Spinal Cord Breathing
Embryo breathing, or spinal cord breathing, is a standing movement to stretch the front and back of the body. The practice begins as we inhale and open the chest with our arms out to the sides. The upper arms are parallel to the ground, the elbows bend at 90 degrees, with the forearms perpendicular to the ground.
Inhale and expand the chest, arms bent at the elbows and fists pointed up to the sky. As you exhale, tuck the tailbone under the hips and round the back, bringing the elbows toward one another in front of the chest. Inhale, expand and open the chest, look up to the sky and bring the arms out to the sides. Repeat this back and forth movement 36 times.
The opening and closing of the body can feel like the tide of the ocean coming in and going out. Find the subtle rocking of the feet from heel to toe and back again. This action activates the heel channel and the kidney meridian on the ball of the foot. This movement activates the cranial and sacral pumps and loosens all the joints in the spine. It is a little difficult to describe in a blog, but it is a common chi kung practice that one can learn more about easily online. It is very profound and “if you do it, you get it!”
This exercise is referenced in:
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold