• Beihai

Yin-Yang Balance

One thing I always do before practice is to open the channels, both Earth and Heaven. That's one way to look at the Taijitu image (below), with Yin / black and Yang / white parts in it. The little black spot within the upper white part could be the top of the head, and the little white spot within the lower black part could be the soles of the feet. Now we have a human being standing upright in the middle of Yin and Yang.

Weather permitting, go outdoors and find a nice place where to practice. Start by imagining breathing in and out through the feet (you can focus on Yongquan point, if you wish), while grounding yourself firmly in the earth. Imagine and feel the breath coming up to lower Dantian point which is slightly below the navel. Do this for at least a minute.

Next, connect the lower Dantian with the middle Dantian (heart level), which is our connection to humanity. Inhale and exhale from the heart. Do this for at least a minute.

Then, connect the middle Dantian to upper Dantian, centre of the head and up to the top of the head (Bai Hui). Imagine opening up to heaven, to creation, inhaling and exhaling upwards. Again, do this for at least a minute. Finally, imagine breathing evenly both downwards into the ground and upwards to the sky, inhaling in from both directions and exhaling out to both, and these two poles mixing in the body and filling you with fresh Qi. Continue this for a few minutes.

This is a good Qigong exercise to start with, before doing other forms. Continuing from here to e.g. Zhan Zhuang ("standing like a post") will feel really natural and ease the practice.

Happy practice!

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