I'm doing a Tai Chi class and am pretty much a novice at it, so I also youtube'd around and read a lot. I'm now confused about breathing.
My class teacher (old guy, but aren't they all?) says for the first movement (lifting the arms, then lowering them again), that I should breathe out when lifting my arms, breathe in when lowering. His reasoning: when you lift your arms, you're releasing energy and that works best when you breathe out.
A video series I found (also an old guy) said the exact opposite: when lifting, breathe in, when lowering, breathe out.
I've read this post on the stack about breathing in different martial arts, and the answer says it depends on the martial art.
I also found this "classics" text:
To Gather the Ch'i
If the ch'i is dispersed, then it is not stored and is easy to scatter. Let the ch'i penetrate the spine and the inhalation and exhalation be smooth and unimpeded throughout the entire body. The inhalation closes and gathers, the exhalation opens and discharges. Because the inhalation can naturally raise and also uproot the opponent, the exhalation can naturally sink down and also fa-chin [discharge energy] him. This is by means of the I, not the li mobilizing the ch'i.
This seems to be saying: inhale when lowering arms, exhale when raising them.
Now I'm trying to do tai chi, and I'd like to do the breathing correctly. Does anyone have a definitive answer? Or is it "feel what feels best"?