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Qigong Poses

Category: Date: 14 August 2022 Comments: 0

Qigong Poses

 

Qigong poses are one of the qigong techniques that are very optimal for reaching strength, health, and vitality. There are different ways to do qigong poses. Let’s learn more as we discuss this in this blog. 

 

What is Qigong?

 

First, let’s learn what qigong is. Qigong has been around for thousands of years. Qigong is an ancient practice that helps cultivate energy in the body. In qigong, we cultivate energy through balanced movement and meditation. We work on energy through different body mechanics, breathing techniques, and by using intention or meditation. Through this, we cultivate our energy sources to help us have healthier and stronger bodies. 

 

Qigong Techniques

 

Now, what are the techniques used in qigong? Qigong uses different techniques to cultivate energy. Some of these techniques include stances, poses, dynamic movements, and breathing techniques. 

 

This practice is very deep and there are many more techniques in qigong, but for this blog, we will focus on qigong poses and how this benefits the body through energy cultivation. 

 

What are Qigong Poses?

 

So, what are qigong poses? Qigong poses are positions or stances we hold for a certain time. This helps cultivate energy by aligning our bodies and our energy centers. When we do qigong postures, it is more than just holding the posture for as long as you can. Qigong postures help our energy centers to open up and align with our bodies. This practice helps us have a stronger and more balanced body. 

 

What are the physical benefits of Qigong Poses? 

 

What are the physical benefits of qigong? There are a lot, so let’s discuss a few. 

Qigong poses help our body align with its natural body alignments. Through proper alignments, our body can function better. This gives our bodies a powerful structure. Qigong poses also helps our organs hang in their proper space so that they can function better. Also, qigong poses help us reduce the possibility of injuries as well. 

 

Proper Body Alignments

 

Qigong poses help one have proper body alignments as these poses follow the natural structure of the body where we can work on movements without tolling the body. This is very important, especially for those who need to work their body or move a lot on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, doing a lot of physical work and movement may push our bodies to the limits. This may cause the body to fall away from the natural boundaries of our body and proper body alignments. Most physical injuries happen because of this.

 

Proper body alignment is also important for those who don’t use a lot of physical work or movement on a day-to-day basis. For example, people who sit all day may tend to lose their natural body alignments because of the wrong posture. Prolonged wrong posture may increase the possibility of spine problems. This also causes stagnation of energy in the energy channel running along the spine called the Chong Mai

 

Qigong poses help our body go back to its natural body alignment. Qigong poses are a great exercise both for those who use a lot of work on their body and physical movements daily and for those who don’t get a chance to move so much daily. 

 

Powerful Body Structure

 

Qigong poses also help one have a powerful body structure. These poses are also used by qigong practitioners to increase power. When someone is new in qigong and we say “poses” they may equate it to fancy poses. However, in qigong, it is not about that. These poses help us strengthen our bodies. We incorporate very deep and intricate body mechanics with it. We put our bodies in what you can call positive stress. It is positive stress as it is beneficial for the body. When the body does something it has not done before but helps in the improvement of its overall power. Just like in athletes’ training. They have to train hard and do heavy things so that their body can adapt to the task they need to achieve. 

 

Holding these qigong poses for some time is quite a challenge. Qigong poses such as those done in the Zhan Zhuang (Standing Qigong) are used by martial qigong practitioners and held for hours. Through this, the body does not only go back to its natural alignment but also increases its power by strengthening both the body structure and harmonizing the energy flow in our energy channels. 

 

Changing from one pose to another also changes the body’s energy and blood circulation. What is good with this is, that you are exercising yet your heart rate is calm and at the normal rate. 

 

Proper Organ Function and Position 

 

When we lose our proper posture and body alignments the organs also miss their alignments. Proper body structure as we have mentioned earlier is one of the benefits of doing and practicing qigong poses. When our body is in its proper body alignments, the organs can also have more space to settle in their proper positions, and thus function better. 

 

Reduce Injury 

 

Qigong poses also help reduce the possibility of injury. When our body is stronger, our body can function better and therefore, have stronger structures to reduce injury. Doing qigong poses also helps our body have a stronger memory of its proper alignments. If we keep doing these qigong poses regularly, our body will naturally move properly in the correct body alignments. 

