1. Kouksundo is an aerobic exercise which has 3 Programs - [ Stretching ] [ Breathing ] and [ Meditation ].
Among them, [ Breathing ] is the most important program for your healthcare. Therefore, you need to exercise [ Breathing ] first, before starting [ Stretching ] program.
If your [ Breathing ] is smooth, then even if you don't follow the exact postures of [ Stretching ], you can continue to do it. Because, you will learn the posture sooner or later for yourself. You can learn some of the postures, but you will learn them for yourself through many times of repeated exercise. You will be the teacher of yourself.
2. Details of Breathing
Each Kouksund program is consisted of Pre Haenggong, Haenggong and Post Haenggong program. Breathing for Pre, Post Haenggong and Haenggong program are different.
For the breathing of Pre or Post Haenggong is to Inhale shortly when you start a posture, and hold your breathing until you finish the posture and then Exhale when you finish the posture. It doesn't mean you must hold your breathing until you finish the posture, all the time, but we recommend you to exhale your breathing, if you are difficult to hold the breathing. Because if you feel difficulty to hole your breathing, it means your brain need more oxygen. Otherwise, your brain may be damageed. Just exhale. But if you continue your practicing, your body and mind will control your breathing, and will extend your breathing time soon. Keep your mind peaceful is important to have long breathing time.
If you hear a Kouksundo background music, then you should know that it's the start of Haenggong. The breathing of Haenggong, is changing by the level of practicing. Hear the music carefully and remember it. You'll know that the music has 8 beats basically. The entry level which is Ipmoon level, runs by 4 beats ( 5 seconds) Inhale and 4 beats ( 5seconds ) Exhale.
Note that before you starting Haenggong breathing, you should empty your body first. Exhale enough. Then Inhale for 4 beats and Exhale for 4 beats. At some postures, your breathing will be hard, then exhale or inhale. Then comeback to the normal tempos.
When you breathe, always close your mouth, and use only your nose. But onething to note is, your nose is just a gate to pass the air but not to actively breathe the air to send the air to the lower abdoman. If your lower abdomen is inflated enough then it pulls the air and the air will pass the nose and delivered to the lower abdomen, and vice versa for the exhale. If your nose breathe the air and push it to send the air to the lower abdomen, you may feel a little pain at your chest. It's no good.
We are talking about the lower abdomen breathing - Danjeon ( 8-9 Cm below of belly ) breathing. Inflate Danjeon and deflate it again to breathe, is very important action to stimulate the Parasympathetic nerves. It just put your Automnomic nerve system in balancing, and to control all the mind and body necessary. It is very important to control our health and please read other writings about this.
Of course, breathing is a very much complicated and difficult work to explain or to teach it to somebody else. You must learn it for yourself through more than thousands times of repeating. Self learning is the best way to master your optimal breathing. Just try to repeat breathing first.
Meditation can be done at this Haenggong postition but close your eye. Please try to think nothing, and empty your head. Again, it will be difficult to start, but if you keep doing, then someday, you will realize you do it correctly. The more you keep peaceful mind, the better you feel effect of meditation. And vice versa. When you open your eyes, you will realize that the world in front of you is so clear, and wonderful look. You will have so many creative ideas. That is the power of Meditation.
Stretching helps your Ki and Blood circulation, and spread the Ki you accumulated through the Haenggong. It has more than 500 postures. Whatever posture you do, you must breathe with peaceful mind, and smoothly for the best effectiveness.
After 1-3 months of practicing, lots of people saying their problem on the shoulders, backpain, head pain had tremendously improved. It's true. Please confirm it for yourself. You will loose nothing.