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I'm new to this forum, and new to Tai chi (and martial arts in general). I started last week and have had 2 classes so far, having my third one today.

I would like some advice on how to breathe properly during the class breathing exercises, since the way I am currently doing it makes my vision go black and causes nausea, even though I don't feel 'out of breath'. Should I match the Sifu's breathing pace, which is really slow, or is that too slow for a beginner? Are there particular things I should pay attention to during these exercises? Is there a way I can work on this at home?

In case it is important, I am not in a great physical state (sedentary job, no sports, but I do walk everywhere), and we do these breathing exercises after the stretching and holding poses (forms?) part of the class, so at the beginning of these exercises I'm usually somewhat tired already

  • Welcome to the site. Your question has several problems: first, it is about medical advice which is off topic. Second, we are not a forum, we are a question and answer site. Please take the tour as it explains what we are and what we do in details. – Sardathrion - Reinstate Monica Mar 3 '16 at 14:25
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    I am sorry if it came across as asking for medical advice, my intention was to ask on advice on the technique of the slow breathing exercises to check if I am maybe overdoing it/doing it wrong and if there is any way i can improve/practice this at home. Feel free to close my question if it doesnt fit the topic of the site. I am aware of the Q&A style of stackexchange, but i see i might have worded my question badly. If you could help me make it more appropiate to the format i am happy to edit it. – AkkaVoskuil Mar 3 '16 at 14:34
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    I'd recommend editing it significantly to be about the proper way to pace your breath during Tai Chi practice. We have this question which is about Tai Chi breathing and may be of some assistance, but is not an exact duplicate of your question. – The Wudang Kid Mar 3 '16 at 14:55
  • Best person to ask would be your instructor, since he/she can see what you're doing! Also, if you're blood pressure drops that significantly through breathing exercises, you really should see a doctor! – Mike P Mar 4 '16 at 10:11
  • It was definitely due to me trying to breathe at the pace of the instructor! I paid attention to breathe at my own pace yesterday and was fine! :D Thanks everyone! – AkkaVoskuil Mar 4 '16 at 13:30
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You should not try to match your instructor's breathing rate. This would be like trying to lift the same weight as your weightlifting instructor; it does not make sense to do this because your instructor's body is different from yours.

The general advice for basic breathing exercises is to make your breathing relaxed, continuous, deep, and even. Pay attention to these elements and don't worry about your breathing rate. Over sustained practice, you will find your breathing rate will slow, but this is more a side effect than something you should force.

Taiji is not an art of heavy exertion. You should not be trying to brute force things, and this includes breathing. You do want to gently push your boundaries, but what is a gentle push for your instructor or senior class members may be far beyond your current boundaries.

In any martial art, you should practice at home. You should also see your teacher regularly to ask questions and so they can monitor your progress.

  • Thank you for your answer! This is really quite helpful to me, even if it seems like simple advice. I guess i just didnt want to not follow the instructor if I was supposed to. I will practice at home from now on too! I will wait till tonight to mark it as accepted :) – AkkaVoskuil Mar 3 '16 at 16:45

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