- Exercise & Fitness
Horse Stance Qigong Exercise
Me, doing the horse stance
Horse stance qigong exercise : Patience is the essence
This is a follow-up of my article on the one-leg stand. You can find the link at the end of this hub (article).
I was saying that standing on one leg seemed too difficult, which means logically it would be easier standing on both legs. Of course if you stand naturally, it's going to be a breeze. But here we are talking about effective exercise. Exercise that strengthens our body posture and at the same time improves our physical well-being.
Here I would like to share with you one of the most basic stances done in Qigong and Taiji. This stance is called the "horse stance." In fact in real Kungfu, this is the first basic stance that one learns. If you cannot stand properly, how can you fight effectively? In real Kungfu, the horse stance is done with the legs wide open, as if one is sitting on a horse. Except, in this case without the horse. But with Qigong and Taiji, it is done in a simpler manner. You will find a few variations in the feet direction, the hand positioning and the elevation of the spine or back. All are equally effective. We are all made different, so it is up to you to choose the most suitable one. Of course if you attend Qigong or Taiji classes, then you should follow the style that is taught.
This standing posture has great significance in body balance and maintaining and distribution of "qi". The center of gravity of the body is located around the abdomen; to be exact 2 inches below the navel, or what the qigong master would describe as 3 finger-widths below the navel. The exact location is called the lower "Dantian" or simply Dantian. This area is the vital source of life energy. It stores and distributes qi to all parts of the body. This lower Dantian is so vital that it is compare to be "like the root of the tree of life".
Another variation is like hugging a tree; and is aptly called "tree-hugging" stance. In this stance, your arms are positioned as if hugging a tree.
The best is to look at the photo on the right with me doing the horse stance. My stance is more natural, with feet pointing 45 degrees and the legs about shoulder length apart. Some teachers may insist that you place your feet pointing straight. Both my legs are bent slightly.
Note that my fingers are naturally bent as if holding a bowl. Bear in mind that there are many variations in the hand positioning. In fact I do change the hand positioning sometimes, with palms facing down.
With this position, you just need the patience and perseverance to stand still for the duration, say 10 minutes. For beginners, after 5 minutes, sweat will ooze out from the arms, and the legs will be wobbling! A pitiful sight indeed! However, with constant practice, you would have the patience to endure the "torture." After a few sessions, it's just a breeze; no sweat, literally!
A good suggestion is that you put on your favorite soothing music or song while doing this stance. You will find a great difference doing it with soothing music than without one.
As for the back or spine, let's take a look sideway.
Horse stance qigong exercise : The flow of "qi"
The photo on the right shows me slightly bent forward. Many teachers will insist that the back must be vertically straight. Actually the Qigong that I practise requires the chest to be a bit forward. Again, this is just a difference in variations. The final effect is the same.
This stance is to build up leg strength and stimulate "qi" flow. "Qi" or "inner energy" cannot be seen but can be felt. With proper qi flow, the body system will function smoothly and healthily. With constant practice, because of the nature of the stance which is stationary, it enhances the ability to concentrate more deeply, bringing calmness and relaxation of the mind.
After awhile, you will feel tingling or pulsating sensation at the finger tips. This is the feel of qi flowing. At the end of the stance, try slowly move both hands sideway and outwards; then slowly bring them together. When coming together, you will feel a slight resistent or "air cushion" between your palms. This is the qi energy, rejuvenating your whole body system.
Hope you have a healthy life, always.
Shaolin Monk Master Super Speed
Link to my other interesting and beneficial articles
As I promised at the beginning, the link to my earlier hub on the one-leg stand is HERE : Stand On One Leg
For a more complete simple qigong exercise, please go to:
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