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The Lively Rhythm and Rhyme of the Positions

  Positions come and go like the shadow without a trace. Lots of positions are included in the practice routines. Although the positions are only mentioned in the preparing form and closing form, but it does not mean that other actions are not linked with the positions. On the contrary, positions run through the whole movement exercises. The fascinating positions are not only needed in the practices, but also included in the community of military, political, economic, cultural and everyday life, and it is full of charm. 
  The positions in the preparing form and the closing form are not only limited to the start and end of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, but also run through the whole process of the entire exercises. The rhythm of the position is the necessary condition to regulate the spirit and body, smooth the Qi and blood and guide the harmonious rhythm of life. The so-called rhythm refers to the regular or irregular periodic changes resulting from the evolution due to the changes of the nature. The rhythms of the position run through the whole practice process of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. This text intends to talk about a few thoughts on this topic.
  The rhythmic motion forms in the learning and practice. They are all rhythmic movements from the preparing form to the closing form in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. The movements in the whole practice process of the full set of exercise are connected and rhythmic. The preparing form lays the keynote of the rhythm and rhyme. The remaining eight main actions are conducted until the closing form in accordance with the rhythm and rhyme, which is the role of the rhythm and rhyme of the positions play in the process of connection, conversion and continuation of the actions. In this regard, it can be viewed from two aspects.
  On the one hand, the rhythms of the position begin from the preparing form to the closing form. The position in the practice should be rhythmic, and the rhythms of the position begin from the preparing form and closing form. Meanwhile, the potential rhythm constituted by the technical details, there is no technical details not to mention the potential rhythm. Therefore, it is necessary to view the technical details of the preparing form and closing form. Stand up and step touch at the start. Lower the hip, bend the right knee to squat, while lifting the left foot naturally and left step. The tiptoe landing first, gradually transforming to the full foot, the center of gravity slowly moving to the legs, both legs naturally standing, as wide as the shoulders. Revolve inward the arms and open to both sides at a 45 degree angle, then bend the knees, tighten the buttocks, relax the abdomen and waist, shrink the chest and stretch the back. Revolve outward the arms and hold together in front of the abdomen, shrink the back, lower the vertical of the center of gravity, relax the elbows and shoulders, and lead Baihui upward virtually. Looking at the nose naturally, both shoulders act in concert with the hips, both elbows act in concert with the knees, both hands act in concert with the feet. The fine and deep abdominal breathing is helpful to sink Qi to the Dantian, so as to regulate the breath. Keep mind concentrate on the Dantian in a state between being intentional and being unintentional, as well as keep the mind continuously, so as to regulate the mind. Put both hands together and press downward, slowly straighten the knee. These technical movements in the preparing form and closing form have objectively expressed the direction, rules, timing and orders, ideas and artistic conception of movements of the rhythms of the position, which can be expressed as the rhythm of the connotation of the positions in the preparing form and closing form.
  On the other hand, the rhythm and rhyme of the position run through the exercises. Health Qigong Ba Duan Jin breathing, meditation keep Italy, active process is the line of the seating arrangement, needs to have the potential of rhythmic movement, otherwise it would be a group of disarray mess;? Meanwhile, the potential also not without rhythm, loose, static, round, live, up, down, open, close formation potential, are inseparable rhythm, otherwise, it would be unreasonable stiff body humble force . In the practice process of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, the rhythm and rhyme of the position are interdependent and reciprocal causation. The abundant rhymes of the position are based on the rhythm, the rhythms of the position are developed on the basis of the rhymes. The rhythm of the position accompanies a certain degree of body movement beauty, and the rhyme of the positions has generated infinite artistically beauty in the changes of rhythm. The rhythm and rhyme of the positions in the Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin not only reflect the changes of rhythm, but also demonstrate the cultural ambience in the rhythm. It can be seen that the rhythm and rhyme of the positions exist close relationship. The rhythms of the positions are the basis to constitute the rhyme, the rhyme of the positions is the expression of content and personality based on rhythm. The rhythm of the position in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin is presented in the process of continuous opening and closing movements. The so-called continuity refers to the continuous movements among the starting form and other kinds of actions, and until the closing form. The continuity also refers that all movements in the exercise are continuous. In fact, the rhythmic conversion form in the movement process is continuous. The rhythm of the position is a kind of rhythmic variation, which takes many ingredients in the content, e.g. ideas, thinking and emptiness. So the rhythm and rhyme of the position run through the exercise of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. Therefore, practitioners should recognize the denotation of the rhythm and rhyme of the positions in the practice.
