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 height as though you were encircling the trunk of a tree. The palms face you. The fingers are gently separated with the thumbs pointing up and the fingertips are held apart a distance of about the width of the face. Feel as though you were lightly holding a ball between your hands.
c. Place the tongue on the palate. Breathe in and out deeply nine to eighteen times so that each time that you exhale, the abdomen contracts and the thoracic diaphragm goes up into the chest, compressing the lungs and pulling the sexual organs up. When you inhale, the thoracic diaphragm goes down to compress the abdomen so that you can feel the perineum bulge outward.
d. After you have exhaled for the ninth, eighteenth or 36th time, inhale ten percent of your total capacity to the level of the navel, while keeping the abdomen flat. Pull up the sexual organs, or close the vagina tight, and pull the anus closed. Inhale again and pull up the left and right anus, bringing Chi to the kidneys. Wrap and pack the Chi in the kidneys, then circle the energy in the navel nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise to collect the energy there, pausing until you feel the need to breath again.
e. Inhale ten percent of your capacity down to three inches below the navel or, for women, the Ovary Palace. Pack the Chi in this region. Inhale down to the lower abdominal area or for men, the Sperm Palace and hold it again until you feel the need to breathe. Inhale ten percent more of your capacity down to the perineum and hold it as long as you comfortably can. You can keep on inhaling and packing in as long as you feel comfortable. Sometimes you can exhale a little bit so that you can inhale more. In the beginning, start by inhaling less air in a short period of time. When you are well-trained, you can hold more air for a longer time.
f. Exhale and send energy down the backs of the legs into the ground. The feet will fill with the energy and you should feel the palms and soles "breathing". Breathe through the palms and soles. Regulate your breath.
g. Apply pressure, especially with the big toes. Feel that you are "sucking" energy up out of the earth through the "Bubbling Springs"
in the soles of the feet (K-1 point). "Claw" the floor with the feet. Inhale and draw the energy out of the ground. Collect energy there by circling the sole (K-1) with energy nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise. Contract the muscles of the anus and groin and pull up the testicles or vagina and anus. Bring the energy up the front of the legs to the knees, hold the Chi at the knees and lock the knees by turning them slightly outward. Bring the energy to the buttocks by curving in the upper thigh and then bring the energy into the perineum. Hold the Chi here and circle it nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise. Exhale and regulate the breath by Energizer Breathing nine to eighteen times and continue to feel the palms and soles breathe.
h. Inhale ten percent, pulling up the left and right anus and packing the back area and kidneys.
i. Contract the back part of the anus to bring Chi up to the sacrum. Pull up the testicles or vagina. Put pressure on the sacrum and tuck it back, but do not tilt the hips. This pushes the lower back (lumbar vertebrae) out and straightens curves in the spine. Inhale ten percent of your capacity and pack Chi into the sacrum. Collect the energy there by mentally circling it nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise. Continue to contract the anus.
j. Inhale ten percent of your capacity again. Pull the Chi up to T-11 and tilt the back to a straight position. Collect the energy there by circling nine times clockwise and counterclockwise within a three inch area.
k. Inhale ten percent of your capacity and pack more at the whole back. Continue to tighten the anus and groin, pull up the testicles or squeeze the vagina, tighten the neck, sink the sternum, and push from the sternum to tilt C-7 back.
l. Tuck the chin in to lock the neck, keeping the chest relaxed. With this action, the energy moves from the sacrum to C-7. Pack the Chi at C-7 by circling the energy nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise. This will activate the cranial pump located at the base of the skull (the Jade Pillow C-1) which works in tandem with the sacral pump to move cerebrospinal fluid up the back. The sacral and cranial pumps activate the cerebrospinal fluid in the spine and brain.
m. With your neck still tight, inhale, packing energy up to your Jade Pillow. Collect it, circling nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise.
n. Inhale ten percent and pull up to the crown of the head. Stop, turn both eyes up, and look inward to the area of the pineal gland, circling nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise, until you are out of breath. Exhale slowly. Relax the neck, anus, groin and urogenital diaphragm. Keep the tongue at the palate.
o. Regulate the breath by Energizer Breathing, but exhale more and inhale less. Concentrate on the third eye. Guide the energy down from the tongue past the throat, heart center and down to the solar plexus. Collect the Chi in the solar plexus, circling nine times clockwise and nine times counterclockwise.
p. With the toes extended, open the knees slightly so that you can feel the force in the ankle joints. This will enable you to grasp the ground with the feet, and feel the soles press down to the ground. Force the energy to flow down inside, putting the dynamic tension on the small and big balls of the feet and to the outer edges, like axles running from the outside of the ankles to the big toes. Make sure you do not lift any of the feet's nine points of contact off the ground.
q. Stand still, maintaining the position. Feel the energy travel out of the ground, up the legs and into the spinal cord, through C-7 at the base of the neck out into the arms, up to the pineal and pituitary glands, and then down the front of the body to the navel. Feel heat in the navel and continue circulating the energy for as long as you wish.
r. Practice the Bone Breathing Process. s. Practice the Power Exercise.
t. Stand erect, keep the tongue at the palate, and collect energy in the navel. (Fig. 3.65)
u. Walk slowly and breathe normally. Stroke the chest downward with the palms of the hands to prevent or counteract any congestion that might develop there and walk about to distribute Chi and give the stressed muscles a chance to recuperate. (Fig. 3.66)
Keep the abdomen soft. Remember that softness makes energy: it is said that soft makes strong. To achieve this, keep the muscles in a soft tension.
In time, you should be able to do Embracing the Tree in two breaths: one down the front and one up the back. With practice, if you are relaxed, you can do the whole process in just one breath. The stance strengthens the muscle-tendon lines (meridians) that travel through the thumbs and big toes.
You may have already discovered that all Iron Shirt work exercises the body and instills confidence.
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