Applying Structural Alignment Principles to Iron Shirt Chi Kung Practice

Diligent practice of Iron Shirt Chi Kung will lead to an increased flexibility and range of motion of the spine and other joints. As the body becomes more open, it is important to understand and apply the principles of healthy structural alignment in daily life. Since many of us have come from a background of structural randomness and distortion, it is necessary to learn what to do with our various body segments as our body becomes open and capable of new, more appropriate alignment. In effect,...

Sacrum Alignment

Thalamus Pons

Relax the whole body and direct the Chi flow. In the beginning it seems that you are very tense and nervous when you practice Iron Shirt, the way you felt when first learning to ride a bicycle. However once you are trained and know how to move and pack the energy, you use more structure and mind control with confidence and less muscle. Each time you finish a stage and are not proceeding to the next stage, you must collect the Chi in the navel. Stand up straight, touch the tongue to...

Heavenly Pool Tongue Position

Sacrum Out Alignment

Feel the head stretch up as if pulled by a string. a Elongation of the Spine Fig.3.11 Vertebra Disc Fibr Cartilage Vertebra Vertebra Disc Fibr Cartilage Vertebra Disc expands when Two Forces pull in Different Directions. Disc expands when Two Forces pull in Different Directions. Vertebra Disc Fibro Cartilage Vertebra Vertebra Disc Fibro Cartilage Vertebra c Disc is Compressed Because of Stress and the Weight of the Body pressing into the Spinal Cord. a. Connect the arm with the scapula-the...

Exercise

Tandem Walking Exercise

When you have practiced well and understand each part of the previous exercises, you can proceed with the next practice as described below. a. Assume a Horse Stance. Sink down onto the hips, keeping the back straight and holding the legs apart in the standard length of the lower legs. Turn the toes inward so that the feet are positioned as though on the circumference of a circle. The knees are well bent and the groin area is relaxed and open. b. Extend the arms out in front of you at shoulder...

Embracing the Tree Explanation of Procedure

Embracing Tree Stance

Embracing the Tree is the Master Stance practice. This practice joins many body structures and tendons Chi channels together into one system. In the beginning it seems difficult, quite like putting a puzzle together. However if you begin this practice by taking one step at a time, practicing each one until you can master it, then moving on to the next step, you will find this practice much easier to do. Once you have mastered the Horse Stance on the wall, you will find it much easier to...

Sitting Posture

Microcosmic Orbit

When you sit erectly for meditation, be sure that the sitting bones of the pelvis are directed straight down into the chair seat. Tucking the chin slightly will align your spine and give a gentle pull to the spinal cord. Then energy will flow more easily into the back portion of the Microcosmic Orbit. If you find that placing your hands in your lap causes your shoulders to roll forward or your upper back to become uncomfortable, place your hands on a thin cushion or folded blanket in your lap...

Rooting of the Feet

Fourth Toe Position

As previously discussed, rooting is a very important practice in the Tao System which begins with the physical practice and builds into the higher or spiritual, practice. Like the foundation of a building, the Rooting Practice makes a strong foundation upon which to build, making the structure last longer. To root is to surrender yourself to the pull of gravity while maintaining a structural skeletal alignment which supports the body in an upright posture. In beginning the physical part of...

Summary of Embracing the Tree

Mental Health Tree

Fig. 3.67 Circulating the energy during Embracing the Tree. - 158 - Fig. 3.67 Circulating the energy during Embracing the Tree. - 158 - 1. Stand with the feet a knee-to-toe length apart press the sacrum down round the scapulae relax the chest hold the head erect position the arms as if they were encircling a tree hold the thumbs up relax the fingers, barely permitting them to touch. 2. Practice lower abdominal breathing nine to eighteen times. When you do abdominal breathing, emphasize...

Iron Shirt Chi Kung-abdominal Breathing Practice.com

Mantak Chia Taoist

Universal Tao System and Iron Shirt Chi Kung 1 1. Iron Shirt Chi Kung, an Ancient Kung Fu Practice 5 a. Bolin Period the Time of Kung Fu b. Iron Shirt Helps to Perfect Mental c. Age of 2. Creating Chi Life-Force a. Breath of Life, Chi b. Origin of Iron Shirt B. Why Put on Your Iron 1. Internal a. Chi, the Fasciae Organs and 2 Iron Shirt Strengthens and Protects the Organs 12 3 Burn Out Fat and Store Chi in the 4 Structure of the b. Chi Pressure and...

