This week we look at energy flow through our arms and legs (our bodies roots and branches) and how these feed energy into and draw energy out of the circulation we have established with our exercises so far.
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
In this exercise, we first focus on the energy moving down the inside of our arms, front of our torso and inside of our legs as we lower our arms and squat down, then the energy moving up the back and outside of our legs, back of our torso and back of our arms as we stand and raise our arms over our heads. We then repeat focusing on the energy moving in the opposite direction, down the back of our body as we squat down and up the front of our body as we stand up.
Some people may find it difficult to squat all the way down doing this exercise. If this is the case, just go as low as you comfortably can. Gradually as you keep doing the exercise your range of motion will improve as your muscles become stronger and more flexible.
This exercise is an excellent example of the difference a small change in our mental focus can have on the flow of force and energy through our bodies. When we focus on the energy moving down the front of our body and up the back of our body, we unconsciously shift our centre of balance forwards slightly to encourage this energy flow. When we focus on the energy moving down the back of our body and up the front of our body we unconsciously shift our centre of balance backwards slightly. These slight movements have a big effect on how the tensions in our body respond to the forces they are subjected to as a result of this motion. This same principle of using mind and body to accomplish desired energy flow is used in many qigong exercises. It is important that we have both working together in order to get the best result.
Hint: if you are having difficulty feeling the difference between these two directions of energy flow CONSCIOUSLY shift your centre of balance as described above, exaggerate the movement a little and see if you can feel the energy flow now.
The meridians we are working with in this exercise are known as the Yin Heel Meridian, Yang Heel Meridian, Yin Linking Meridian and Yang Linking Meridian. As mentioned earlier, you will come across various depictions of these meridians, but for our purposes in these qigong practices we can think of the combined action of these meridians as broad rivers of energy which come up the back and outside of the leg and all the way onto the arms, and down the inside of the arms, torso and inside of the legs in the pathway described for the exercise.
Adding these meridians in now completes what is known as the macrocosmic orbit. You have now activated the extraordinary meridian flow (ocean currents of energy) through every part of your body.
These currents of energy feed into the stable gyroscopic/atomic structure energy circulation we have already set up in our body. The motion of our arms and legs will pump fresh energy into this energy circulation and can be used to channel energy out from our centre into the world around us. In more practical day to day terms this means that moving our arms and legs will stimulate our internal organs and nervous system and we will be able to effectively draw on the energy of our internal organs to support our day to day activities which involve moving our limbs a
These feeder flows of energy act as a more direct connection with the energy of the world around us.