Wu Chi

Wu Chi

The Wu-Chi (also known as the "horse stance") is the common begin stance for most qi gong.

Feet Place your feet shoulder-width apart; parallel for men, splayed outward at 45 degrees for women. Weight should be evenly distributed between both feet and centred on the front pads rather than the heels.

Knees The joints of the knees should be relaxed and slightly bent in order to ensure free flow of blood and energy between feet and hips and place the bulk of your body weight on the thighs.

Hips and pelvis The hips should be relaxed and body weight supported by the thighs. Tuck the pelvis forward a bit in order to keep the lower spine straight and evenly aligned with the upper spine and neck.

Anal lock Slightly contract and lift the anus and perineum during the inhalation stage, and relax them on exhalation. This helps open up the 'pass' at the coccyx and encourages energy to enter Circulation in the Microcosmic Orbit.

Abdominal lock Slightly pull in the abdominal wall at the end of inhalation in order to enhance internal abdominal pressure. This stimulates circulation of energy and provides invigorating pressure on the internal organs.

Chest Keep the chest as loose as possible by slightly rounding the shoulders and relaxing the thoracic cavity. Tension in chest and rib muscles inhibits diaphragmic breathing and blocks circulation of energy.

Spine Keep the spine straight and stretch the vertebrae upwards by raising the back of the neck up and tilting the pelvis forwards to tuck in the butt. This is a prerequisite for inducing energy to flow from the sacrum up the Governing Channel along the spine into the head.

Shoulders Keep the shoulder muscles relaxed and let the shoulders droop. This helps relax the chest and stretch the spine.

Elbows Keep your elbows slightly bent and your arms hanging loosely down the sides, with the hollows of the elbows facing the ribs and palms facing towards the rear. This facilitates a free flow of energy through the arm channels.

Wrist and hands The wrists should be totally relaxed, and the hands should hang loosely down without any tension in the fingers. Keep your fingers slightly bent and palms hollowed. An old chee-gung adage, 'The hands are the flags of chee,' means that the hands are sensitive to the 'winds' of energy, projecting internal energy outwards and drawing external energy inwards through palms and fingertips.

Head and neck Keep the head suspended as though it were hanging by a string attached to the crown. Do not tilt the head forwards or backwards, right or left. Apply the neck lock to keep the back of the neck straight and aligned with the spine so that energy flows freely into the head.

Chin and throat Tuck the chin slightly in towards the throat, but without tilting the head forwards. This keeps the back of the neck straight and gives a slight stretch to the upper vertebrae.

Eyes Keep the eyelids relaxed, eyes partly closed but not shut tight, and eliminate all tension in the eye muscles. Do not focus your eyes on any particular object; just let them gaze unfocused on the ground or straight ahead.

Lips and teeth Keep your lips closed without tensing the mouth, and let the upper and lower teeth touch without clenching the jaw muscles.

Tongue Keep the tip of the tongue lightly pressed against the upper palate, behind the front upper teeth. This forms a bridge for energy to descend from the point between the brows down into the throat and chest. It also stimulates secretion of saliva from the glands beneath the tongue. This saliva should be swallowed from time to time as it collects in the mouth.

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