Lesson 4 – My first Qi Gong exercise

An (apparently) simple practice

There is a multitude of Qi Gong exercises, in this lesson we want to see one very simple, suitable for all ages (read The right age to start practice):

  • The primary goal – The primary goal is to “restore” our Qi trough movements and breathing (read Diaphragmatic breathing)
  • Collateral effects – The “collateral” effect of this practice is to stretch our body (we can execute the sequence also before starting a training session)
  • A specific practice – Qi Gong exercises, as a rule, do not replace stretching and warm-up but may favor their execution (read Chapter 6)
  • More levels of approach – We will see a basic version of this exercise (later, in this course we will see how to execute it at a higher level, adding some details)

Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).

Let’s see how to move our first steps in Qi Gong.

A note by Master Kongling – This is the first Qi Gong exercise that I have ever learned. It may appear easy to execute but the internal work can be done at various levels of mastering. It takes years to reach a good level, potentially, even just performing this simple practice.

How to execute your first Qi Gong exercise

Here’s how to perform the exercise:

  • Find a suitable place (without distractions or dangers, read Meditation method 1)
  • From standing, widen your feet a little more than the width of your shoulders and slightly bend the knees
  • The posture, except for the length of the opening of the legs, is very similar to the position of the rider (Ma Bu, read The correct position of the rider (ma bu))
  • The first few times focus on being in a comfortable position and gradually correct all the postural details
  • Lying on your stomach (at the navel height), your wrists are overlapped, the hands open and palms facing upward (the left hand is on top)
  • Close your eyes and relax, trying to eliminate any unnecessary tension (physical or mental, read also Breathing for immediate relaxation)
  • Do 2 slow breaths, inhale and exhale with the nose (slowly and noisily but without effort, as it happens with the warrior’s breathing, read Breathe Yoga: the warrior’s breathing)
  • Then inhale and simultaneously bring your hands up to the base of the neck (towards the shoulders)
  • During the movement, separate the wrists, rotate the hands bringing the thumbs inwards (the palms remain turned upwards)
  • Look upwards, start exhaling and push your hands upwards, bringing your arms to their maximum extension
  • Rotate the palms outwards and inhale
  • Exhale and in sync, move down laterally your arms, until they are parallel to the ground
  • Inhale and exhaling, rotate (as wide as possible) the arms until returning to the starting position
  • Do a breath
  • Inhale and exhaling, bend your back forward to where you can get to (the idea is to look back through your legs)
  • Do a breath
  • Bend your head forward (as much as you can) and do a breath
  • Inhale and exhaling, bend your back backward to return to the starting position
  • Do a breath and restart the cycle

Execution details:

  • The exercise can be performed in cycles of 3 or 6 repetitions
  • Each movement must be smooth, slow, harmonious and should simulate the effort of moving something (eg. an arm that is opposed to our motion)
  • To get real benefits you should perform the sequence 1-3 times every day

Even for this single sequence, there are several versions (from Shaolin Temple, etc.) but this is one of the most accessible.

A note by Master Kongling – During the execution, your mind must be completely free and open to include everything that is around and inside you, without distortions / anxiety. There should not be thought of self or other, no emotional state of fear or desire. The mind and the body, internal and external, must be in complete harmony with the whole (even life, even death, read Become the absolute zero).

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Have you understood the sequence?

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Author: Master Kongling

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