QFP Week Nine – Exploring the Movements, Yin and Yang

Objective: To better understand the exercises by performing them at different speeds and with different levels of tension.

Videos: the videos for this week appear at the bottom of the page.

Practice Sessions

Session Outline A:

  • Warmup exercise (joint rotation)                                                                                      5 min
  • Twelve health exercises as softly and  slowly as you comfortably can                      15 min
  • Energy awareness exercises, your selection from one, two, three and four             10 min
  • Cool down exercise (energy massage)                                                                              5 min

Session Outline B:

  • Warmup exercise (joint rotation)                                                                                      5 min
  • Twelve health exercises as hard and fast as you comfortably can                             15 min
  • Energy awareness exercises, your selection from one, two, three and four             10 min
  • Cool down exercise (energy massage)                                                                              5 min

 

Notes:

This week your focus will be on gaining greater understanding of the exercises by practicing them in different ways.

On ‘Session A’ days your focus will be on doing the exercises as slowly and as gently as you comfortably can.  This will emphasize the relaxation aspect of the movements and is classified as yin.  Doing the exercises in this way will emphasize stability in relation to gravity throughout the movements, it will develop fine nervous control and will tend to direct the flow of energy towards the internal organs.

On ‘Session B’ days your focus will be on doing the exercises as quickly and as hard as you comfortably can.  This will emphasize the stimulating aspect of the movements and is classified as yang.  Doing the exercises in this way will emphasize stability and control in relation to momentum, it will develop gross nerve firing capacity and will tend to direct the flow of energy outward towards the muscles and ligaments.

Yin Yang

In Chinese philosophy the concept of yin and yang is very important.  Yin generates yang and yang generates yin.  They are cyclic in nature with the one strengthening the other.  You can think about this as similar to resting well when you have worked hard and being able to work harder when we have rested well.  Yin and Yang are not absolutes, but rather they exist at ends of a spectrum.  In practice we will always mix the two together.  Even when we are relaxing, we will have a certain level of activity.  Even when we are very active we will still have moments of rest or we would not be able to continue.

 

Exploring the extremes of yin and yang as you practice the twelve exercises will help you to understand the movements much better.  This will allow you to be more skilful at mixing the two so that as you continue to practice you will be able to create just the right mix of yin and yang for your needs each time you practice.  For example if you have been working physically hard and are tired you will want to practice more slowly and gently to restore your body.  On the other hand if you are feeling sluggish and like you need to wake up your body you will want to practice faster or with more tension to stimulate your yang, and so on.

The topic of yin and yang and many other important aspects of Chinese philosophy as they relate to qigong will be looked at in more depth in the Qigong Theory course along with how to understand these in relation to western science.  The specific application of yin and yang movement practice will be looked at in further depth in the Between Heaven and Earth course and also in the Qigong for Sports course.

 

Continue to week ten