  The objective role of rhythm and rhyme in the learning and practice. The rhythm is a kind of law of nature movement. Surrounded by the nature, the human life movement reflects the different rhythms, and the rhythm of phenomenon of human life is not the same in different forms of movements.
  The rhyme of the position is a kind of gradual change form of the movement routine that occurs with the movement form. It is the subtle gradual change of position in the conversions of the rhythms. The gradual change of position refers to the gradual change in proper order or sequence and in a similar form of exercise or body language, showing the phased, orderly and harmonious movements. It is characterized in the exercise of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin as follows: First, there are rhythm and rhyme in the preparing form and the closing form; Second, there are starting and ending in the conversions and connections between each movement and action. In other words, it is the preparing form to the closing form. In this sense, the preparing form to the closing form run through the entire methods, and thus reflecting the gradual change of positions in the regulation of the body, heart and breath, and showing the beauty of rhythm and rhyme of the position. Meanwhile, the movements in Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin are multifaceted gradual change of positions, including relax, quiet, round, lively, soft, up, down, open, close and concentration, etc. In the gradual change forms of the positions, the overall tone is "emptying the mind and filling the belly", and keep quiet and peaceful, but the specific gradual change of positions are very diverse. Taking regulating the body, mind and breathing as the example, this article will talk about the gradual change of positions.
  The gradual change of positions in the body movements. Standardize the body posture is the basic condition to practice Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. As the old saying goes, "The incorrect body posture leads to the unsmooth of breathing, then people are unrest and distracted. “It is calling attention to the regulation of the body, which is the gradual change process in the practice. First, it is the static exercises. It allows the practitioners to more accurately understand the proprioception of the various parts of the body, and it can more accurately control the tiny joints of the body. Second, start the qi movement, so as to enhance the qi sensations in various parts of the body. Moreover, keep the peace of mind and enter the realm of emptiness. "Lead the qi to achieve the harmony, and pull the body to make it soft“. Eliminate the stiff and humble force, and start the innate soft and natural strength. When regulating the body in the practice of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, the exercisers should also master the essentials of "two connections, one point and one vertical, the weight of the whole body should focus on the Yongquan acupoint". "Two connections" means the Baihui acupoint and Huiyin acupoint. "One point" refers to the midpoint of the line connected Yongquan acupoints of the feet. These three points are located in a virtual straight line that is perpendicular to the ground, they will connect naturally through the body as time passes. ”The weight of the whole body should focus on the Yongquan acupoint" is basically intended to something sensuous or imaginary. Based on the geometric shape, the center of gravity of the human body is not in the lowest part of the body in any case. However, under the long-term guidance of this sense, the exercisers will soon be able to get the stable feeling. Baihui acupoint, Huiyin acupoint, the midpoint of the Yongquan acupoints of the feet should located in a straight line, which is perpendicular to the ground naturally. Feeling that the weight of the body falls on the Yongquan acupoints of the feet, and there is no stiff or humble force in the body. The exercisers can get the truth that Tao models itself after nature. It means that the gradual change of the body will inevitably lead to the gradual change of positions.
