Monday, 6 August 2012

The 8 Pieces of Silk - #7

This posture begins with the feet spread

et’s continue with the Chi Kung routine called 8 Pieces of Silk.

Today’s section is particularly effective in opening up the entire sacroiliac area of the body. Please don’t consider this posture as just another stretch: there’s quite a lot of intense internal work going on in the abdomen, hips and lower back in particular.

The work-out value of these slow, apparently simple types of exercises tends to creep up on you. Just last week, one of my Tai Chi students remarked: “You wouldn’t think that you’re working hard doing these slow movements…but look at me…I’m sweating!”

(My first instructor in Tai Chi, had us going up and down the floor for ½ an hour in what she called the “horse walk”. The posture we performed was “brush knee step”. From the right side to the left side up the floor, turn, then back down the floor again - all very low in our stances).

The same holds for Chi Kung work: a lot of the movement occurs on the inside of the body. Chi Kung practitioners can do Chi Kung in their car while waiting for a light to change…without appearing to move at all on the outside.

Please remember, the stretch part is only the final expression of a movement.

27.  Slide your right leg out to the right side again into a sei ping mah (4 point horse stance). Place your hands comfortably behind your back. Imagine your entire lower abdomen, lower back and your hips opening up, easing away all the pressure from the organs and from the spine.

Allow the area of the dantien (approx. 1 ½ inches below your navel) to open up and breathe, so that, like the back and hips, it too has the flexibility to rotate.

Keeping your hands behind your lower back, slowly rotate your hips in a circle toward the left, around to your back and over to your right, and then back out in front.

In other words, perform a complete circle with the hips.

You can perform one or several very slow and very wide rotations. You can also circle your hips to the left, holding the position, while stretching your torso to the right. Doing this deeply expands the range of motion of your sacroiliac area. Breathing – inhale very slowly through the nose as your circle in one direction. Continue to inhale as you hold the stretch.

Stretch your hips to one side while leaning into the other direction

28.  Now, circle your lower abdomen, lower back and hips to the right. Please follow the same instructions as above. Remember to lean this time to the left. Breathing – exhale very slowly through the nose as you circle to the right. Continue to inhale as you hold the stretch.

Sifu Greg Magwood will continue to lead us through the next steps of this amazing Chi Kung routine next week.  Sifu Magwood can be contacted at Magwood Martial Arts on Facebook.

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