Learning and Practice of Bird Exercise of Health Qigong•Wu Qin Xi
The Bird Exercise is the fifth exercise of Health Qigong· Wu Qin Xi. In order to teach and learn the Bird Exercise preferably, I have summed up the following the five-step teaching method in this paper, in order to share and communicate with the exercisers.
Step one: Imitating the postures
Imitating the postures is the first step to mobilize the interests of the students in the learning and practice. The main purpose is to master the posture changes and movement routes.
The movements of the Bird Exercise include Bird Stretching and Bird Flying. The movement changes are relatively simple. The key to complete the movements is to grasp the orders of rising and falling, opening and closing of both arms accurately, lifting the legs forward and backward steadily and coordinate the rhythm of the upper and lower limbs reasonably. I will give instructions on the micro-motion of upper and lower limbs of the Bird Exercise. The upper limb movements in the Bird Stretching: first, it is overlapping and raising the palms. Overlapping both palms before the abdomen, rising them to the front of the head, keeping arms straight and wrists bent; second, it is shrugging. Both shoulders inward, neck-shrugging, chest out, lowering the back and sticking up the buttocks; third, it is overlapping and pressing the palms. Bending the elbows and falling the arms, pressing to the front of the abdomen, relaxing the wrists; fourth, it is separating the palms and backswing. The arms backswing and separating to the rear side of the body, with the palms changing to the bird wings. The lower limb movements in Bird Stretching are simple and easy to do. Legs alternatively change the tightness in the first and second tips; the center of gravity of the body is moved to the supporting leg, and the other leg is drew back in the third tip; leg backswing and stretching the knees, and bending the spine backward in the fourth tip.
The upper limb movements in the Bird Flying : first, raising the upper limb horizontally, holding both hands before the abdomen, both arms slightly bent and lateral raise, shoulders and elbows going downward, lifting the wrists, both arms lateral raise, with palms changing to the bird wings; second, falling and closing the arms, falling the arms, followed by relaxing the shoulders, falling the elbows, pressing palms and closing them before the abdomen; third, stretching and lifting the arms, lifting both arms to the top of the head, with the backs of the hand opposing, putting the wrists together and leaving gap in the middle, which is shaped like the bell mouth; fourth, falling the arms and putting them together, the movements are required the same like the second tip. The lower limb movements in Bird Flying are relatively simple and easy to do, which are in accordance with the order of lifting the knees, touch step, lifting the knees, and changing the other leg after landing. First, legs slightly bent, the center of gravity of the body moved to one leg, supporting the body independently, while the other knee slightly bent and lifted with toes naturally drooping; second, the supporting leg bent and squat, falling the other knee with toes touching to the inside of the supporting leg; third, keeping the supporting legs straight, lifting the other knee with toes naturally drooping; fourth, falling the knee with toes touching to the inside of the supporting leg, and both legs slightly bent.
Step two: Understanding the connotation
After mastering the movement routes and figures, exercisers should enhance the content of course to learn from the figures to theories, namely, paying attention to the details of the movements and showing the lasting appeal of movements, which reflects the connotation of the Bird Exercise. When practicing the movement of overlapping and rising the palms in the Bird Stretching, the force starts from the feet, passes through the back and reaches to the shoulders, and finally keep the neck, shoulders and buttocks tight, raising both hands upward, bending the wrists with the fingers downward, which are like the mouths of the cranes; when practicing the movement of overlapping and pressing the palms, the force starts from the shoulders, through the back and to the feet, relaxing and lowering the neck, shoulders, buttocks and wrists, pressing down to the front of abdomen; when practicing the movement of shoulders shrinking, taking the Dazhui acupoint of the Du Channel as the center, fully squeeze both shoulders, shrinking the neck and drawing back the jaw, to further enhance Yang Qi of the human body through. When practicing the movement of chest out, lowering the back and sticking up the buttocks, pay attention to the upturned coccyx, but the body cannot lean forward too much. The amplitude distortion of the upturned coccyx will lead to the deformation of movements; if practicing the movement properly, the upper body will naturally bend forward, so as to stretch the Ren channel and Du channel. When practicing the movement of separating the palms and backswing, both arms backwards in the herringbone, forming the angle of about 45 ° with the body, the palms turning to the bird wings and swinging backward with palms up, and keeping the arms straight and tighten. It should mainly pay attention to the coordination of the lower limb movements and upper limb movements, the coordination of the movements of legs and overlapping palms before the abdomen, and the cooperation of the tightness of the body and the movements of the legs; when moving the center of gravity, keep the body smooth and steady and avoid the ups and downs. The movements of Bird Flying are relatively simple, and it mainly concerns the coordination of the upper and lower limbs. First, lifting the arms and knees harmoniously, when lifting both hands upward, the lifting leg should reach the highest point slowly; second, when drawing both hands inward, the toes of the lifting leg should just touch the ground; third, pay attention to the movements when arms upward, which should be stretch with good amplitude to open the chest. When arms upward, the force origins from the shoulder, shoulders downward, relaxing the elbows, lifting the wrists, to form wriggle process of the arms; squeeze the chest while drawing the arms inside, so that the thorax is exercised through the opening and closing of the arms; fourth, in order to improve the effect of exercise, independent squatting, keep the knee bend and avoid the toes touching ground when standing on one leg, so that bending the supporting leg as much as possible, which can effectively enhance the strength of the leg and improve the balance capability.