  The gradual change of positions in the breathing movements. The gradual change of positions is carried out with the breathing exercise. There are three commonly used way of breathing: natural breathing, abdominal breathing, reverse abdominal breathing, etc. The reverse abdominal breathing is required in the exercise of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, while the reverse abdominal breathing is hard to do at the beginning, especially when the exercisers are unskilled. The reverse abdominal breathing has a very important effect in the process of practicing the Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. Correct reverse abdominal breathing method has a positive meaning for the prevention and treatment of various types of chronic diseases. Hereinto, it requires that “shrinking the chest and stretching the back" and "relaxing the waist and tightening the hip" in the preparing form, which can directly lead the breathing of the practitioners from the chest to the abdomen, forming the natural and soft abdominal breathing method. The abdominal breathing exercise is also a necessary stage to practice the reverse abdominal breathing method. On the basis of the abdominal breathing, if the exercisers rise the qi in the belly to the chest when inhaling, accompany with lifting the anus, it is easy to understand the essentials of reverse abdominal breathing. So the right starting form allows practitioners to sink qi to the Dantian, and appreciate the rise and fall of qi better. The delicacy of the regulation of breathing can only be found in the quiet state, and only in the quiet gradual process, can exercisers regulate the breathing more effectively and better grasp the essentials reverse abdominal breathing method. On this basis, practice with the actions will get double the result. In other words, the gradual change of positions are closely related to the application of breathing techniques, and restricted by the essentials of the breathing techniques.
  The gradual change of positions in the mind cultivation. The process of cultivating the mind is also the gradual change process of the positions. Meditation and cultivation are not only the requirements of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, but also the results of the practice, so if the exercisers cannot keep peace of mind in the practice process, it is difficult to understand and grasp the external characteristics and inherent charm of the exercises. And if the exercisers practice the Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin directly, and make requests on its spirits, the practitioners may understand more or less, but it is very difficult to do it. Thus, only through the progressive movement type, the language induction, physical sensations and the natural sentiment for the practice, can exercisers appreciate the quiet state of mind and reach the exercises state of "syncretizing both inner and outer”. The cognition generated in the self-experience is much more profound than the external persuasion. The general change of positions following the mind will produce a sense of rhythm and a sense of rhythm of the positions in the harmonious life movements.
Overall, the gradual change of positions are beneficial to the practice of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin. It is helpful to regulate the breathing, strengthening the qi and essence, brighten the face and nourish the blood and qi, etc. Moreover, it is conducive to replenish the qi in the belly, and then replenish the limbs, so as to strengthen the trunk and skeleton and enhance the vitality. In this way, it is not hard to maintain the physical and mental health. Of course, the diversity of the gradual change forms is far more than those.
  The technological factors of the rhythm and rhyme in the learning and practice. "Emptying the mind and filling the belly" is the basis of the preparing form and closing form in the practice of Health Qigong•Ba Duan Jin, which is also the core content to grasp the rhythm and rhyme of the positions. The rhythm and rhyme of the positions cannot be achieved without reaching the practice state of "emptying the mind and filling the belly".
  From the perspective of elements in the practicethe rhythm and rhyme of the positions exist among the various elements of the actions. It is restricted by various factors to reach the practice state of "emptying the mind and filling the belly" in the practice. There are many details elements. For example: straighten the  head and smile, keep the neck upright, shrink the chest and stretch the back, relax the shoulders, straighten the coccyx and bend the knees slightly. Take another example, the correct postures are that leading Baihui acupoint, tongue touching the palate, lifting the perineum, revolving the knees inward, rising Yongquan acupoint and lower the coccyx. These details determine the rhythm of the positions and the role of rhyme in the learning practice. The rhythm and rhyme of the positions are reflected in the specific actions in the exercise. Take two examples here. First, slightly bend the knees in the starting form. Until the body slightly trembles or shakes, and even breathes faster and sweating slightly. It is due to the blood circulation has sped up and large amounts of oxygen is transported. With the improvement of practice ability, the heart rate and breathing have no obvious change comparing with the past. The primary stage of the practice is completed so far. Second, it is the natural meditation position. Breathing naturally, and do not pay attention to the breathing and do not take deep breath intentionally. Breathing naturally in the practice and other breathing methods will be mastered as the improvement of the exercise. There are a variety of meditation methods. The approach commonly used is that drawing back the eyesight back to the vertical lines of Baihui acupoint, keeping mind concentration without hearing the outside sounds, and just listening the rhythm of heart. The tongue touching the palate, with upper and lower incisors together, lips gently closed. The exercisers must follow the unintentional principle in this process and relax the body and mind. In addition, the exercisers can imagine the state of holding the balloon, which requires preventing racking or creeping down of the ball. So practice rhythmically and repeatedly to lay the foundation, there will be a sense of tension in the arms when moving inward, there will be a sense of resistance when moving out the arms. Then the beautiful rhythm of the position will slowly be formed, thus reaching the practice state of "emptying the mind and filling the belly".
