Popie Runs - Chi Running
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Standing Like a Tree
Standing Like A Tree - Closing things up
At the end of the time allocated for the third position you should raise your arms up and out in a large circle they will straight from the wrists as they move up and then gentily flex just slightly out so that the wrists are just bent upward slightly as they reach the top of the circle and begin to move in towards the centre they will straighten and then flex slightly so that the hands are bent down a little rather than a straight extension form the wrists. You can do a single circle or several circles, however, when doing this closing it is worth imagining the hands being lifted up by Chi energy as you inhale and imagine compressing the energy down into the Dan Tien as you exhale and as the hand circle downward. On the last circle you will begin to straighten your legs and stand up straight as you complete the downward motion of the last circle
You will step your feet in closer and rest your hands behind your back resting on you buttocks with the palms facing outward. Males will typically place the right hand on the outside of the left hand and females will reverse the hands so that the left hand is on the outside, however, the palms still face outward.
You will sink the weight into your left leg and raise your right leg out in front as high to your waist as you reasonablely can. Once it raised as high as is comfortable (we do not want to develop stress), you will bend the knee and bring the keen in as high towards the chest as is comfortable. All of this motion is done on an inhale, you will then genteelly lower the leg placing it on the ground beside the left foot, however do not immediately put weight on it. Just let it drop empty and then gradually shift the weight from the left to the right foot and once the weight is fully on the right foot you will do a left leg lift that is executed as described above, except that you are standing on the right leg and lifting your left leg. This Right and Left leg left counts as 1 leg lift, you should aim at doing ten of these.
After completing the leg lefts you should do a few circle arms as a final closing and as noted above, on the last circle as you move the hands down, you will straighten you knees s and stand up straight.
Take a few minute to let things settle. Do not rush off to do other things. Give yourself a chance to remain still a little while after completing the Gigong.
What are the benefits of performing a Qigong type exercise?
This is a difficult questions as many of the claims are not easily measureable, and research is not very clear. There are thousands of years of anecdotal support, but that is anecdotal. There are definite benefits to the muscles that support the postures, however, you can easily get the muscle workout faster by strength training. There are benefits to posture, balance and alignment issues. There are mental focus and they type of benefits derived from meditation, yoga and Tai Chi. (It is worth noting that a recent study shows similar benefits from Tai Chi in seniors to more vigorous exercise as far as preserving brain activity, memory, and similar functions.) The last area; and of course, the actual focus area for Qigong is in the area of energy balancing and overall well being. One difficulty of assessing this last area is that we do not have any easy ways of measuring it, and in fact, there is not even agreement what constitutes evidence that these “energy” systems exist, and / or that the common ideas proposed by various camps on “energy balance or health” are referring to actually or real phenomena.
Therefore we are left with anecdotal reports and subjective accounts. One of the other issue with these anecdotal reports, is that it Qigong works it works slowly, that is there are typically not quick large scale changes. In fact, it is common that proponents of “Energy Work” will say it is necessary to do the basic exercise for 15-20 minutes a day for 100 days before you will have results. This requires a lot of commitment to a practice that does not give you dramatic results.
Obviously, I fall into the camp who`s subjective experience suggests these activities are beneficial. I am also of the belief that taking time to just relax and be still is beneficial, that learning to focus our thinking in certain directions is beneficial, and there is much overlap in Qigong, meditation, yoga, taiji and such.
A recent anecdotal result for me is that I hurt my elbow by carelessly grabbing a large object and moving it quickly. I had considerable pain raising my arm and in particular turning over the hand. I drank my morning coffee with my right hand as it hurt me to hold the cup in my left hand. After completing my 25 minutes of Qigong most of the pain was gone, I completed my Tai Chi Chuan without experiencing any issues and the arm has remained better since. I do not have a good explanation for this. It could be placebo, it could be gentle stretching, it could be opening up energy and healing channels.
My personal experience and the personal experiences of a number of people that I know suggest there are benefits that for me make the commitment in terms of time and effort are worthwhile, each of you will have to explore the outcome against the time and effort commitment of bringing these elements into your practice.
Standing Like A Tree - Closing things up
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