1 Stand still with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the hands slightly wider than the body at the level of the Lower Dantian (see page 65} as if holding a large ball between them. The Laogong points should face each other.
2 Straighten the legs and lift up the arms upwards to the Middle Dantian (see page 66).
3 Rotate the arms forward, keeping the Laogong points facing each other.
4 Then lower your arms to the Lower Dantian level while still holding the Qi ball. When you lower the arms, bend the knees slightly.
5 Pull back your hands to the starting position, keeping the knees bent and repeat the cycle. You should have made a circle with your hands, firstly going upwards, then forwards and down and then back to the starting position. When moving the hands, make sure the movement is smooth and the cycling uninterupted.
As you lift up your hands to the chest, breathe in. As you lower your hands and bend your knees, breathe out.
Make sure to open your chest when you lift up your hands as this will benefit your lungs and heart. Keep your hands apart on either side of the body with Laogong point facing Laogong point. If you hold your hands closer, it will make the shoulders tense when you lift your arms upwards.
This is the simplest exercise of all we have done so far. Although it is simple, it is very good for our health condition, particularly our lungs and heart. In fact, simple exercises do not mean the benefit they offer is small, and complicated exercises do not mean that they are the best for health. It all depends on how the exercise works for the internal body. Today, I see so many people who have poor posture. They either drop the head, tense up the shoulders, close their chest or bend over in a crooked posture. These habits all deform our bodies and squeeze up our internal organs. As a result, our internal organs will not have enough energy. They will also create blockages which will make us unhealthy and affect our emotions.
A good Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) doctor will look at the appearance and mannerisms of a person and then make a diagnosis of their problem. This is called observation and is one of four methods of diagnosis in TCM. The others are smelling (each organ has its own smell in both health and sickness), asking and testing the pulse. However, even as you walk into the room, a good doctor will already be able to see your problem.
A healthy person will have good spirit and good posture, standing upright and looking forward. Facial colour will be good, and their eyes will show good spirit. Their voice will be clear and not weak. An unhealthy person will have poor posture, low energy, loss of eye spirit and a weak voice.
In this way, TCM is similar to Chinese palm and face telling. A face and palm reader will not just look at your face and palm. They will also look at your attitude to prove their predictions correct. For instance, a person may have a lucky face, but if their posture is crooked and their breathing poor, then it means their luck will not last. So you have to consider the whole attitude of a person. I remember my father saying to me, 'Head dropped and no eye spirit, then even if there is money on the street, you will miss it.' This means if someone's energy is gone, then their body will start to be bent and their overall health and luck will also go down. So having strong and healthy lungs and heart is very important for your luck.
I met my first Taijiquan teacher almost 20 years ago. His name was Fung Man Yiu. Once we were talking about people using a Taiji ruler to practise Qigong. A Taiji ruler is a piece of wood with rounded ends which are held against the Laogong points while holding it between the palms and rotating it in a circle. The exercise is similar to Holding the Beautiful Ball. People say that when you practise with the Taiji ruler, all the negative energy will go to the ruler.
Therefore, you should not let other people use your ruler or use theirs as you might pass on or take on other people's negative energy. This is very true. Any tool or weapon you use will have your energy stored in it. Either you will have good or bad energy, and that energy will connect together with the weapon. If you are not well, anything you regularly use will have your negative energy. However, if you are healthy, then whatever you use will have your good energy. So if someone uses your things when you are healthy, they will benefit.
Personally, 1 prefer to practise without the ruler as I feel the energy is even stronger, and you can also practise any time you want. When it comes to lifting up your hands, it is easier to do without the ruler, which can cause the shoulders to be tense and the chest not to open enough. Without the ruler, the movement will flow more freely and open the chest more.
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