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Yoga Poses and Workouts

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Aspects of this movement and posture are quite familiar to students of Hatha yoga. The first part of this movement is similar to the intense forward stretch posture, Uttanasana, or standing forward fold.

The second part of this movement is similar to the first part of the camel posture, Ustrasana; although that posture is done while kneeling, and advanced forms of the camel pose involve a very deep back bend.

When bending backwards, players are often advised to "tuck the hips" or "tense the butt." The same advice is often given by many instructors telling students how to do movements 1, 2, 4, 5 and

8 of the ESB qigong set. Similar advice is also given while performing other qigong and taijiquan exercises. This movement involves slightly rotating the hips forward and upward, tensing/flexing the gluteal muscles, squeezing/flexing the anal sphincter muscle as if you were holding in a bowel movement, slightly tensing/flexing the upper hamstrings, and slightly tensing/ flexing the lower abdominal area and drawing it inward. This movement strengthens the pelvic diaphragm and the muscles of the pelvic floor, and is a way of "sealing" the anatomical perineum. The forward portion of the pelvic floor, the urogenital triangle, the genital muscles, are not tensed/flexible to any significant degree. Practitioners of Hatha yoga will recognize many similarities with the practice of the Ashwini Mudra (David Coulter,

Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, 177-183). Martial artists also do related exercises to strengthen this area in preparation for kicking movements, and as a defensive response to being kicked in the groin area.

Massaging the kidney area with the backs of the hands is a common self-massage technique found in many qigong sets.

This movement "Touching the Toes and Bending Backwards" is very similar to the movements

"Carrying the Moon" and "Nourishing Kidneys" 18 Lohan Hands Qigong.

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