 

How can Qigong Pose Help in Joint Pain or Injury Recovery?

 

Active Stretch 

 

There are two types of stretching, one is “passive stretch” where we need an external source of force, for example, a coach or a trainer. The second one is “active stretch” where we use one’s body strength to stretch.

 

Through active stretching, we recover from injury and joint pain, because we do not focus on just stretching the muscles but we also strengthen the joints by using the body’s force to do the stretch. Doing this at the body’s boundaries, especially when having an injury is important because we can prevent overstretching which may tear the muscles further. 

 

The motto “no pain, no gain” is not always correct. This line is usually used by those who need to train and work for a certain goal. However, if we do not learn to listen to the boundaries of our body we may end up overworking it and may eventually cause more harm than good. We don’t want that.

 

Through active stretching, we can listen to the body better, and reduce the probability of inducing more pain or injury. Through the more natural movement of doing active stretches, the body can also go back to its normal strength and endurance faster. 

 

Increase Flow

 

Doing qigong poses increases the blood flow in the body. This helps in injury recovery and pain. Injury may be caused by stagnation, and vice versa, stagnation can cause injury. Balancing the flow of energy and blood in the key through qigong poses helps reduce stagnation and therefore, reduces pain and increases injury recovery. 

 

Increases Fluidity in the Joints

 

Holding poses that engage the joints like qigong poses help increase the production of fluid that helps reduce the friction in the joints when they move. Joint pain may be caused by the lack of the fluid that is necessary for a more smooth movement called Synovial Fluid. This fluid is naturally produced by the body. Through qigong poses, we can send the proper signal to the body that produces more synovial fluid. This helps improve the health of joints. 

 

How can Qigong Pose Help with Stress?

 

Increase Focus

 

Stress can be caused by many things. In day-to-day life, people tend to do many tasks that cause stress. Stress occurs when there is too much to handle at a certain point. Qigong poses help in overcoming stress by increasing focus. When we do qigong poses, we increase focus through persistence in doing and holding the qigong pose. We also increase focus through concentration. Once we become more comfortable with the qigong poses we can relax through tension. This relaxation through tension helps one have more capacity to maintain focus and apply it in their daily tasks. 

 

Increases Brain Chemicals that are Responsible for Reducing Stress 

 

In these qigong poses, we hold our poses while in relaxation through tension. When we do these kinds of qigong poses, the brain releases chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals act as natural painkillers and they also improve one’s sleep patterns, which in turn regulates stress. Holding these qigong poses also helps us regulate our breath. These breathing techniques produce endorphins in the body. Endorphins connect with the receptors in the brain that decrease the body’s perception of pain. These chemicals trigger positive emotions in the body, and therefore, reduce stress. 

 

Helps Calm the Mind 

 

Qigong poses like the ones in Zhan Zhuang increase blood and Qi circulation in our bodies. This also helps calm the mind because the goal is to reach a relaxation state, releasing thoughts and tensions in the body. Through this, we exercise and enhance our state of calmness and have an overall more calm state of being.

 

Qigong Stances

Qigong poses are done instances. Here are some stances used in qigong poses.

 

Horse Stance (Ma Bu) 

Dragon Qigong - Horse Stance

Horse stance alignments:

 

  • Feet are grounded, connecting the soles of the feet to the earth.
  • Feet are turned inwards, facing forward.
  • Legs spread wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Sink as low as you can, reaching until your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • For beginners, slowly reach this level by going as low as you can every time, eventually you can reach a lower horse stance.
  • Knees above the ankles.
  • Knees do not fall inward, but are engaged and strong, pointing in the same direction as the feet.
  • Sacrum connecting to the earth.
  • The spine connects to heaven through the crown point.

 

Bow Stance (Gong Bu)

Dragon Qigong - Bow Stance

  • The front leg is bent at 90 degrees.
  • The front leg is focusing the energy on the ground (shock absorption).
  • The front foot is facing forward.
  • The back leg is straight.
  • Knees are not completely locked to avoid strain in the knees.
  • The back leg is focusing the energy upwards (rebound).
  • The back foot is turned inwards at least 45 degrees.
  • Hips are square.
  • The spine is straight connecting to heaven.

