Qigong Stance

Qigong Stance

OK Qigong gongers we’re almost done! I can’t believe we’ve reached 100 days of consistent Qigong practice this week. Hurray!  It really was helpful knowing that we were doing this discipline together. This kept me going even on those wintry Sundays when I just wanted to collapse on my overstuffed couch and read a good book with a glass of wine or cup of tea…depending on the hour! I hope you feel how the immersion of qigong has seeped into your body. Now I wake up and my body wants to get out and begin my practice and of course I feel so much better once I do. I’d love to hear your experiences. Please share!

Holli had asked me about stances and why they’re important. Qigong stances are the foundation of a practice. In fact when I first began my apprenticeship with Dr. Wang, he told me to practice 3-circle stance (in my book) for ½ hour in a deep modified horse stance before he’d take me on as his student. This was my first introduction to qigong and a grueling one! During the first 2 weeks I was nauseous with sweat dripping down my face (and I usually don’t sweat much). My thighs shook for weeks but at the end of 4 months I had thighs of steel and I was strong and focused. It was an amazing initiation.

To illustrate the power of stances, Dr. Wang showed me one of his Chinese qigong books where a qigong master was lying on a bed of nails with a platform over him with an orchestra on top! He was performing his dantian breathing while they played. He built his super human power by standing in hug the tree stance for 7 hours a day! Now I know most of us have no desire or time to do such a feat but it shows you the potential of a dedicated practice.

The stances are the best way to build your stamina and qi, increase immunity and also shift you into a deep inner calm and immersion with the universe. If you can’t do any other qigong, do a stance. “Hugging the tree” or “holding a qi ball” is the most common form that you’ll see in all types of qigong. You can hold your arms by your lower dantian to focus energy development there or hold a qi ball in front at heart level. Always remember to get grounded first, sinking your energy into the earth and then lift your arms into position. Relax the shoulders with elbows pointed slightly downward. Simultaneously imagine long taproots reaching into the ground from your feet while a cord reaches from the top of your head into the heavens. This creates a gentle spinal stretch. Stand and focus on your dantian breathing. Begin with 1-3 minutes and slowly build up to 15 minutes or more. There are different stances to achieve various outcomes. The awkward stance is the most difficult but will stimulate the liver, spleen and kidney meridians and help gynecological problems including cancers. This form will also build bone strength, increase circulation in the pelvis, strengthen the hips, back, and legs.

In luscious springtime I go to our local park and indulge my senses with the perfumes of lilac and spring flowers, breathe in the deep greens to nourish my liver and wash away any stagnation with the sounds of the stream. It’s glorious! I’ll write about qigong color therapy with spring flowers soon.

So go out and enjoy spring. Breathe in the birth of life around you and let your soul sing!

3 Comment(s)
  • Mary Ann Padulo Posted May 23, 2013 11:14 pm

    Hi Deborah,
    A friend of mine took your class over a weekend and had so many positive things to say about it.
    I am very interested in learning Qui Gong.
    I have studied Reiki and Polarity therapy and feel this may just be the cherry on top of the cake!
    I also had polio in my left leg with an inch difference in leg length and a size 5 in the left foot and a size 8 in the right. Any advice would be greatly appreciated as to how I should begin this practice.
    Thank you so much.
    Mary Ann Padulo

  • suzanne Hanley Posted November 19, 2013 10:50 pm

    Deborah, A student of mine has arthritic toes. I showed the class the leopard’s paw for arthritic fingers and they have seen success. But what about the toes?
    Thanks, Suzanne

    • Deborah Davis Posted November 23, 2013 5:36 am

      Arthritic Toes
      Hi Suzanne
      I would suggest soaking the feet in an epsom salt foot bath while doing the following exercises: Squeeze the toes together and then splay them apart. Flex and point the feet and rotate the ankles in both directions.End with massaging the feet while soothing them in the warm water.

      While standing, raise up on the ball of one foot and slowly rotate the foot in circles. Repeat with other foot. I like to stretch the toes by gently putting weight on the top of one foot (with the toes pointing back). This last one might be painful but is a good stretch. Use a small ball to activate the circulation on the soles to increase qi and blood flow which is usually stagnant in arthritis. Depending on their level of practice, you can guide them in using their qi to heal the arthritis or at least alleviate the pain. I did this successfully with my thumb. It’s amazing. I had a deformed joint from arthritis and I began to send healing qi through the thumb daily for a week. It cured it and the deformity disappeared!

      Of course alkalizing the diet is important. Cut sugar ( except fruit) and follow a low glycemic diet.
      Glucosamine and chondroitin are helpful ( if you’re not allergic to shellfish) and there are many herbal supplements out to help with arthritis these days. Glad the group is improving with leopards paw. Keep sharing the Qi!

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