The picture above depicts one of the many Qigong movements and although it looks similar to Tai Qui both of these Chinese Physical Disciplines are quite different and I won’t get into the complexity of that statement. Just to say that the four movements I am going to explain come from the Qigong discipline. Perhaps the only true similarity of these two disciplines is that they are both done very slowly. Suffice to say the information from this post comes from a Russian woman who says that if you do the four simple movements twice a day for six months you will see a very apparent difference in six months if you stick to the regime.
So the four exercises are –
- A standing posture where you start with feet at hip width apart and your arms straight with wrists bent so that your fingertips touch in front of your body at about hip height. Your figuretips remain touching as you breathe in and bring your arms slowly up in an arc until they are directly over your head. Your eyes follow the movement so that your head is tilted back at the top of the movement. From there the fingertips separate and you breathe out as your straight arms slowly move downwards laterally until the fingertips come together in the starting position. Repeat this movement and breathing pattern for 10 repetitions.
- The second movement is done lying on your back with your straight legs about half a meter above the floor at your feet. To save strain on your back I would suggest that you place your hands under the natural arch of your lower back so that the spine keeps its natural curve throughout the movement. Keeping your legs straight and your feet together scribe small circles in the air with your feet – first 10 repetitions in a clockwise direction, then 10 repetitions in an anti clockwise direction. (You may not be able to complete the full 20 repetitions to start so start with 5 repetitions in each direction). Keep your head down on the floor throughout the movements.
- The third movement is done standing with your feet at hip width apart. Your arms are straight with your fingertips touching as you bend your wrists as you did in the first movement but this time with your arms at shoulder height out front of you. Breathe in before you start the movement slowly backwards out to your sides as you breathe out. Keep your arms at shoulder height as you draw your arms as far back as comfortable. Pause and bring your arms back to touch your fingertips at the starting position as you breathe in. Repeat the movement for a total of 10 repetitions.
- The last exercise in this small series of four movements is again done standing. You can place hands on your hips and simply rotate your hips for 10 repetitions clockwise then 10 repetitions anti clockwise breathing in and out with every rotation.
These four exercises constitute the whole workout and should only take 5 minutes but need to be done twice a day.
The proof is in the pudding so they say and you will have to give it a try to see if it works. If you enjoy the simplicity of the movements you may want to try either Qigong or Tai Chi…depending upon how easy it is for you to get to these energy movement classes that are conveniently close to you?