warm up – chi kung – yijinjing – and beyond
As warm-up for Tai Chi or as solo exercise – this series of may be easily adapted to suit any level of ability or study.
A. As a warm-up with ‘rooted’ feet and deep natural breathing prior to other exercise such as Tai Chi.
B.As a simple Chi Kung style exercise breathing ‘fuller and emptier’, fingers extended on the in breath to develop internal chi.
C. Ultimately, this type of exercise has the potential to ‘stand alone’ and become foundation of the powerful ‘bodybuilding’ practice of Yi Jin Jin (muscle and tendon stretching). In this instant the hand is either held in a ‘soft’ fist or with wrist turning the palm 90 degrees from forearm.
|A. Leg strength and balance
B. Fingers extend ‘into earth’ on in breath
C. Squeeze soft fist on out breath
|A. Neck loose
B. Look forward (in breath)
C. Look up and down
|A. Arm strength and balance
B. Expand chest (in breath)
C. Push outward with forearms (out)
|A. Single Whip both sides
B. ‘Eagle’ wrist right angle (in breath)
C. Pull apart with fists (out)
|A. Centering balance
B. Open shoulders (in breath)
C. Push outwards with elbows (out)
|A. Tiptoes. Ankle strength
B. Expand outwards/rear (in breath)
C. Expand outwards from center (out)
|A. Tummy massage
B. Extend arms on turn (in breath)
C. With soft fist ‘coil’ arms (out)
|A. Back therapy self administered
B. Push feet into ground (in breath)
C. Grip with toes, press tongue up (out)
|A. Look both ways
B. Extend fingers, grip toes (in breath)
C. Squeeze soft fist, extend toes (out)
A crucial element of Chi Kung and Yi Jin Jin practice is the involvement of ‘the mind’ in ‘leading’ chi from and to certain parts of the body. In Chi Kung this is directed and stored ‘internally’, whilst the intention of Yi Jin Jin is to direct chi to and through muscles and tendons (external).
Whilst physical movement between and within each posture is relatively small, the intention and thus direction and effect of circulated or stored chi in Chi Kung and Yi Jin Jin techniques is very different. Different routes from the same source or both sides of the same coin.’Hard’ is not better (or for that matter harder!) than soft. Like cloud and mountain, and tree and air, neither are superior or separate.
All things are identified and
recognized by an opposite, therefore one owes existence to the other. How therefore can one be right and the other wrong?
The relationship between cloud and mountain is cyclical, so to tree and air, air and earth, wind and rain, hot and cold and so on. Even ‘everything in between’ has something in between it!
The techniques utilized in Yi Jin Jin practice is very different from that in Chi Kung or Tai Chi form. Whilst they are ‘extreme’ this is only when here compared to those more ‘spiritual’ arts. For the circle to be complete all should inhabit it and it should/would encompass all.
This circle need not be the size of the cosmos with countless opposites and contradictions and one perfection should not be preferred above another. A healthy plant looks and smells like a healthy plant because it is a healthy plant, and its completeness is its perfection. A human being wastes his time if he seeks perfection in all things, but he might just have enough time in a lifetime to understand himself and his own potential – physical, mental and spiritual.