Drawing the Bow and Shooting the Serpent

Assume the Starting "Wu Ji" Position.

Lift and step to the left with your left foot. Step out with your left foot into a horse stance.

Point both feet forward and keep them flat on the floor. The feet should be wider than shoulder width apart. Bend the knees.

Keep your back straight and head up.

Gently raise your hands to your chest. Cross your hands, left in front of right.

Extend your left arm out level with your chest. Hold your fingers slightly bent as if your fingers and hand are curled around a bow, holding he bow in your left hand. At the same time your left arm is extending outward, you lift your right arm up to chest height, your right arm bends at the elbow, your index and middle finger bend, and then your right arm moves out to the right keeping your elbow bent. Imagine that you are holding the string of a bow, fingers on the string and above and below the arrow, and then pulling on the bow string with your right arm. Look to the left.

As you draw the bow and string apart breathe in deeply. Aim the bow and arrow, and then release the fingers of the right hand to let the arrow fly.

As you release the arrow, begin to slowly breathe out. Relax.

The movement of the two arms should mimic the drawing of a bow string and aiming the arrow, and releasing the arrow. Coordinate the movement of the arms to match this image. Feel the tension in the bow and string as your draw them apart to fire the arrow. Aim the arrow at a target. Watch the arrow fly to its

Concentrate on the target.

Breathe in while drawing the bow, and breathe out when releasing the arrow and repositioning the hands for the next shot.

Return arms downward in an arc and then back up the center of your body. Cross your arms in front of your chest, right hand in front of the left hand. Relax.

Your head should be facing forward. Horse stance.

Extend your right arm out level with your chest. Hold your fingers slightly bent as if your arrow, target.

fingers and hand are curled around a bow, holding he bow in your right hand.

At the same time your right arm is moving outward, you lift your left arm up to

chest

height, your left arm bends at the elbow, your index and middle finger bend,

and

then your left arm moves out to the left keeping your elbow bent. Imagine that

you

are holding the string of a bow, left fingers on the string and around the arrow,

and

then pulling on the bow string with your left arm.

Look to the right.

As you draw the bow and string apart breathe in deeply.

Aim the bow and arrow, and release the fingers of the left hand to let the arrow fly.

As you release the arrow, begin to slowly breathe out.

Repeat the movements to both the left and right sides, eight times to each side,

so that you draw and fire eight arrows to the left side and eight arrows to the

right side.

Return to Resting Position

Place your feet together.

Relax, sink, stay balanced.

Stay balanced and centered.

Breathe naturally a few times.

Variations of the Movement

a) The fingers of the hand are held slightly open and in-line the entire exercise.

The more you bend your knees and the lower you drop into the horse stance,

the greater the demands on the thighs and the greater the difficulty of

the exercise.

Sink lower in the horse stance after firing every 4 arrows.

b) The drawing of the bow can be done very slowly or deliberately, or faster and

with more force. Always pause, concentrate, and aim before firing.

Follow the arrow through the sky as it flies out from the bow.

Some circle the arms upward after each shot of the arrow.

c) Some hold the hand in a position with the index pointing out, the thumb up, and all the other fingers curled inward and touching the palm. The hand sort of looks like a play handgun. The index finger is pointed at the target.

d) Generally, the arms are level with the shoulder and at a right angle to the hips. However, if your are imagining shooting an arrow a great distance, then the arm should be at a angle greater than 90^ relative to the hips. The arrow must be aimed higher than the target when the target is at a great distance from the archer.

e) The number of arrows fired can vary: 2, 3, 5, 8, 16, 24, 36, etc.

f) The arm movements of this exercise may be done while seated or while walking.

Refer to my notes in the Thirteen Treasures Walking Qigong.

Although most references for this exercise are to the act of shooting eagles, hawks, or other types of birds, this is not required. One could imagine aiming at and letting an arrow fly to many types of targets. A Buddhist might imagine targeting and striking at one's individual faults, shortcomings, and evil behaviors; or hitting the targets of wisdom or enlightenment. A Taoist might imagine targeting and striking at tension, interfering behaviors, and gluttony; or hitting the targets of health, energy, vitality, and longevity. A Confucian might imagine targeting and striking at selfishness, sloth, disrespect, greed and ignorance; or hitting the targets of social harmony, cooperation, civility, and propriety. In a similar manner, a Christian might want to aim at love and forgiveness, or a Moslem aim at universal brotherhood and charity.

A hunter might imagine shooting all types of game animals; or, a soldier imagine shooting at an enemy in battle. What are the negative behaviors, attitudes, and ideas that you wish to eliminate? What are the positive goals, aims, or objectives that you wish to target and hit on the bull's-eye?

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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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