This week our focus is on taking the energy in the dantien and encouraging it to spread and expand to fill the entire body.
Structuring Your Sessions
Throughout this twelve week qigong course you will want to begin and end your practice sessions with the routines covered last week.
This week you will want to begin the body of your session by doing a little of the centre activation/abdominal massage practice that you focused on in week two. You don’t need to do a lot, just enough that you start to feel your lower dantien becoming soft active and warm. When you can feel this energy in your dantien continue on to the focus exercise for this week. You will want to spend a good deal of time on this exercise to really get the sensation of the energy filling out into the extremeties of your body. This may take up your entire session, but if you have more time you may also want to carry on and complete the rest of the exercises in this set.
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.
You can see the video of the opening routine here and the closing routine here if you need a reminder. You can see a video of the complete set of exercises here if you want to do the whole set during one or more of your sessions this week.
Additional details about the exercise
While doing this exercise you can think of your body a big like a giant rubber balloon, as we push out from the centre of the body with our mind on filling our body with energy it is a bit like filling our bodies balloon out to get rid of any creases and crushed parts. This balances the muscle and connective tissue tension throughout the whole body, allowing blood to flow freely and nerves to function without being pressed on unduely.
For greatest effect try to push outwards with the elbows facing downwards and the shoulders relaxed. Look at each hand as you press outwards to help release tension and muscle imbalance in the neck and spine. You can experiment with making the pushing motions fast or slow, just make sure you keep your mental focus on pushing out from the dantien in the centre of the body to fill the whole body with energy. Usually you will breathe in as you bring your hands inwards towards your torso and breathe out as you press your hands away from your torso. If you try pushing out very quickly you may need to vary this breathing pattern so that you breathe out in short bursts for several pushes before you breathe in as you draw your hands in, this will stop you from overbreathing during this exercise.
Blood and energy naturally pool towards the centre of our body where our internal organs are. For optimum health it is important to circulate this blood and energy out to our extremities so that it does not stagnate at our centre and can provide strength to our muscles, bones, connective tissue, nervous system and skin. The energy will then naturally return to the centre. This pushing out and drawing in encourages a natural cycle and balance between internal and external, yin and yang.
By focusing our awareness on pushing out from the dantien we create a habit of transmitting force through this centre which creates softness and strength through the whole body.
In addition to this as we focus on filling the whole body with energy, all of the cells in our bodies become more active, creating even more energy in our bodies.