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PRELIMINARY EXERCISES: CIRCLES

Technique: Beginner (9x), Intermediate (18x/27x); Advanced (36x); each direction

General Functions: clears internal and joint obstructions (detox), opens meridians, improves circulation, tonifies dantians (elixir fields), improves muscle/tendon strength and flexibility, improves balance, calms mind

Start at head and move downward: (to strengthen the body)

 

Neck rotations: (9x each direction)

Technique: rotate slowly to accentuate the four directions while keeping shoulders dropped; exhale when dropping forward, inhale when dropping back

Functions: expels wind; relieves neck pain and stiffness; increases neck flexibility; opens window of sky points (benefits eyes and ears)

 

Shoulder shrugs: (9x each direction)

Technique: start shrugging shoulders with neck dropped back, then gradually bring neck forward; inhale for upward motion, exhale for downward

Functions: opens shoulder joint; chest, and mid-back inside scapula; opens demon trap (UB14, UB43)

 

Arm swings while stretching calf: (9x each direction)

Technique: position feet perpendicular and bend front knee to stretch back leg calf, then swing arm as vertically as possible as if swinging a pale of water without spilling any water; visualize stretching consciousness through the fingertips as far as can be imagined (core of earth/galactic center); when swinging lead with the ulnar (pinky) aspect; exhale when circling forward and inhale when circling back

Functions: opens shoulder joint, resets dislocated shoulder; uppercut and downward striking

 

Double back hand (upward) arm swings: (9x)

Technique: swing both arms as if scooping iron filings or sand in a cauldron into an upward double-x block, then lead with the ulnar aspect of the hand when dropping the arms down (visualization is similar to above); generally inhale

Functions: opens shoulder joint; upward block

 

Double down block arm swings: (9x)

Technique: drop arms into a double-x block down (visualization is similar to above); generally exhale

Functions: opens shoulder joint; downward block

 

Washing with palms at sides while looking at middle finger: (9x each direction)

Technique: outstretch arms to sides, keep shoulders dropped, abduct hands upward, and twist neck while staring at the tip of the middle finger for rotations during one direction; then twist neck to the opposite side when circling in the opposite direction; inhale while neck is twisted, exhale to release neck back to the front center line

Functions: focuses mind; improves circulation; increases neck flexibility; opens window of sky points; opens armpit (H1); circular block

 

Wrist rolls: (9x each direction)

Technique: keep shoulders dropped and elbows in and stationary; inhale when circling inward; exhale when circling outward

Functions: opens wrist and elbow joints, opens meridian source points to facilitate homeostatic effect; wrist lock escape

Let hands descend to waist (exhale)

 

Warm kidneys: (3x)

Technique: Inhale with the Tiger's Mouth (web between thumb and index finger) up flanks; pivot the thumb and the 6th rib and press downward along spine past sacrum while exhaling

 

Torso rolls ending with back bend strengthening: (9x each direction)

Technique: place hands on lower back for support while relaxing the torso to drop into the four directions; inhale back, exhale forward

Functions: clears abdominal obstructions, strengthens lower back; dodging the spear

 

Hip rotations ending with flank stretching and looking and listening to opposite side for 9 pulse beats: (9x each direction)

Technique: place hands on hips while rotating the hips around a hollow center; inhale forward, exhale back

Functions: opens pelvis, opens window of sky points (improves vision and hearing); increases awareness of attack without being detected

 

Whirlwind: (9x each direction)

Technique: twist waist and shift weight to opposite side (back) while letting go of the shoulders letting the hands slap the kidney and shoulder (imagine the arms do not exist); look over the shoulder; inhale while twisting to the side, exhale releasing back to the center

Functions: grounds the mind into the navel (improves balance), strengthens the middle, relaxes the shoulders (relieves stress), weight control; foundation of all slipping and striking movements

 

Support Heaven: (hold for 9 counts twisting to each direction), twisting jar lids

Technique: stretch arms upward with the backs of the hands facing and inhale; exhale while dropping the shoulders until palms face upward; focus on the space between the middle fingers; hold for any given period, then let hand descend (exhale) in front of chest by further relaxing shoulders and hold; turn fingers upward (exhale), then let hands descend to navel; turn palms towards each other, and hold to feel energy conductivity

Functions: stretches shoulder muscles, establishes focus at three dantians (elixir fields) (GV24.5, CV17, CV6)

 

Opening First Lock (tailbone): (9x each direction)

Technique: outstretch arms in front and look into the palms of interlocked fingers while sticking out tailbone so that spine is horizontal; then circle tailbone in horizontal ellipses; inhale while stretching back, exhale to release

Functions: opens governing vessel (GV1), stretches hamstrings, sacrum, and spine, treats constipation (36x)

 

Knee rolls: (9x each direction)

Technique: cup the palms over the knees (do not put weight on knee); exhale while bending the knee, inhale during extension

Functions: opens knee joint, strengthens stomach meridian (S36); warms the kidneys

wash hands down to ankles

 

Open Jade Pillow, or Third Lock: (shake neck 24x)

Technique: let weight press below the ankle (middle finger presses UB62, thumb presses K6); relax the shoulders and neck (let the neck dangle); shake the neck while exhaling

Functions: opens governing vessel (GV16), clears wind obstruction in the neck and head, opens window of sky points, expands the spirit, augments kidney essence (welling the life root)

 

Ring Monastery Bell or Open Life Gate (pendulum 36x) ending with uncurling spine:

Technique: interlock fingers or grab elbows (TW10 with middle finger), relax shoulders and neck, bob from the lower back as if the arms are a pendulum to generate a circle inside the lower back; then slowly uncurl the spine while continuing the pendulum motion; generally inhale

Functions: opens life gate (GV4), warms kidneys, improves balance, adjusts and aligns spine

 

Ankle rolls while standing on one leg and holding Prayer Press with fingers towards neck (9x each direction for each foot):

Technique: hold prayer press and draw a circle with the lifted big toe while concentrating under the grounded foot; inhale while lifting foot, exhale during extension

Functions: opens ankle joints, opens meridian source points to facilitate homeostatic effect

 

Single hip rotations while standing on one leg and holding Prayer Press with fingers towards neck (9x each direction for each leg):

Technique: keep foot extended downward while opening and closing hip; inhale while lifting leg, exhale while dropping

Functions: opens hip joints and leg meridians; blocks for kicks

 

Wrist shaking (36x side-side, 36x back-forth):

Technique: loosely shake hands as if they don't exist

Functions: opens wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints, opens carpal tunnel, improves circulation; stun hit