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Qigong Exercise Steps

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 6/27/2011

Qigong, the ancient Chinese art of healing is designed to increase an individual's energy or chi. The steps required in this system of exercise require discipline and focus. Learn some of the key qigong exercise steps in the following article.

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    Following qigong exercise steps correctly offers several healthy benefits. Qigong improves your posture, speed, and stamina along with an impressive increase in flexibility and energy levels. Practioners stand by their theory that qigong releases Qi energy throughout the body, which in turn allows the body to heal and restore itself. It is well known that proper breathing can promote the circulation of oxygen, and since one of the main focuses of qigong is deep abdominal breathing, their claims are most likely true.

    Follow these easy to learn qigong exercise steps and see for yourself if their claims are true. Thirty minutes a day for the first 100 days is the general recommendation.

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    Horse Stance

    A qigong exercise step called the horse stance is a posture to relieve discomfort in the back, named after the position a person's body takes while riding a horse. Start by standing with your feet positioned shoulder-length apart. Bend your knees slightly. Imagine a rope running along your spine and through the top of your head. Allow the imaginary rope to pull your head up while the rest of your body sinks and relaxes.

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    Bow Stance

    The bow stance is a qigong exercise step so named because it mimics the stance Chinese archers assume when drawing their bows. Begin by standing with your feet together. Point the toes of your right foot forward and set the toes of your left foot pointing 45 degrees out. Now slide the right foot forward. Your heels will be shoulder width apart. Take one step to the right with your right foot.

    Keep your shoulders squarely facing straight ahead. Maintain a relaxed posture following the same rope idea as in the horse stance. Visualizing this rope pulling your spine up to the sky or ceiling is key in qigong.

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    Cat Stance

    Qigong also calls the cat stance the empty stance. It requires shifting your weight onto one leg, while the other leg is resting lightly on the floor. To start, bend both knees, tucking your tailbone in slightly. Point the toes of one foot 45 degrees away from the toes of the other foot. Shift all your weight to one leg. Set your non-weight bearing leg gently on the floor with the heel up.

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    Standing Meditation

    Qigong exercise steps include a standing meditation that uses a chair. Start in the horse stance with a chair directly behind you. Sit straight down on the very edge of the chair, keeping both feet flat on the floor. Stand, and then sit again. Repeat several times. Maintain perfect posture throughout, imagining the rope pulling you up and then releasing you to sit again. Legs and back should also be relaxed throughout this qigong exercise.

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    Breathing and Pace

    Throughout the qigong exercise steps, breath deeply and slowly. Allow the air to fill your lungs and use your abdominal muscles rather than your chest when exhaling. Placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth is recommended.

    Maintain a slow and even pace when practicing qigong exercises. Focus on visualizing proper form and calming your mind. Entering a meditative state while going through the stances will optimize the benefits.

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    References

    Chikung Unlimited: Making the Most of Tai Chi Qigong - http://www.chikung-unlimited.com/Tai-Chi-Qigong-3.html

    Ancient Oriental Cures; Tai Chi and Qigong Exercise - http://ancientorientalcures.com/1/tai-chi-qigong-exercises-qigong-horse-stance-exercise

    Beyond Human: Three Vital Elements of Qigong Exercise - http://www.beyondhuman.com/qigong-3elements.html

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