You Are At: AllSands Home > Health > Alternative > Qi gong exercises: regulating the body
Qi Qong is the art of exercising the Jing (essence), Qi (energy), and Shen (spirit). The nucleus of Qi Qong is the exercise of Yi (consciousness) and Qi (vital energy). The main purpose of these excercises is to regulate the internal functions of the human body. Qi Qong does this through developing consciousness and respiration, through causing the internal Qi to manifest in awareness, and through moving and strengthening the internal Qi. The internal Qi is the Qi belonging to the human body itself. Thus, Qi Qong brings self-regulation and self-control to the vital organ.

Regulating the body means keeping the body in correct posture while excercising. Correct posture helps relax the body and brings about a state of inner quiet. It also helps regulate and circulate Qi, thus creating a basis for regulating the respiration and the heart/mind (Xin). Regulating the respiration and heart/mind are two other excercise from the three basic excercise of Qi Qong.

There are three basic postures for regulating the body.

1. Walking.
In this posture, we have to learn to "walk like the wind".
2. Standing.
There are various standing postures: upright, equal footing, squatting, horse-stance and so on. In all standing postures, weight is delivered clearly to the ground through the feet. The body must stand like a pine tree or like a living plant. Standing excercise are accompanied by variety of hand positions, the most important of which include: two hands hanging down naturally by the sides; hands holding an imaginary ball; crossed hands; crossing hands naturally and placing them on the abdominal.

Both walking and standing postures excercise the skeletal muscles and induce Qi to descend quickly. This helps strengthen the body constitution.

3. Sitting.
There are various sitting positions, such as sitting on a chair, sitting cross-legged on the floor, sitting with back supported, etc. In all positions, the body must be stable. Stable sitting has been called "sitting like a block". The sitting positions help the practitioner relax and get into quiet state and also are conducive to collecting vital energy in the Dantian. Dantian is a term used in Qi Qong that refer to three points, upper, middle and lower. When the term is used without qualification, it is middle dantian located in the abdominal area about 3 inches below the navel.

4. Lying.
There are various prone positions, such as lying face down and lying on one's side. While lying on one's dide, the practitioner must "lie like a bow".

Both lying and sitting positions are recommended for relaxing the skeleton and muscles, restraining the mind and encouraging inner quiet, and regulating the function of the central nervous system.

In all the positions, the practitioner must maintain a steady relationship to gravity during excrecise, and the whole body must be natural, comfortable and relaxed. In general, the practitioner should allow the whole body to be as relaxed as possible.

Here are some specific requirements for sitting and standing positions:
* Keep nothing in mind
* Straighten the back
* Lower the shoulders and elbows
* Relax the lumbus and hip
* Keep the armpits loose
* Keep the head in a straight position
* Slightly close the eyelids
* Keep the chain slightly tucked in towards the neck
* Let the gaze be down along the nose
* Align the nose with the navel

Generally, the beginner should choose one or two positions, a main position and a secondary position. If standing position is selected as the primary position, the sitting position can be added as the secondary. If the standing position is used in the morning, sitting position might be used in the afternoon or evening. If the excercise period is for an hour or more, the trainee may choose to stand for the first half-hour and sit for the remain of the period. Alternating excercise positions in this way will prevent fatigue and quicken the speed with which the excercise will take effect.