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The Source to Longevity - Best Anti-Aging Exercise

If there is one thing you should practice every day to keep yourself healthy, it is standing Qigong. Some old monks in China, where the standing Qigong was created, even claim that doing standing postures correctly can lead to immortality!
Standing Qi Gong basically works by circulating the Qi in your body. Different postures can move the Qi to different places so you can send the Qi where you need to. Without Qi, there is no life. If you lose all your Qi, you will die.

Qi Gong works because it nourishes the Qi, and helps you create and store more Qi so you stay young and healthy. Qi is stored in the Tan Tien or the center of the body, about 2 finger's width below your navel. When you do your standing Qi Gong, the mind settles and the body settles, when you become relaxed, the Qi can settle into the Tan Tien. 

Below are some more practices for Longevity
3 Tao Longevity Practices (Free Instructions and Video)
The Key to Longevity - The kidneys

There are several key points to remember when doing your standing postures. One of the most important is relaxation. Qi cannot flow properly if the body is tense. Proper relaxation in Qi Gong is called Sung - imagine yourself like a sack of rice, completely relaxed and resting on the earth. The second key point is good posture. Without good posture, if you relax completely, you will simply end up in a pile on the floor. With good posture, your body will stack up on itself and balance nicely in the standing posture.

The classic standing posture that is taught in most schools of Qi Gong is standing like a tree or stake standing. Basically, your feet are shoulder width apart, knees unlocked and slightly bent, the head should feel as if it is suspended from a string and the whole spine should feel lengthened. Your arms should come up to chest height and should look as though you are hugging a large beach ball in front of you, with the palms of your hands facing your chest and your fingers pointing towards each other.

You should look like you are giving a tree a great big hug :). In fact, the description of standing like a tree is very apt. You should be rooted into the ground (this is a whole topic in itself) and strong like a tree, with your branches spread out to gather Qi.

The challenge, and in fact the first thing that you will notice in this posture is tension in your shoulders. You should relax the shoulders - holding this posture with strength will never work, and at advanced stages, you should hold this posture for up to an hour at a time. 

It sounds easy to just stand, but for most people, even 10 minutes of this is enough to make their shoulders and arms tremble with effort. But if there is effort, then there is something wrong! Remember the first key point - Relaxation. You must relax the shoulders and arms, and eventually the posture will feel light and easy, as if you are balancing on large bubbles.

Below is the detailed description of this exercise. You can record it or memorize it.

Chi Kung Standing Meditation

This exercise comes in five, ten, fifteen, and twenty-minute versions, each version going a little deeper than the previous one. Whenever you decide you want to stop you can just take a brief walk around the room to stretch your legs.

Find a comfortable and convenient place to stand, with your feet about shoulder width apart and parallel, and start to feel the support of the Golden Cord holding you up from the top of your head, held by Kuan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of universal compassion. Just allow your body to relax and hang off that cord. Allow Kuan Yin to do the work of holding you up; just trust her to do her job.

Allow the weight of your body, and any tension in your body, to start to drain out, starting from your head, through your face, your neck, your shoulders, your arms, your wrists, your hands, your torso, your belly, your pelvis, your thighs, your knees, your ankles, your feet, all the way down into a reservoir three feet under the ground.
Allow even your feet to relax, with your weight going down into the ground just forward of the heels, so the front parts of your feet don't have to exert any force on the ground, and can sit easy and relaxed on the ground, king of like the webbed feet of a duck.

Imagine you have a horse between your legs, and that the very bottom part of your body is resting on the saddle of that horse. So there's a feeling of the weight being taken on your perineum - that's the very bottom point of the body. Relax into the support you're feeling there. Relax the buttocks and the anus - create a feeling of everything opening down to the ground.

Feel your pelvis like a bowl full of water.

BREATHE - take a lot of energy into your body with your breathing.

Now imagine strings attached to your wrists, held by Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of compassion.

In a few moments you will feel her lifting up your wrists by these strings. And as she lifts up your wrists, allow the shoulders to relax and open as much as they can. One good way to do this is to imagine all the joints of the shoulders expanding, just a little more space in all the joints of the shoulders, as if every bone in the shoulders is getting just a little further apart from all its neighbors.
[2 sec pause]
Now feel her slowly lifting up your wrists using those strings, till your wrists come to about the height of your heart.
[8 sec pause]
Have your palms facing your body at around the height of your heart, so that there's a round space between your arms and your body, as if you were hugging somebody. By the way, one of the Chinese names of this position is 'Hugging the tree.' You can even do this while really hugging a tree if you want to.

Allow the shoulders and elbows to roll down and back, making more space, as if opening your arms to hug somebody, greeting a long-lost friend, opening your arms, saying

'AAAAh!, good to see you!'

This is the end of the five-minute version.

