Sunday, November 7, 2010

Song (Sung) – Relax and Loosen

The most common translation is relax, but this is not sufficient to adequately describe the term. It can also be translated as loose, open, yielding, free, and responsive. It can refer to releasing all unnecessary muscular tension while maintaining structural alignment. This means loosening and stretching your muscles, releasing your tensions throughout your body, and opening your joints from within. This does not mean that you turn limp and soft. It means loose and prepared with no unnecessary tension.

Work on developing your Song by visualizing your joints loosening up as you move. When you stretch your joints, you are achieving Song and you are not tense. Your qi improves and you improve flexibility.

Wuji. Wuji is the posture of neutral. An important purpose of wuji is for posture awareness, where we allow ourselves to mentally scan our body, discovering our physical and mental needs and wants.

To learn how to stand with wuji posture, stand with your feet directly below the hip sockets so that your legs are vertical, your feet are parallel and with a very slight knee bend, and keep your body's weight evenly on your feet. Start from a military attention posture; chest out, shoulders back, stomach in, and lower back arched. Relax into wuji; let your shoulders relax down and slightly forward to allow chest to relax down; let your abdomen relax out; slightly tuck in your pelvis (imagine sitting down, but stopping after about 1”); and slightly push in your chin to avoid the tendency to let your head lean forward. This allows your body structure to support you instead of using your muscles.

Keep your body symmetrical with shoulders level and arms even. Let all your muscles release any unnecessary tension. Consciously open up all your joints. Being symmetrical (in alignment) means that your internal organs are in the proper place and your skeleton can do its job of supporting the body. This allows your body to function normally.

Find Your Qi. First, stand in wuji. Raise your hands in front of you. Hold the inside of your wrists near each other, about an inch or two apart but not touching. Slowly move your wrists past each other in a small circle without touching. Repeat about 10 or 15 times.

Second, hold your hands several inches apart with the palms facing each other. Slowly move your hands past each other in a small circle without touching. Repeat about 10 or 15 times. Many people start to feel a warmth or tingling while this is happening. This is your qi. Hold your hands near each other and slowly move them apart (open) and move them back towards each other (close). Inhale as you open and exhale as you close. Learn to manipulate the qi that you feel between your hands.

© 2010 Eric Borreson