Saturday, January 15, 2011

Simple Qigong Relaxation Meditation (Fang Song Gong)

Fang song gong is a type of qigong relaxation. Fang means “doing” or “releasing”. Song means “relax” or “loosen”. Gong means “work” or “practices”. The phrase means to follow practices that relax or loosen and eliminate any unnecessary tension.

The Chinese language has a word, guan, that is a pictogram of a crane. It means “tranquil observation”. A crane appears relaxed while it is standing in the water, but it is vigilant for a fish to swim by and become lunch. We can learn to be this aware, too, but we must cultivate body awareness. We cannot relax and eliminate tension unless we are aware of having that tension, where that tension is, and how that tension is maintained.

As you become aware of tension in any area of your body, that tension dissolves away. As you become aware of your breath, your breath slows down. Essentially, Fang Song Gong consists of the following steps:

Step 1: Sit with your eyes closed for a few moments. With every exhale, relax your muscles, one section at a time. Begin with your face, neck, and shoulders where you build up stress. Relax the front of your body beginning with your arms and hands, chest, abdomen, legs, and feet. Relax the back of your body beginning with your back, waist, hips, thighs, calves, and bottom of your feet. Repeat until you feel light and relaxed.

Step 2: Repeat a simple word or phrase softly to yourself. Feel your body and energy meridians channeling your energy with every exhale. Let your body melt into a tranquil state. Continue as long as you are comfortable, perhaps 5 or 10 minutes.

The word or phrase can be anything that has meaning to you. If you prefer, use the word song. Stretch out the s at the beginning into a “tsssong” that lasts for your entire exhale.

There are a few other things to keep in mind while practicing Fang Song Gong.

o If some parts of your body do not seem to want to relax, just let it go. With continued practice, you will learn to relax all your body.
o You may feel parts of your body becoming tingly, warm, or even itch. This is normal. It means you are becoming sensitive to your qi.
o If you feel any discomfort, check your posture and make adjustments until you feel comfortable.

© 2011 Eric Borreson

1 comment:

  1. Qigong—Chinese mind/body exercises--helped me immensely in my successful battles with four bouts of supposedly terminal bone lymphoma cancer in the early nineties. I practiced standing post meditation, one of the most powerful forms of qigong--as an adjunct to chemotherapy, which is how it should always be used.
    Qigong kept me strong in many ways: it calmed my mind--taking me out of the fight-or-flight syndrome, which pumps adrenal hormones into the system that could interfere with healing. The deep abdominal breathing pumped my lymphatic system—a vital component of the immune system. In addition, qigong energized and strengthened my body at a time when I couldn't do Western exercise such as weight-lifting or jogging--the chemo was too fatiguing. And it empowered my will and reinforced it every day with regular practice. In other words, I contributed to the healing process, instead of just depending solely on the chemo and the doctors. Clear 14 years and still practicing!

    Bob Ellal
    Author, ‘Confronting Cancer with the Qigong Edge’