Relaxation

Jaw Dislocation

At the level of the navel center and the Door of Life located behind the navel , rooting and elongating forces originate and mingle. For this to happen fully, the lower abdomen must always remain relaxed. The lower abdomen should remain soft, except when you are making a full exhalation, such as when you are very active, or practicing abdominal breathing. The rest of the time which is most of the time , practice releasing any tension in the lower abdomen until this becomes automatic. Your...

Rooting Practice

Bone Structure Scapula

The Rooting Practice is very important in the Universal Tao System. Rooting can be compared to the foundation of a building. The stronger the foundation, the higher the building may be built, and the more difficult it is to topple. After mastering the Rooting Practice you will feel, as you walk around, stand, or sit in your daily life, that you are more in touch with the earth. Fig. 3.68 You will feel more stable and practical minded, not spacey. Many Universal Tao students, after practicing...

Pelvic Tilt

Posture Spine

As your practice of Iron Shirt continues and your attention is focused to the sacral area, the pelvic tilt is used. This is accomplished by strongly pushing against the wall at the sacral area while maintaining the other structural details. As you strongly push back to the wall, your spine will arch slightly more, and you will feel the muscles around the sacrum become very firm. As this happens, it is very important to feel that you are also stretching the sacrum further down the wall. Fig. 3.3...

Cleansing the Marrow Changing the Tendons

Cleansing the Bone Marrow The process of transforming sexual energy for storage in the brain and bone marrow, cleansing the internal organs, and restoring the organs to proper function is known as Cleansing the Bone Marrow By circulating Chi in the Microcosmic Orbit and cleansing the inner marrow which, as described in Chapter 1, increases the quantity of blood cells, a vital source of life-force , your system is cleansed of pollution. With the routes cleared, Chi flows freely to where it is...

Personal Experiences of Students

No matter what sort of physical activity I indulge in since I've begun studying here, I feel heat in my arms, legs and back. I'm sure that something has opened up for me. I cook for a living and I get cut and nicked a lot at work. I've noticed since coming here that I heal a lot quicker. There's something else. I feel I can store a lot of energy in my back now. Iron Shirt makes me feel as though I've discovered myself. I've meditated and used energy in other systems, but they've been nothing...

Chapter Initial Preparations

Wushu Kung Pressure Vital Point

Iron Shirt Breathing and Relaxation You must not use force in any of these procedures. These exercises depend very much upon mind control and relaxation. In doing the chin press, which is accomplished by pressing the chin down to the chest and pushing out C-7, the chest must remain relaxed if you are not to develop chest pain and congestion and if you are to avoid difficulty in breathing. Practice the relaxation of the Inner Smile and run your Microcosmic Orbit described briefly in this...

Cranial Respiratory and Sacral Pump Functions

Contained and protected within your spinal column and skull is the very heart of your nervous system. Cushioning it is the cerebrospinal fluid, cerebro for the head and spinal for the vertebrae. This fluid, as described by the Taoists in ancient times, is circulated by two pumps. One is in the sacrum and is known as the sacral pump. The other is in the region of your upper neck and head and is known as the cranial pump. Many people who have been able to feel these pumps working have reported...

Harmony of Fasciae Tendons and

Cavities The Body

A Taoist would describe the body as internally consisting of the vital internal organs and the Chi energy which services them. Externally the body is comprised of bones, tendons, muscles and the fasciae which contain them. If you recall, bones are moved by the action of muscle contractions which pull on the tendons that are attached to the bones. Blood is said to move muscles and Chi to move blood. Thus, the Taoist Master strives to create and protect the Chi and the blood. This Chi, as an...

Anus is connected to Organ Energy

The perineum Hui-yin region includes the anus and sexual organs. The various sections of the anus region are closely linked with the organs' Chi. The Chinese term Hui-yin perineum means the collection point of all the Yin energy, or the lowest abdominal energy collection point. It is also known as the Gate of Death and Life. This point lies between the two main gates. One, called the front gate, is the sexual organ which is the big life-force opening. Here the lifeforce energy can easily leak...

How to use this Book

In the last pages of this book the reader will find descriptions of the courses and workshops offered by our Universal Tao Centers. This material is also in effect, a comprehensive description of the whole Taoist System. All of my books together will be a composite of this Taoist world view. Each of my books is thus an exposition of one important part of this system. Each sets forth a method of healing and life-enhancement which can be studied and practiced by itself, if the reader so chooses....

Instructor

John Can you tell me when you first started Iron Shirt Michael I first studied Iron Shirt a little over two years ago. Before that, I was doing Kundalini Yoga which involves a lot of breathing and intense energy. I found Iron Shirt to be even more intense because the air was packed inside, held and circulated internally whereas with the other practices, I breathed in and out and slowly moved the energy around using various sounds. In the beginning I found that I had too much energy in my head...

