Who does this?
Neither science or medicine have a complete answer. We call it living power.
It is more important to prevent fire than extinguish it.
Therefore, it is very important to activate your living power which is fundamental to your health.
When you do Ki breathing, all the capillary vessels open and the oxygen is sent to every part of your body. and Carbon dioxide is sent back to your lungs.
This is just like a stove that burns cleanly. Oxygen will burn completely.
The nourishment is completely metabolized and the life power is manifested. You will be able to grow strong and healthy.

I have been doing “Kan-Shugo (practice in winter)” at Ki Society Tokyo main office for a long time. We do Ki breathing from 7:00pm to 8:00pm, 5 days in late January, the coldest season in Japan.
We open all the windows in the room, men have their tops off and women wear T shirts and do Ki breathing sitting Seiza. The temperature is below zero. Usually, if we just sit in seiza for an hour in such an environment, our body will be freezing and would get sick.
However, if we do Ki breathing, blood circulation becomes very strong, and our whole body burns oxygen completely. Therefore, we barely feel the cold. We do not even get goose bumps. Many people even perspire.
There is an instance of a student suffering from nasal inflammation who became cured through this 5 days Ki breathing training in the winter. We can see the greatness of living power through this practice.

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