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


1 Answer 1


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.


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