Fasciae Protectors of your Vital Organs

Subcutaneous Layer Fascial Layer

After an ovum is fertilized it differentiates into three main systems, the ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. Fasciae are derived from the mesenchyme, which is a subdivision of the mesoderm. Nuclei in the mesenchymal substance give rise to bones, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Then a more structureless system of casings, sheaths and tissue takes shape around the various centers which have been developed. The fascia is a sheath and its function is that of support, protection, mechanical...

Chapter Developing a Daily Routine

If you practice the Six Healing Sounds as described in Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality just before going to bed, you will sleep more soundly and awaken earlier and more refreshed. Upon awakening, do not suddenly jump out of bed. Allow your engine your body to warm up a little first. Switching into high gear as soon as you get up can be disruptive and damaging to your entire system. If you are in the habit of bouncing out of bed in the morning as soon as you awaken, even though you...

Psoas Muscles

Spine Pelvis Muscles

Feeling and Using the Psoas Muscles Once you feel comfortable with the details of Door Hanging, consciously relax the abdominal wall while you practice. As you soften the abdominal muscles, relax and straighten the spine against the door edge. You will be able to feel a sensation of 'pulling in and up' deep inside behind the front lower ribs. This is the left and right psoas muscles working. Fig. 4.9 Feel this same sensation of pulling in and up deep inside behind the front lower ribs when...

Cranial Pump

Iron Shirt Chi Kung

The cranium of the skull has long been regarded by Taoists as a major pump for the circulation of energy from the lower centers to the higher centers. Medical research has recently confirmed that minute movements of the joints of the eight cranial bones occur during breathing. Fig. 2.17 Cranial movement is responsible for the production and function of the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord, which fluid is necessary for normal brain, nerve and energy patterns in the...

Roberta Prada Opera Singer

As a classically trained singer, I find the Iron Shirt practices, in combination with the Microcosmic Orbit meditation and the Six Healing Sounds, to be of great benefit to my technique. Specifically, my goals for my singing include a free and easy vocal mechanism and an ability to feel grounded and centered while performing. Since beginning the Taoist practices, I have achieved the relaxation of my jaw, the lowering of my breathing, and the ability to search out areas of tension in my body, so...

Sacral Pump

Sacral Pump

The sacrum consists of five pieces of bone when we are young when we grow up these five bones fuse into one piece. Taoists regard the sacrum as a pump which will help to hold the sexual energy coming from the sperm ovaries and perineum and transform the energy, at the same time giving it an upward thrust. It is similar to a way station, refining the sperm ovaries' energy as it circulates in the body. In the Iron Shirt practice we tilt the sacrum to the back, or against a wall, exerting force to...

Muscle Tendon Meridians

Person Facing Away

There are 12 muscle-tendon meridians in the body. These exist along the surfaces of the muscles and tendons, running from joint to joint. Unlike the other meridians, these do not connect with any internal organs. They seem to be primarily involved in the gross utilization of energy with which the musculature is associated. Here, however, there is far greater efficiency that is, minimized effort with increased energy output than is ordinarily presumed to be normal. Muscle-tendon meridians...

Door Hanging

Lying Positions Zhan Zhuang

Developing a straighter more elongated spine is the purpose of both the Door Hanging Position and the Structural Training Position Against Wall. In Door Hanging, however the arms are held over the head, which puts a traction on the spine and greatly increases spinal lengthening. Fig. 4.8 Daily practice of Door Hanging for even a few weeks will lead to better posture, a more flexible spine, reduction of chronic back stress and a heightened awareness of natural structural alignment. Door Hanging...

Circulate your Chi in the Microcosmic Orbit

Microcosmic Orbit

In the preceding breathing exercises, you have been asked at certain points to circulate the Microcosmic Orbit. Your life-force energy thus must be circulated through specific pathways in the body efficiently and safely to be used for healing and growth. The Microcosmic Orbit circulation uses the power of the mind to help activate the sacral and cranial pumps into pumping the life-force energy throughout the body. It is much easier to cultivate your energy if you first understand the major...

Warrior Poses and

Wuji Qigong Forms Illustr

Practice of both Warrior Poses leads to great flexibility and strength in the buttocks and legs. As the strength and flexibility develop, there is structural opening and realigning in the hip thigh lower back area that is essential in Iron Shirt. The awareness created in the Warrior Poses develops the ability strongly to use the lower body in movement or in standing, without compressing the lower spine or neck. a. Warrior Pose 1 Fig. 4.13 a and b Stand with the left foot straight ahead and the...

