Monday, 23 July 2012

The 8 Pieces of Silk - #5


Reach to the left

L
et’s continue with the 8 Pieces of Silk routine.



Much like Tai Chi, this routine looks so easy from the outside. Most people just look on and say: “Those are some nice stretches. I should be able to do them easily enough!”

But what’s missed by the untrained eye is what happens inside the body. As I mentioned in the last post, every movement in the routine begins deep inside the body, rolling out like a wave to the tips of the fingers.

Combine that with the deep breathing and you have an “exercise” that involves every cell in the body.

(I’ve placed exercise in quotation marks because Chi Kung extends way beyond exercise. It’s a profound system of health, longevity and spiritual training).




Your left hand is the bow, your right hand pulls the bow string

23.  After you’ve returned your hands as fists to your hips, slide your left foot out to the left into a sei ping mah (4 point horse stance). Both knee are bent directly over both feet, each carrying 50% of your weight. Your toes are pointing forward. Your back is straight but relaxed.

Slowly reach out to the left with your right fist while pulling your left hand up to your left shoulder. Your left index finger points upward; the rest of the fingers are curled back. Breathing – exhale through the nose.  

Slowly pull the right fist back in front of you (like pulling on a bow string) as you push your left hand out to the left as far as it will go. Breathing – inhale through the nose.




Reach across to the right

24.  Remaining in sei ping mah (4 point horse stance), slowly reach across and out to the right with your left fist while pulling your right hand up to your right shoulder. Your right index finger points upward; the rest of the fingers are curled back. Breathing – exhale through the nose.  

Slowly pull the left fist back to in front of you (like pulling on a bow string) as you push your right hand out to the right as far as it will go. Breathing – inhale through the nose.




Pull the bow string back with your left hand

This same type of movement is seen throughout the martial arts with various degrees of muscular tension. You find a similar movement in several Hung Gar Kung Fu routines either to the side or with both hands to the front; Karate uses it in its “bow and arrow” punch; etc.

In the 8 Pieces of Silk, there is little or no muscular tension - and the breathing is soft yet profound.

Please remember that this movement has to start from deep within the body!

I’ll soon post another section of this marvellous routine.

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