Chi Kung

Chi means energy.

Kung means working with energy, developing or cultivating.

When you combine the two words together, chi kung means working with energy, developing energy or cultivating energy. The asians have been practicing this discipline for over 3ooo years .The practice of chi kung has a wide range of applications from health to sex, from heightened states of consciousness to aging, with these examples we are just scratching the surface. Kung fu has a special relationship with chi Kung. This is the reason for some of the great feats of strength performed by Kung Fu practitioners. This is one of the reasons they can withstand pain in a certain area of their body. They can use it as a shield by moving their chi to a certain part of their body, or they can use it to penetrate their opponent. There are a wide variety of forms, styles and traditions with a broad range of applications and purpose. There are some external forms, which involve postures, movements and physical exercise. There are also internal forms, which involve various kinds of meditation and energy practices, but we will focus on some of the basic postures for now.

We will start with the first position, which is standing still. This position is a very important in the beginning. It involves simply standing still. This is a good time for you to discover how your body is reacting. Try to stay relaxed, do not stiffen up and pay attention to your nervous system.

Moving into the first position, stand with your feet shoulder width apart toes pointing forward either parallel or turned slightly outward. Let your hands hang loosely by your side and drop your shoulders. Imagine that you are a puppet hanging from a string. The string is holding you from your head at a point located directly in line with the tips of your ears. Feel yourself sinking down relaxing as you hang from the string.

From this position breath calmly and naturally, stand quietly and allow your whole system to calm down. With your mouth closed lightly, inhale and exhale gently through your nose. Do not clamp your teeth shut. If saliva forms in your mouth swallow it. Exhale completely and allow your chest to drop. Do not stiffen your fingers, allow them to curve gently and remain slightly apart. Your knees should be slightly bent, do not lock them in place. Look straight ahead and slightly down, drop your chin a little and release any tension in your neck. With your arms hanging loosely, drop your shoulders and elbows. Relax your hips and belly and let the bottom part of your spine unfold downward so that your belly or your behind are not sticking out. In the beginning, try holding this position for five minutes. There are three points that we are going to focus on the first is located on the top of your head .It is from where you are being held from the string. The second is your tan tien, which is located three cm below your navel, and the last point is the bottom of your feet in the middle of your soles. Your weight is evenly distributed between your right and left feet. Your feet are your roots to the world around you they are grounding you to the earth. This is where you will get all the elements that will make your chi grow. After you have gathered your elements from the earth bring them to the second focus point your tan tien at this point mix your breath with the elements. After this is done bring it to the first point. Just as all things grow from the ground up so will your chi.

The second position

HOLDING THE BEACH BALL

Moving into the second position from the first position. Slowly bring both your arms upward and forward to form an open circle in front of your chest at about shoulder level your open palms face your chest. The distance between the fingertips of your hands is (3-9 in) the tops of your thumbs are no higher than your shoulders. Your wrists are as wide as your shoulders. Your elbows are slightly lower than your wrist and shoulders. The inner angle between your upper are and forearm is slightly more then 90 degrees. Imagine that you are holding a big beach ball between your hands. An important note to remember is imagine you have a ball at every part of your body that needs some support ex 1 under your arms pits under your bum as if you are just leaning on it in between every finger .The back of your knees and so on. It is important that you use the imaginary balls, use them to support your body. The breathing and the focus points will remain the same as the standing position.

The third position

LOWERING THE BEACH BALL

Starting from the second position slowly bring your forearms around in front of your abdomen. Raise and open your hands slightly and bring them to rest as if they were supporting an enormous beach ball between your hands and your belly. Hold the ball with the tipes of your fingers. Keep your fingers apart just enough to allow imaginary balls to rest between each finger. The fingers of each hand point toward the opposite knee. Make sure that your knees do not come forward beyond your toes. Your palms are not turned sharply upward; they are loosely angled along the arc of the beach ball. There should be no tension in your wrist or any part of your body. The breathing and focus points will remain the same and do not forget to use the balls for support. Just like the second position.

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