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Blind Owl, June 26, 2008 in Welcome
Two very simple seated qigong exercises, which you should be able to practice without any personal demonstration. Good luck.
1. Butterfly Shake
Sit comfortably on a chair which is raised enough that your waist is not below your knees. Place your feet parallel below your knees, flat on the floor and only about three inches apart. Start with your knees together and then just let gravity take your knees down to the sides. Pause for a fraction of a second, just enough to be sure the movement has stopped, and then, using as little effort as possible, bring your knees back to the middle. Again a tiny pause, and let gravity take them again. Tiny pause, bring them back up again. Your hands can rest palms down on your thighs and be carried back and forth as passengers, or can just rest on the arms if it's an armchair.
And that's all. What makes it work is a) using as little strength as possible and pouring all your attention into the body to feel how it feels. Close your eyes and feel your feet lean off the ground and back again. Feel the muscles and tendons and bones in the legs. Feel how the rest of the body feels as the legs move. Feel all of these things at once, so that your attention is not concentrated, but diffused over your whole body, sunk into it. And carry on as long as you like. Whenever you catch yourself thinking instead of feeling, don't be cross, don't talk to yourself about it, and don't engage with the content of the thought, just drop back into feeling how it feels to be moving.
2. Happy Body
This is another seated movement. Start sitting comfortably with arms and legs uncrossed, arms resting palms down on your legs or on the arms of the chair. Raise an arm, either one, just a few inches. Straighten it in front of you, palm still downwards. Now pull your fingers back, i.e. upwards, not as far as they will go, just enough to feel something "catch" in the muscle of the underneath of your forearm. Then back to neutral. Then move the fingers downwards to an equivalent angle, then back to neutral, and then the arm comes back in and is put down again. Same procedure with the other arm: lift, straighten, fingers up, neutral, fingers down, neutral, arm back and down. Each stage lasting about a second and everything done with as little strength as possible.
Then the same with the legs. Pick one up, straighten it, pull the toes back towards you, then neutral, then push them down away, then back to neutral, then bend the leg back in and put it down. Same with the other leg. Then back to the arms. Keep going.
Again, what makes it work is a) using as little strength as possible and pouring all your attention into the body to feel how it feels. Close your eyes and feel the movement of each limb. Feel the muscles and tendons and bones in each arm or leg as it moves. Feel how the rest of the body feels as each limb moves. Feel everything at once, so that your attention is not concentrated, but diffused over your whole body, sunk into it. And carry on as long as you like. Whenever you catch yourself thinking instead of feeling, as before, don't be cross, don't talk to yourself about it, and don't engage with the content of the thought, just drop back into feeling how it feels to be moving.
Both the Butterfly Shake and Happy Body are designed to flush tension, blockages and stagnation out of your body. But you don't have to direct anything, visualise anything or encourage anything. If you do, they won't work. Just feel.
Both exercises are very useful if you have trouble sleeping, and both are ideal to teach to elderly or convalescent relatives or anyone who is not well or has a lot of time on their hands.
Happy body may make you yawn or produce tears. Or laugh. All good
Many thanks Ian, I have begun using them.
Happy Body is very easy to get into, the Buttlerfly Shake will take a little more subtlty and practice.
Welcome to taobums! Not a lot of people look at posts here in the lobby. If I were you, I'd cut and paste your above post and put it in the main discussion section to get better feedback.
Thanks Yoda will do.