Northampton, MA Events:

Natural Breathing for
Health or Meditation

Saturday, February 11

(Snow Makeup Date: February 18)

with Kathryn Komidar

at Toward Harmony Tai Chi & Qigong
16 Center Street, Studio 527
Northampton, MA

Dragon & tiger Qigong Movement 2

Would you like to breathe in a more natural, relaxed, and relaxing way? Anyone can learn how.

Since we all breathe all day, every day, from birth to death, learning to breathe well is one of the most important practices we can learn for better health and a calm, quiet mind.

Our Breathing practices are based on the universal experience of the way all babies breathe - naturally, deeply, and with all parts of their bodies moving with each breath.

These practices can help give you:

  • deep relaxation of your entire body
  • a calm and quiet mind (and nervous system)
  • greater energy
  • better health
  • more balanced emotions
  • a long and vibrant life
  • and - if you wish - a pathway into meditation and spirituality.

We invite you to join us to begin to learn - or continue your previous study of - Taoist Longevity Breathing. By doing so, you will not learn a new way to breathe. Instead you'll learn how to relax and release everything in you that prevents you from breathing naturally.

You already know how to breathe naturally, because you beautifully did so as a child. We'll help you rediscover how.

Topics of Interest

For more information or to register, click on one of the following topics or scroll down through all of them:

What Is Taoist Longevity Breathing?

In our society, almost no one breathes well. Most of us breathe shallowly and irregularly high up in our chests, using just a small fraction of our lung capacity. We also constantly hold our breaths. Our breathing usually is a source of tension and anxiety, not of relaxation and calm.

The one group of people in our society - and in all societies - who do breathe well are babies and very young children. They breathe naturally and deeply, and all parts of their bodies move with each breath. As young children grow up, however, they usually rather quickly acquire the breathing habits of those around them and lose their natural breathing capacities.

According to the oral history of our tradition, Taoists developed our Breathing methods by observing babies and very young children. They learned how to shed their own acquired breathing habits in order to breathe naturally again.

Over time the Taoists of our tradition extended and deepened their breathing practices even further, often drawing their inspiration from other beings of the natural world with great command of their breathing. For example, those in our tradition who reach the level where they can breathe slowly, smoothly, and continuously with repeated 4-minute inhales and 4-minute exhales are known as "turtle breathers."

The methods of Breathing have been incorporated into all the qigong/neigong, tai chi, bagua, hsing-i, and meditation practices of our tradition. Breathing is the foundation and core internal practice of all of our arts. It is a "must learn" method for anyone who is studying our arts.

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What You Will Learn

In this workshop we will explore the foundation principles and practices of Taoist Longevity Breathing including:

  • how to better feel, relax, and breathe with your diaphragm, which is the primary muscle of respiration
  • how to better feel, relax, and engage the abdominal muscles of your lower, middle, and upper belly when you breathe
  • how to use the movement of your diaphragm and inflation of your lungs to "breathe into", i.e. create pressure and stimulate movement in, the sides of your belly and ribs, your lower, middle, and upper back, and your upper lungs
  • how to balance your inhales and exhales
  • how to relax your breath so that it becomes long, soft, smooth, soothing, and continuous

Through these practices you can learn to:

  • create movement throughout the whole of your torso with every breath (a first step toward "whole body" breathing)
  • massage and tone your internal organs
  • deepen your breathing and increase your lung capacity
  • soothe your nerves
  • release tension and relax your whole body
  • become more present, centered, and quiet

We’ll incorporate these practices into Qigong and Tai Chi, as well as into simple everyday activities such as walking, sitting, standing, and lying down.

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Who May Attend

To attend this workshop, you must be able to do one of the qigong practices from our Taoist Water Tradition, or a Wu Style Tai Chi form, without having to think about the movements.

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Schedule

Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
(with a 1.5 hour break for lunch from 1 to 2:30)

There will be a total of 5.5 hours of instruction.

Check-in begins at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday.

If we have to cancel the workshop due to snow, the makeup date will be Saturday, February 18.. So please clear your schedule for both February 11 and 18, just in case.

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Location

Toward Harmony Tai Chi & Qigong
16 Center Street, Studio 527
in downtown Northampton, Massachusetts

For more information on the Toward Harmony studio, click here.

For information about visiting Northampton, including about transportation to and within the area, click here.

For information about Northampton accommodations, click here.

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Fees

Full Fee

  • $95 if you pay by January 28
  • $125 if you pay after January 28

 Discounted Fee - for those eligible

  • $80 if you pay by January 28
  • $105 if you pay after January 28

You are eligible for these discounted rates if:

  • your total family income (before deductions) is less than $40,000 a year, OR
  • you are a full-time student, OR
  • you are a combat veteran

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Registration

You may register for this event online or by phone.

Class size is limited and registrations will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

You may attend the event without pre-registering, but if you choose to do so please call the day before to find out if there is still space available.

The makeup date for the workshop will be Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. So please clear your schedule for both February 11 and 18, just in case.

Online Registration

When you register online you may:

  • pay online with a credit card;
  • pay online with a PayPal account; or
  • send us a check, unless you register after January 28.

If you register on or before January 28, and wish to pay us with a check, it must be sent to us so that it arrives within 4 business days after you register. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

If you register after January 28, you must pay either with a credit card or a PayPal account or contact us (413-586-8880 or info@towardharmony.com) to make special arrangements.

Please CLICK HERE TO REGISTER ONLINE for this workshop.

Phone Registration

You may call us at 413-586-8880 and register by phone.

You may pay with a credit card or PayPal account. If you do, your payment will be paid through PayPal, just as if you had registered online.

If you register on or before January 28, then you may pay us with a check, which must be sent to us so that it arrives within 4 business days after you register. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

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In Case Of Bad Weather

If we have to reschedule the workshop due to bad weather, we will have an announcement across the top of the homepage of the website by 7 a.m. on Saturday February 11.

You can also call 413-586-8880 and select option 1. If the workshop will be rescheduled, we will put a recorded message on this line by 7 a.m. on Saturday February 11.

The makeup date for the workshop will be Saturday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. So please clear your schedule for both February 11 and 18, just in case.

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Refund Policy

  • If you pay for the workshop and are not able to attend due to an illness, emergency, or other circumstances beyond your control, and we are able to to fill your space with another student, then we will refund in full the fee you paid, minus a $35 administrative fee. If we are not able to fill your space, then we will refund half of your fee.
  • If you pay for the workshop and decide not to attend for any other reason, if we are able to fill your space with another student, then we will refund in full the fee you paid, minus a $35 administrative fee. Otherwise, we will not refund any of your fee.

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