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Most of us live sedentary lifestyles, we sit in our for eight hours a day hunched over our keyboard. All of the time hardly ever taking a proper breath. Even if we wanted to take a deep, enriching breath into the lower lobes of our lungs, we can’t. As we are stressed out by busy life and work, our unconscious brain views this as a threat, so we start holding our breath and then fast-shallow-breathing, and we do this throughout the day. Does this sound like your experience?  Not able to breath properly is the key cause of many chronic respiratory diseases.

Calligratherapy combines science journalist James Nestor’s theory on proper breathing with the philosophy of ancient Chinese calligraphy to promote a state of optimal wellbeing.

Calligratherapy has been developed specifically to those who have never practiced calligraphy before and are interested in deriving the benefits without having to learn the language or all the characters. It integrates the simple and intuitive act of inhaling and exhaling into calligraphy practice. A range of different breathing exercises are embedded into each 60 min session focusing on different calligraphy script. Over ten weeks’time , you will get into a habit of healthy breathing while learning new techniques of Chinese soft brush calligraphy.

Why Chinese Brush Calligraphy?

Chinese calligraphy, a form of written pictures, has been practiced for thousands of years for its artistic and healing properties.  Calligraphy in the orient is a meditative practice that encourages the integration of body and mind. As the calligrapher draws/writes, their breathing becomes even, heart beat slows and a sense of focus and clarity develops. It brings about a state of calm awareness and over time the calligrapher refines their temperament through the artistic representation of thought and consciousness.

The effect of Chinese brush calligraphy practice is similar to that of relaxation training, which includes slower heart rate, decreased blood pressure and decelerated respiration. These changes observed could be explained by the characteristics of calligraphic practice and Chinese character. The calligraphic writing act involves one’s bodily function as well as one’s cognitive activity. Motor control and maneuvering of the brush follow the character configurations. There is, therefore, an integration of the mind, body and character interwoven in a dynamic graphoomic process. This intimate relationship inderlies the interactive effects of Chinese brush calligraphic handwriting on the mind and the body of the writer.  In addition, the Chinese character forms a perfect geometric square pattern incorporating such features as hole, linearity, symmetry, parallelism, connectivity and orientation, utilizing geometric and depth perception brain function. The writer must follow the pattern with heightened alertness in the process of writing, at the same time, the writing act involves a cognitive facilitation and emotional calmness process and thus the concurrent physiological changes. Moreover, because of the softness of the brush tip the handwriting act involves a 3-D motion, which generates a powerful source of impact on the writer’s perceptual cognitive and physiological changes during its practice. As the practice went on, the calligrapher gained more control over their maneuvering of the brush, which in turn induced deeper inner calmness and physiological slow-down.

Do we know how to breathe properly?

There are as many ways to breathe as there are foods to eat, and each way we breathe will affect our bodies in different ways. Do you know that a large percentage of the population suffers from chronic nasal obstruction, and perhaps half of us are habitual mouth breathers. Why is breathing through the mouth so bad? And why is breathing through the nose so critical?  

Seven books of the Chinese Tao dating back to around 400 BCE focused entirely on breathing, how it could kill us or heal us, depending on how we used it. Even earlier, Hindus considered breath and spirit the same thing, and described elaborate practices that were meant to balance breathing and preserve both physical and mental health. And there were the Buddhists, who used breathing not only to lengthen their lives but to reach higher planes of consciousness, Breathing, for all these people, for all these cultures, was powerful medicine.

Get interested? Try our programme.

Beginner's programme