  From the perspective of “emptying the mind", on the one hand, "emptying the mind" provides a good psychological foundation to grasp the rhythm and rhyme of the positions. No distractions, as well as being quiet, peaceful and stable, which is easy to control the ideas and breathing, so that the actions are lively, continuous and natural. On the other hand, "emptying the mind" has created the necessary conditions for the circulation of qi movement in the body. "Nei Jing•Shang Gu Tian Zhen Lun" said, “Being indifferent to fame or benefit and empty the mind, so that the genuine qi is generated." Huang Yuanji in the Qing dynasty said that "To nourish the genuine qi, people have to keep mind concentration and regulate the breathing, so as to calm the acquired qi. Then the congenital breathing appears unintentionally”. It is because that "the physical and mental inaction can contribute to the actions of the mind and spirit. “ Moreover, "emptying the mind" can continue to improve the quality of "filling the belly". Maintaining a peaceful state of mind can continue to strengthen the qi, which runs through the meridians constantly. From the point of view of modern science, emptying the mind allows the central nervous system in a protective aepression state, thereby increasing the degree of order of the cerebral cortex, especially the frontal lobe, so as to improve the automation features of the giant system of the human body, and greatly strengthen the internal activities dominated by the organs. It is the physiological basis of the rhythm and rhyme of the positions. .
  From the perspective of “filling the belly”, on the one hand, it helps to improve the quality and level of the rhythm and rhyme of the position. The belly is full of essential qi, which can be fed back to the brain, prompting the brain to accelerate the control of deep sense, as well as the automatic control. From the point of view of modern science, the solar plexus and gonadal nerve are distributed in the underbelly of human body. Many vegetative nerves are concentrated in the solar plexus of the human body. The emergent of Qi movement and the plentiful essential qi in the belly would inevitably lead to the active abdominal nerve function, so the blood vessels and capillaries in the abdomen and the waist are also active. The nutrients are delivered to the brain by them, so the rhythm and rhyme of the positions are increased. On the other hand, there is a chain conditioned reflex between the gonadal and pituitary. The plentiful essential qi in the belly can flourish the gonad function, and then the signs are fed back to the autonomic center of the hypothalamus, enhancing the rhythm and rhyme of the positions of the vegetative nerve function. Moreover, "filling the belly" can conduct two-ways regulation on the whole body, prompting the body to achieve the steady equilibrium state. The belly is full of essential qi, which can effectively stimulate and strengthen the vitality center, and significantly contribute to the links and contacts between the various levels, parts and systems of the body, prompting the rhythmically coordinated operation, so as to achieve the steady equilibrium state. The achievement of the steady equilibrium state is not only the important physiological basis of "emptying the mind", but also the material force advancing it to a higher level. Thus, the rhythm and rhyme of the positions will also be sublimated.
  The rhythm and rhyme of the positions are developed in the practice state of "emptying the mind and filling the belly", which are not only the synonym of the preparing form and closing form, but also the beautiful melody of the harmonious life movements. To understand and master it is bound to achieve the good physical and mental health.