Qi Gong 

                   Dan Tien Breathing

       Begin by standing in a peaceful and quiet environment, free from direct wind and sun. The idea is to be warm but not overly hot and not too cool. Chinese people find the exercise most beneficial when practiced outside in the fresh air. Plan to stand for say three minute to a quarter of an hour maximum.

Step 1Find vertical alignment. - Begin with at least one minute of vertical standing. Have the  feet side by side and the arms relaxed at your side. Keep your legs, back and neck in a straight line. Gently raise your head up and stretch the back of your neck and back. Two acupuncture points are important, the first is Beihui at the top and center of the head, and the second is the Yung Chung which is located in the center of the ball of each foot. Gently extend and lengthen the body between these two points.

Step 2. Sink into Wu Ji. - Allow at least one minute for this phase. Allow your body to sink down, whilst you are lifting up the head and neck. Relax and sink your chest, bend your knees and relax completely. This posture is called Wu Ji in Chinese and is the same as the opening posture of the Tai Chi Quan.

Step 3. Step out to the side. - Without looking down, take your left foot out sideways and place it on the ground at a distance of shoulder width, or slightly less. Then transfer your weight, so that you are balanced on your feet. Pay attention not to lose your composure which you have gained from the previous two steps.

Step 4. Raise the hands. - Slowly take your hands up and place them, palm over palm, just below your navel. This position is called the Dan Tien in Chinese. It is considered to be the energetic center of your body. Breath slowly and evenly, without laboring your breath. Initially stay in this phase for 5 minutes, then with practice increase your duration to as much as twenty minutes. Do NOT on any account strain your muscles. If you feel uncomfortable, check your alignment and stand slightly higher. Make sure that your breathing is natural and easy, draw each breath mentally into your Dan Tien. This will gradually relax and warm your body from the center outwards, until you hands and feet also become warm.

Step 5. Lower the hands. - Slowly lower your hands back to your sides. Then consciously relax your; shoulders, then elbows and finally the hands.

Step 6. Step back. - Bring your feet back side by side and then rise up slowly to the vertical alignment position.

         Throughout this exercise your body should begin to feel warm and comfortable. With continued practice even the soles of your feet will feel warm. Particular sensations can be felt in the center of the palms and the center of the balls of the feet (Yung Chung).

           Over the medium to long term, with continued practice, the legs will become stronger and the circulation more powerful. Simply the act of focusing your mind on an exercise like this will free you from anxiety and stress for twenty minutes. This can be of tremendous value !

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