Congratulations on making it through to week five! I hope you have been enjoying the Between Heaven and Earth qigong practices so far. This week you will stimulate and learn about the belt or girdle meridian. Getting the energy flowing in this meridian will set up a very stable and resilient energy circulation within your body. This will be discussed in the theory section below.
The following video shows the focus exercise for this week. Do as many repetitions of this simple exercise as you want to/have time for in your session.
Additional details about the exercise
As you perform the exercise, reach as far around in one direction as you can with your hands while keeping your shoulders relaxed, then turn and draw your hands as far around in the other direction as you can keeping them just above the surface of your body. The twisting motion of this exercise will activate the connective tissue and muscles that wrap around your waist holding all your organs in and supporting your spine. As the muscles and tissues activate, it should feel as if you are tightening a broad belt around your waist or wrapping a sash firmly around your waist pulling everything in.
While our primary focus for this exercise is the waist area, the belt meridian is also reflected in the connective tissue that wraps around each of our major joints and this exercise will also benefit those joints, helping to pull the connective tissue in and stabilize the joints because of this.
It is good to try practicing this exercise quite fast for awhile as part of your exploration of it. If you do enough repetitions of this exercise at high speed you may even feel a bit of a ‘burn’ in the tissues around your waist as you induce fatigue. This will really help you to physically identify what you are doing with this exercise and continue to have this awareness when you go back to doing the exercise more slowly.
By activating the microcosmic orbit and circulation in your belt meridian, you have now set up a very strong and stable energy circulation within your body. This circulation is found throughout nature and the universe. It is the energy circulation found in the structure of atoms or gyroscopes.
By having circulation in more than one plane, the combined action of these two planes of motion means we are able to effectively take in or send out force or energy on any angle. This means we can quite literally ‘handle whatever is thrown at us’. The movement of the energy in these meridians stimulates the energy of the centre and keeps it alive and active. Similarly the movement and activity at the centre keeps the energy flowing in the meridians once the circulation has been established.
A gyroscope is very stable and hard to throw of balance due to this same energy structure, similarly atoms are very stable and it takes a lot to break them down. Keeping this energy circulation smooth and strong in our bodies will make us similarly strong and resilient.