 

Taming the Tiger Stance (Pu Bu)

Pu Bu Stance

  • The back leg is bent touching the upper thigh with the calves. 
  • Hips rest in the back leg 
  • For beginners begin at a higher level and slowly go down in your phasing. 
  • The back foot is grounded
  • Back foot turned outwards 
  • The front leg is straight
  • Knees are not completely locked
  • The front foot is grounded 
  • The front foot turned inwards 

 

Zhan Zhuang (Standing Qigong) 

Zhan Zhuang

The Zhan Zhuang translates to “standing like a tree”. The alignment of Zhan Zhuang is like a small version of the horse stance. 

 

Zhan Zhuang is a standing qigong pose that focuses on standing still for several minutes up to hours, depending on one’s level. The purpose of this qigong pose is to build internal strength. This qigong technique has also become one of the qigong exercises used for healing practices. When our energy flows more freely through these exercises we enhance our state of being and our body.  

 

  • Feet are grounded, connecting the soles of the feet to the earth.
  • Feet are turned inwards, facing forward.
  • Legs spread wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Sink as low as you can, reaching until your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle.
  • For beginners, slowly reach this level by going as low as you can every time, eventually you can reach a lower horse stance.
  • Knees above the ankles.
  • Knees do not fall inward, but are engaged and strong, pointing in the same direction as the feet.
  • Sacrum connecting to the earth.
  • The spine connects to heaven through the crown point.
  • Feet are grounded, connecting the soles of the feet to the earth.
  • Feet are turned inwards, facing forward.
  • Legs are spread, shoulder-width apart.
  • Knees above the ankles.
  • Knees do not fall inward, but are engaged and strong, pointing in the same direction as the feet.
  • Sacrum connecting to the earth.
  • Feeling like you are sitting, and not kneeling.
  • The spine connects to heaven through the crown point.
  • Relax the shoulders.
  • Relax the chest.
  • Allow your tongue to touch the roof of your mouth.

 

Here are some qigong poses in Zhan Zhuang from the 8 Trigram Organ Qigong system of White Tiger Qigong. 

 

Zhan Zhuang Qigong Poses

 

Holding The Ball

Qigong Poses - A woman practicing Holding The Ball Zhan Zhuang qigong pose surrounded by nature

Holding a ball of energy in the Lower Dan Tian. Cultivating qi. 

 

Holding Tree 

Qigong Poses - A woman practicing Holding Tree Zhan Zhuang qigong pose surrounded by nature

Holding Tree Zhan Zhuang qigong pose focuses the ball of energy in the Middle Dan Tian. Cultivating qi. 

 

Heavenly Upholding Palm

Qigong Poses - A woman practicing Heavenly Upholding Palm Zhan Zhuang qigong pose surrounded by nature

Heavenly Upholding Palm Zhan Zhuang qigong pose brings energy to the Dan Tian from the energy of heaven and earth. 

 

Holding the Full Moon 

Qigong Poses - A woman practicing Holding Tree Zhan Zhuang qigong pose surrounded by nature

Holding the Full Moon Zhan Zhuang qigong pose focuses on pulsing the energy to the Upper Dantian, cultivating the Shen (Spirit). 

 

Have a more Positive Exercise Experience through Qigong Poses 

 

Qigong poses are great exercises that help in

  • Having proper body alignments
  • Having a powerful body structure
  • Having proper organ function and position 
  • Reducing injury
  • Regulating stress 

 

Doing these poses may take time to master and learn however the benefits of these qigong poses are immense. These qigong poses are good for all levels, from beginners to masters. Even those who have been doing qigong for many years do qigong poses. It is an all-around exercise that helps us reach balance in our body and cultivate qi by having a good qi flow in the body. 

 

Through qigong poses, we can balance our lifestyles whether we sit all day or move all day. Qigong poses help us function better in everyday life. It is a great exercise to add to your daily routine, at the end of dynamic qigong practice, or even practice it just as it is. Doing qigong poses is also a good complement to other exercises to balance the heart rate and improve overall, strength, health, and vitality. 

 

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