Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 259
Qigong #4 – Why Practice Qigong
Special Note: Qigong, including Tai Chi, is an excellent exercise for all of us who need to stay home. Especially visualize your Guardian Chi surrounding your body and extending out a foot or two. It will surely help keep us safe and healthy. Best wishes to us all.
To Regulate the Body: Comfortable, calm and relaxed. Only when you are relaxed will chi channels be open. Let the relaxation be deep in the core so the chi will follow.
To Regulate the Breath: Calm, smooth, peaceful. Breath is affected by and affects the emotions. Combine the yin chi from the earth, with the yang chi from food and air, and ignited by the original chi of the kidney area.
To Regulate the Mind: Set yourself free from ideas, emotions and thought. Be calm enough to feel chi movement. Lead the chi with the mind. Do not push it. It is like pushing a car that has broken down. If you get out and push it from behind, no telling where it will go. You need the driver to steer to the proper direction. Better yet, you can attach a rope to the front of the car and pull (lead) it where professional help is waiting.
To Regulate the Chi: Follows naturally the first three listed.
To Regulate the Spirit: Develop will power, patience, endurance. When shen is stimulated, the chi is strong.
Kua Breathing
The Kua area (when you squat, the hip area that folds) is so important for the Tai Chi player, on so many levels. I want to share with you an image that helps me to gather and release energy. I call it Kua Breathing.
Imagine that your lungs have dropped down to settle in your hip area. When you gather the body into a sit stance by folding the Kua (like a squat), you inhale into the Kua. When you release by opening the Kua, either standing or moving off that leg, you exhale from the Kua. Very simple. Reverse breathing works well for this. As you gather to the kua, the belly pulls in, and when you exhale and release, the belly expands. Play with this image as a qigong exercise, and also see how it works in your form.