What is vase breathing?The following information is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness.
I am sure that I heard the term “vase breathing” before so I can’t say for sure that it is a new introduction. I can say though that I was re-introduced to it today after reading this article here: Mind Over Matter? Core Body Temperature Controlled by the Brain.
The article appealed to me for two reasons:
1) I often feel cold, mostly in my limbs, and sometimes need to jump in a hot bath just to warm up. I had concern that it was related to health issues, and while poor circulation hasn’t been fully ruled out (I try to use cayenne pepper often), I have had a battery of other tests in the past.
Whether I would do anything with the results had I found a “label” anyway, I don’t know, because I try to live and eat like I might if I were diagnosed with something. In other words, I exercise regularly, fast regularly, and eat very well for the most part, trying to provide my body with what it needs to become and stay healthy, in absence of disease.
2) I always wondered whether my state of mind had anything to do with my core body temperature. In general, I assumed I was only cold when the outside temperature was cold, and for the most part that was true.
But as I started to pay closer attention, rather just accept it as the norm, I noticed that sometimes I was strangely warm in colder temperatures (even when others were cold), or I felt cold in warm temperatures. At one point I even though my current level of self esteem or confidence played a role. I’m still not convinced that it doesn’t.
The g-tummo meditative practice
The above article discusses g-tummo which involves “vase breathing” and visualization of a flame on the spinal column during the breathing practice.
With this combination, test subjects in both Tibet and in the Western world, saw increased core body temperatures, which is fascinating.
Aside from achieving warmth, the subjects could potentially bolster their immunity giving them increased ability to fight infections, according to the findings.
This lead me to want to dig deeper into what “vase breathing” is.
What is vase breathing?
In an article entitled “Abdominal Breathing, Reverse Breathing & Vase Breathing (Waking Up The Lower Dantian)” on About.com in the Taoism section, it talks about a breathing/visualization technique where one is to visualize pulling in clean, fresh water for each inhalation.
The exhale isn’t a full release of the breath, instead we are creating “a gently rounded vase-like shape of the lower abdomen,” by only letting go of around 85% of it. This is said to make us “more easily able to welcome the next inhalation – the next ‘pouring’ of water into the ‘vase.’”
There is no mention of the warmth or flame visualization with the vase technique on the above linked article. It seems here that one may visualize the water putting out the flame. Brrrrr.
Heating things up
In a more in depth article on the subject, the author talks about the Dantian more precisely.
It also discusses the breathing technique as, if I am paraphrasing it correctly, stoking an internal flame located at the Dantian, and exhaling with the visualization of blue smoke, in the same manner as smoke leaving a chimney.
If you have any desire to get a better understanding of what vase breathing is and how it relates to increasing the body’s core temperature, the above linked article is worth a full read.
Photo credit: sciencedaily.com