Two hands hold the feet to strengthen the kidneys and waist; (when the) kidneys and waist are strong the entire body (is) strong. Bend the waist and hold the feet. (It is the) most effective way to strengthen the muscles/tendons and bones. One down one up, the life force greatly increases. (It is) the best way to prevent colds.
Practice: Move your left leg back so that your feet are shoulder width apart. Press both palms down slightly beside your waist (Figure 4-29), then move your hands up in front of your chest (Figure 4-30) and finally above your head with the palms facing up (Figure 4-31). The form looks as if you were holding or lifting something above your head. Your mind is on your Mingmen cavity (Gv-4, ^ H ) in the kidney area. Stay there for three seconds, then bend forward with the arms extended and hold your feet (Figures 4-32 and 4-33). Pull your hands up slightly so that you are
putting a gentle stress on your whole body. While holding your feet your mind is on the Bubbling Well cavity. Stay there for three seconds. Repeat the entire process sixteen times.
Discussion: The kidneys, which are beneath the two major back muscles, are the residence of Original Jing (Yuan Jing). When the kidneys are healthy and strong, your Original Jing is retained and strengthened. Only when your kidneys are strong will they be able to generate Original Qi (Yuan Qi) and enliven your body. When you bend forward and use your hands to hold your feet, you are tensing the back muscles and restricting the flow of Qi in the area of the kidneys. When you release this pressure, the Qi flow will resume, removing any Qi stagnation. This
exercise is an excellent way to massage th(=Hlneys and increase the flow of Qi there, as well as in the back muscles and the spine itself. When the kidneys are strong, the Original Qi will be strong. When Original Qi is full and strong, your body will be able to generate a strong shield of Guardian Qi to protect you from the cold.
When you are bent over you are lightly stressing your whole body, and in particular you are stimulating your kidneys. When you straighten up and extend your arms, your mind is thinking of stretching out to your hands and feet. This action of the mind and body leads the Qi out to all your tendons. When you are bent over, part of your attention (and part of the Qi from your kidneys) is drawn to your sacrum. The Qi will enter the spine through the holes in the sacrum, and when you stand up it will pass through the spine. Eventually the Qi will move through and vitalize your whole skeleton.
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