Pranaveda Qigong and Health
Benefits of Qigong Practice
Reverses the process of aging, builds up and releases an extraordinary flow of natural energy that is dormant inside us, raises the body and mind to remarkably high levels of fitness, relaxes the nervous and muscular systems simultaneously, clears the entire network of Chi channels ("meridians"), speeds up blood circulation by controlling the breath.
Natural breathing is centered on the dantien inside your abdomen. The dantien lies 2 inches below the navel, one third of the way into your body, just in front of the sacrum. You may find the following visualization helpful. Start by following your breath as it enters your nostrils. On the next breath follow it part way down your throat. By "follow" I mean be able to imagine or fed your breath or a point of light or a crest of a wave or whatever works for you to "be" at the front of your breath as it travels. With each breath let it travel further and further down through your body: throat, base of neck, top of lungs, middle of lungs, bottom of lungs, through diaphragm, into stomach (top of abdomen), into dantien (very important center, at this point your belly, instead of your lungs, should be expanding as you breathe; what happens is your diaphragm is a upside down bowl and when you breathe it contracts and flattens, pushing out the contents of the abdomen. The ribs do not expand. You must relax the abdominal muscles to allow this to happen, into top of thighs, middle thigh, lower thigh, through knee, upper calf, lower calf, ankle, foot (on the bottom, center of the foot is the opening through which earth energy enters the body as chi). As you push or better yet open up channels to allow the breath to flow all the way down to your feet you will flow breath out of your feet down into the ground. Allow the breath to flow through an underground channel, a few feet further each time, towards the tree until you reach the tree and breathe further up the tree each time you inhale. It takes practice to follow it. Try to push it further each day. It may take several weeks to get it up into the tree. At length you can be breathing for yourself and for all that your vision can hold. Finally you can cycle the breath from the trees back into you through the crown.
Warming up your knees and shoulders is essential for beginners. Practicing tai chi accomplishes this as well. KNEES - Stand with your feet together. Bend your knees slightly. With your hands supporting your knees, rotate your knees in tiny circles 30 times to the left and 30 times to the right. Remain relaxed from your waist up. SHOULDERS - Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Slowly raise your arms as if you were holding a beach ball between your palms. When your hands are above the top of your head, turn them outward then lower them in an arc down toward your sides. Be careful not to hunch your shoulders. As your arms reach hip level, bring them forward gently so that they can hold the imaginary beach ball again before they start to move slowly upward. Make 30 to 40 complete circles. Breathe in as your arms raise and out as they lower. An alternative is to swing arms straight above the head without rotating hands.