I do not know how extensively this technique is used outside of Aikido, or its origins.
Searching for Spiritual Treasure excerpt ∞
The original notion of Aikido techniques' breathing power can be found among the ancient people in Kojiki. This "breathing power" is not simply inhaling and exhaling. It is a method to pull out an unlimited power from the human body, and it uses Aikido's own concentration. Such as;
- Powerful thought
- Using the lower abdomen
- Extension of the finger tip and
- Lower abdominal breathing and
When all these elements are united, the real "breathing power" will come forth.
According to Kojiki, from Abe Sensei's explanation, during the Okuninushi-no-mikoto era, the countries of Isumo and Yamato nominated one person in order to achieve a conclusion to the war, and each was to measure his strength against the other's. When the person on Izumo side squeezed the person from Yamato's hand as hard as he could, the hand of the Yamato representative was cold and hard as an icicle. Suddenly, it became as sharp as a sword, and when he squeezed back the Izumo representative's hand was smashed. Based on Abe Sensei's interpretation, the representative of Yamato knew the "breathing power".
Ki breathing ∞
Position yourself in the correct seiza posture; sitting kneeling...lower back in...leaning slightly forward over your center. This will be referred to as the neutral postion.
Concentrate correctly; imagine your mind at your center (3 inches below your navel)... let your muscles naturally relax but do not collapse... focus your Ki (attention/energy) away from your body and your center.
Exhale first: open your mouth and begin to let your breath flow naturally out. As you exhale, create the sound "HAAAA" as softly as possible. Use your throat muscles to control the flow of your breath. If you do not control your breath, the exhalation will be done much too quickly. When you cannot exhale any longer, bend slightly forward from your center. This will compress the diaphragm and allow you to exhale a bit more. After shifting forward and exhaling completely, return to the neutral position and concentrate on your center, still imagining that you are exhaling. Remain in the neutral position for 5 seconds. The exhalation cycle should take 35 seconds in total... exhale for 30 seconds and hold for 5 seconds.
Inhale next: close your mouth and begin to let the air flow naturally through your nose. Use your throat muscles to control the flow of your breath. If you do not control your breath, the inhalation will be done much too quickly. When you cannot inhale any longer, bend slightly backward from your center. This will expand the diaphragm and allow you to inhale a bit more. After shifting backward and inhaling completely, return to the neutral position and concentrate on your center, still imagining that you are inhaling. Remain in the neutral position for 5 seconds. The inhalation cycle should take 25 seconds in total...inhale for 20 seconds and hold for 5 seconds.
Remember, do not force this exercise; if a 30 second exhalation is too much for you to do, then reduce th4e exhalation to 20 seconds or whatever feels right. But remember to also reduce the inhalation time to 2/3 of the exhalation trime. Always hold the neutral position for 5 seconds, no matter how much the inhalation or exhalation times change.
When inhaling and exhaling, imagine that your Ki is flowing along with your breath. This will allow you to maximaize the effect of Ki Breathing to your overall well-being.