Drawing a Bow to Each Side Resembles Shooting an Eagle

This exercise places the emphasis on your thorax — the home of your heart and lungs - thus greatly improving the circulation of blood and oxygen. It also improves the flow of energy in your small intestine.

STARTING THE EXERCISE Starting in the Wu Chi position, unlock your knees (see p. 64). Then gently raise your hands so that they face your chest. Imagine that you are holding an invisible balloon between your arms and vour chest.

2. Then, while breathing in, slowly bring your arms back-round to the front of your chest. Repeat the exercise to the right side. Complete a total of eight drawings ofthe bow, four to each side, alternately.

1. Now turn your left plm to face the left with all your fingers pointing upward. Turn your head to the left, too. Imagine that your left palm is pressing flat against the wood of an archer's bow, while the fingers ofyour right hand are loosely curled around the bowstring. Now pull the string back, leading with your right elbow, and press your left arm out to the opposite side, leading with the flat ofyour hand.

Breathe out as you stretch. Hold the position for one second.

THE NEXT STAGE When you are comfortable with the movements and getting over the stiffness of your wrists (you will probably find it difficult at first to keep your palm and fingers constantly at a right-angle to your arm throughout the stretch), you can go on to the next level.

INCREASED CHI Don't worry if you feel pain, stiffness, or strange-sensations in your finger as you do this. Just keep trying to straighten it up. As you advance you may feel it "buzzing", or "tingling", or vibrating inside — a sure sign of the increased flow of Chi.

3- Straighten your legs. Raise only the index finger ofyour "bow"hand, leaving the others loosely curled. Try to push your palm and index finger up at right-angles to your arm throughout the stretch (see below).

Advanced level

You can advance to the next stages of this exercise after one or two years of regular practice. Imagine that you are in control of two bows, one running down either side of your spine. This time the strings are controlled by your hands with the index fingers erect. Push both bowstrings simultaneously, keeping the palms and index fingers of both hands upright at 90 degrees to your arms. Do this eight times in all, breathing out each time you push the two bows, and then breathing in as you allow your hands to come back toward vour torso and relax.

A further stage of this advanced exercise is to extend your arms to either side of your body and to bring your mind into play. Your palms and all fingers point up at right-angles to your arms. Imagine that your palms and fingers are pressing outward against two flat slabs of stone. Breathe out as you apply 20 per cent of your pressure in both directions. Then relax and breathe in, but keep your arms extended in place. As you exhale, imagine pressing the slabs again. Each time imagine that you are using increased pressure in both directions, eight times in all -40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100 per cent.

Finally, bring your arms back toward the middle of your body as you inhale. Lower them as you exhale.

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Heal Yourself With Qi Gong

Qigong also spelled Ch'i Kung is a potent system of healing and energy medicine from China. It's the art and science of utilizing breathing methods, gentle movement, and meditation to clean, fortify, and circulate the life energy qi.

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