Kung-fu lessons

… sort of. During our morning exercise this morning (Jessica walking around the park and me playing on the exercise bars), I met up with the kung-fu teacher again. (He’ll get a profile post later with pictures and all that.) This guy has huge callouses on his knuckles, and breathes through his kidneys and intestines. He decided to tell me what’s up.

You’re not supposed to breathe with your lungs. How do you know that you’ve breathed out all the used air when you breathe with your lungs? You could poison yourself. Plus, breathing with your lungs puts pressure on your heart and makes your face turn red when you exercise. Therefore, you should learn to breathe with your kidneys and your abdomen. Eventually you can just not breathe at all. That last part I believed… it’s called death. But he said that’s the stage he’s working on… underwater. I didn’t argue: he does knuckle push-ups on the pavement with his feet up on the exercise bars. And he teaches kung-fu for a living. And he’s a nice guy (three good-enough reasons for me not to get into an argument). He demonstrated the breathing and got me to try it – it’s like he has balloons behind his belly button and kidneys. While I was at, I tried laying down on the tires like everyone does… it’s not as uncomfortable as it looks, though I’m not entirely convinced it’s good for the spine. Is it? Anyway, that’s the adventures this morning. Gotta run to work.

2 thoughts on “Kung-fu lessons”

  1. A friend of mine who’s a part of the Orthodox Church (OCA to be exact) came acros the idea/practice of breathing with your abdomen rather than your chest in some Orthodox spiritual writers. He says he was able to pray more fully when he breathed that way for a day. Not sure how whether he’s adopted it as a way of life, though. Have you?

  2. Darren – I’m all for greater self-awareness regarding one’s body, but of all things I need to address re: prayer, and I can’t say that learning to breathe without my lungs is high on the priority list.

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