THE BOTTLE EXERCISE
The bottle exercise is a simple exercise, used in a number of schools of bodywork, that facilitates observing the coordination of the segments at the occasion of a complete respiration. When you pour water into a bottle, the water falls to the bottom, then gradually rises up to the rim You can center your attention on two separate movements:
The circulation of chi during meditation according to the Taoist alchemists. The points A-E-F-H-I-J-K-L indicate the peripheral circulation of chi. This circulation generally passes from K to O to A, but sometimes passes by L, as during sexual intercourse. The axis P-M-O is the central axis. The point O is the tan tien or hara; point A is the perineum (Y u, 1970, p. 124).
1. The descending movement of the water entering into the bottle.
2. The ascending movement of the water that is filling the bottle.
In the bottle breathing exercise, one invites an individual to breathe as if the air is water and the body a bottle. Thus, in exhaling, the air at the top of the lungs comes out first; the air at the bottom of the lungs, linked to a respiratory movement from the lower abdomen, comes out last. This respiration creates a movement from the top to the bottom during exhalation and from the lower abdomen toward the top of the chest during inhalation. In this example, we see that we can pay equal attention to the descending air current as well as to the ascending muscular effort.