Anus Region is divided into Five Parts

Urogenital Diaphragm Female

The anus is divided into five regions a middle. b front, c back, d left, and e right. Fig. 2.19 The middle of the anus Chi is connected with the organs as follows the vagina-uterus, the aorta and vena cava, stomach, heart, thyroid and parathyroids, pituitary gland, pineal and top of the head. Fig. 2.20 The front of the anus Chi is connected with the following organs the prostate gland, bladder, small intestine, stomach, thymus gland, and front part of the brain. Fig. 2.21 a and b Anal Sphincter...

Gunther Weil Doctor of Psychology

I have been a student of spiritual practice for many years. I was involved for a very long time with the Gurdjieff work as a practitioner. In 1978 my teacher died and I decided to step out of that teaching which, by then, I'd been involved in for some fourteen years. I began studying Taoist work, particularly Tai Chi and then Chi Kung, studying the latter with Don Ahn. In September of 1980, I met Master Chia and learned to practice the Microcosmic Orbit, Seminal Kung Fu, Tai Chi Chi Kung and...

Chapter General Introduction

Pleura And Musculature

Universal Tao System and Iron Shirt Chi Kung In addition to the more popularly known martial arts disciplines of Kung Fu and Tai Chi the Universal Tao System includes health practices, healing arts, the development of a state of mindfulness, and the management of vital energy Chi . The martial arts aspect of this training, the practice of Iron Shirt, develops a highly refined moral and spiritual awareness. The goal of the Universal Tao System is to keep our physical bodies in good condition...

Iron Shirt and Chiropractic by Dr Michael Posner

Line Gravity

In all health professions nowadays, one thing that is commonly considered detrimental to our health is the phenomenon of stress. Various methodologies and theories have emerged that aim to help minimize the amount of stress one has to cope with. I wish to discuss the unavoidable stress of gravity on a body's structure when in an upright position, some health implications, and how, through proper alignment of bone structure, we can efficiently minimize stress and increase good health. As...

How to Practice Spinal Elongation Breathing

To enhance the effects of the Structural Training Position Against Wall and the use of the breath, first fully exhale. Then, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, directing the breath up into the chest. The abdomen should remain in and not protrude. As you do this, visualize and feel the spine lengthen. This will happen automatically if you stay relaxed. Do not try too hard. Once you feel spinal elongation, you can refine this sense further by feeling a wave of elongation starting at the...

Head Neck Alignment as the Basis for Spinal Elongation and Upright Structure

Back And Neck Misalignment

Spinal Elongation breathing cannot lengthen the spine unless the head is held as if it is pushed back from the upper lip and lifted from its crown without strain. Fig. 4.7 If the chin moves slightly forward and up, the neck collapses and the entire upper body will be collapsed and distorted. Then the spine will curve excessively and no type of deep, free breathing is possible. Even the wind pipe itself becomes constricted. This is the condition of most people's necks. For this reason, it is...

Structural Training Position Against Wall

Using a wall for feedback, you will be able to feel when you have a structurally aligned, elongating spine. This exercise is dependent only upon a wall or door to lean against, so it can be done anywhere as a postural recharging exercise. For those with back problems, particularly lower back pain and sciatica, it is a powerful method for decompressing the vertebrae and lessening the discomfort. Lean against a wall with the heels approximately one to one and a half feet from the wall. Bend the...

Collecting Chi Energy after Practice

Iron Shirt Chi Kung

After each practice, stand silently erect for a few moments. Concentrate your attention on the navel, collecting the Chi there. As the Chi sinks down, stroke the chest from top to bottom with the palms of the hands. This prevents congestion of the chest and heart, as well as other side effects, such as heartburn, headache and eye pain. Move your hands to release the congestion and walk around until you feel the energy settle down. After practicing Iron Shirt, take time to do the Microcosmic...

Shoulder Widening Exercise

Shoulder Widening

The Shoulder Widening Exercise develops natural alignment of the shoulders by widening the shoulder blades out to the sides, rather than rolling them forward or pulling them back. In all body segments, healthy alignment leads to an increase of space. If the shoulders are pulled back, then the width of the upper back is decreased and the upper spine is compressed. If the shoulders are rolled forward, the chest collapses and its width is decreased. However, if the shoulders are dropped down and...

Illustrations of Postures

Back Muscles Tendons Lungs Connection

Designed to strengthen the pinky and thumb fingers, Holding the Golden Urn joins the pinky fingers to a line which runs up and around the ears at which location is housed one of the two major cranial bones , down the sides and to the small toes Fig. 3.83 a , and strengthens the thumb line by joining it to the cranial bone, to the chest, to the navel and down to the big toes. Fig. 3.83 b . These two lines are very important in holding the muscle tendons and bone structures together. When...