Step three: The transformation of forms and conception
Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi requires the conceptions and there are different conceptions in every exercise. A nice internal environment is created through the transformation of different conceptions, which is favor to regulate the emotions and achieve cheerful mood the relaxation of mind. The Bird Exercise was formed by learning from the crane, which is a kind of light and serene bird. As a symbol of longevity, it is elegant, holy and silent. Exercisers should reflect the unhurried and elegant verve of the crane. Imagine that the crane standing in the wilderness and facing sun, flapping and lifting the foot, standing firm with raised head. The movements conception of Bird Stretching: the crane standing in the wilderness with pure eyesight and serene expression, flapping and lifting the foot, standing firm with raised head, which shows the verve of the crane with ethereal lightness and magnanimous mind. The movements conception of Bird Flying: the crane fluttering and soaring high, stretching both arms upward with the breath, falling both arms and closing inward, Qi sinking to Dantian, and standing still with the leisurely charm.
Step four: Respiratory coordination
In the coordination of movements and respiration, the “inhale-while-lifting and exhale-while-lowering” respiration mode is followed in the Bird Exercise. In the practice of Bird Stretching, overlapping and rising the palms to expand the chest with inhaling; when overlapping and pressing the palms, relaxing the perineum and chest stretch, with exhaling; arms backswing and the palms changing to the bird wings , cooperating with inhaling; overlapping the palms before the abdomen with exhaling. In the practice of Bird Flying, stretch the arm with exhaling; fall the arms with exhaling; stretch the arms with inhaling; fall the arms with exhaling. After being familiar with the movements, the exercisers can repeatedly experience the coordination of the upper and lower limbs, naturally breathing long and fine, calming the mind, and gradually realize the alternating tightness feeling between the breathing and muscle. Exercisers should master the respiration method step by step, and achieve the state of "no need to adjust while self-adjusting".
Step five: Practice the full course
After mastering the movement routes, the description of movements, idea and conception, as well as the respiration, practicing the full course is the key to master the movements and understand the connotation. When practice the full course of Bird Stretching, bending and stretching should be paid attention. Overlapping and pressing the palms before the abdomen are finished at the same time with both legs slightly bend and the squat; stretching both arm upward, both shoulders shrinking, chest out, lowering the back and sticking up the buttocks, with both legs straight; both arms backswing, moving the center of gravity, leg swing after drawing the foot, simultaneously with stretching the leg backward. When practice the full course of Bird Flying, the coordination of lifting and falling should be paid attention. Lifting the arms upward and lifting the knee simultaneously, both of which should complete slowly in the same space; drawing both hands together with the toes of the lifting leg touching ground simultaneously; after mastering the keys in the Bird Exercise, practicing and refining repeatedly to comprehend the artistic conception, cooperating with the breath, so that the serene and light features of the crane will be reflected.
The movements of Bird Stretching and Bird Flying in the Bird Exercise reflect the propensity of the cranes, e.g. fluttering and soaring high, standing firm with raised head, flapping and lifting foot, as well as standing still, and thus showing the gentle, graceful and leisurely charm. The long-term exercise of these two routines can ventilate the lung and regulate Qi, strengthen the exchange capacity of blood and Qi, improve the balance capacity, so as to achieve the specific effects of calming the mind and relieving the stress. Learning the Bird Exercise through the above five steps will gradually master the movements and the artistic conception, reflect the verve, and then achieve the state of keeping improving internally and externally.