Phase 2

Start to use the breath to soften the chest. Every time you breathe out, let the chest go just a little more, let go of the old, stale air.
The energy you let go of from the chest can sink down into your belly and the small of your back. Every time you breathe out, energy sinks down into your belly and lower back.
Relax into the position more and more. Your pelvis is a comfortable chair and the rest of your body is just sort of plunked down inside it, relaxing in it the way you would in an easy chair.
Let every part of your body be as relaxed as it can be given the position you're in. The shoulders and elbows are as soft as they can be, just hanging from the body and from the strings holding up your wrists.
Relax your legs, like a mushy suspension system on an old American car. If your legs relaxed any more, you'd just collapse in a heap on the ground. As your legs relax more you may start to feel tremor; if you do, it's a healthy sign, just allow it to happen by itself.
There's a soft place where the top of your spine meets the base of your skull, called the 'Jade Pillow'. I like to imagine that this place is a lake slowly filling with water. As the Jade Pillow expands, you may notice a slight change in your mental attitude; you may even notice that your normal personality is not there in quite the usual way.
You may perceive things differently; you may feel a little spacey. Just relax into the feeling, that different feeling. It's a letting go of control of the body, and also a letting go of control of the mind.
Another way to open this place is to imagine a pivot for your head running through your temples. Imagine your head tipping a little by itself, so that your chin goes down and in a little, and the back of your head goes forward and up. Don't DO that, just notice it happening by itself.
As you stand here, you can feel an aura extending about nine inches away from your body in every direction. Your presence filling the air to a distance about nine inches away from your body, away from your legs, away from your arms, your head, your torso. It's like that figure of the Michelin man, made out of tires, everything very fat, very expanded, very blown up from within.
Imagine a chain attached to your tailbone going down a thousand feet into the earth. And at the end of that chain is a heavy weight, a heavy steel ball that you can feel like an anchor in this position.

[DING] This concludes the ten minute version.


Phase 3

Feel a connection between your fingertips, like an electrical spark gap between the two hands. Perhaps you can feel a tingling like electricity ready to flow across. Use the out breath to send energy to the fingertips.
The energy pathways to your fingers will open as the Chi flows through them, in the same way that small kinks in a hose straighten out when the water starts to flow through that hose.
If you're feeling any kind of tension, stress, or strong sensation anywhere in your body, perhaps in a shoulder or a thigh muscle or a place in the middle of your back every time you breathe out, and send the energy of your breath, your Chi, to that place.
Send your love along with the breath; let that place know that you love it and you care about it. You can think of what you're sending as oxygenated blood, if you wish, that's clearing away lactic acid, or as CHI opening up a meridian, or just the energy of your attention and your awareness that is, perhaps for the first time in a while, starting to feel that place, feel exactly what's happening there, understand what's going on.
In any case, know that whatever you do is healing, healing for that place.
Sometimes in this posture, there are places that you held tight for a long time, where you start to feel the tightness. Feeling the tightness is the first step to letting the tightness go. Just allow it to be the way it is, send it your love, send it the energy of the breath, send it the CHI, and send it the oxygenated blood. When that place is ready to let go, it will.
Allow every place in the body to be exactly the way it is, send it your Chi on the out breath, and send it your love. Bring your awareness to any place in the body that asks for it, notice exactly what your sensations are without interpreting or judging them. Notice exactly where you are having the sensation and what the sensation is, but without attempting to label it, for example, as painful or pleasant.
Just let go of control of the body to the maximum possible, just stand here and relax into the experience of standing here. Make sound if you feel to. Keep the Jade Pillow at the back of the neck open. Allow your body to do whatever is most comfortable for it.
Recheck all the fundamentals of the position. Recreate the golden cord holding you up from the top. Sink the weight one more time down through the body through the feet to that reservoir three feet under the ground. Relax your chest. Use the breath to relax it even more, sinking the energy down into your belly and your lower back.
Can you still feel that horse between your legs? Can your still feel your legs very soft and relaxed, like the suspension system on an old American car? Can you still feel the openness at the back of your neck and the Jade Pillow? Can you still feel your arms soft and round as if hugging someone or something?
This ends the fifteen minute version.

Phase 4

If you've stood here this long, you don't even have to do the exercise right any more. Just be willing to allow what needs to happen to happen, and allow your body to do what it needs to do to heal itself. The suggestions earlier on may help for most people, but your body is special, and it knows much better than you or I consciously do what it needs to do to heal. Be ready to be surprised by what your body does and willing to go along with it, take it as an adventure, even if your mind finds it wrong, unfamiliar, or strange.
This position always works. In the long run, it's easier to relax in this position than it is to stay tense. If you stand here long enough the mind and the body are going to let go. The more you can relax and stay present, the quicker and more enjoyable that process is going to be.
How much you can enjoy standing here, how much pleasure you can get out of the breathing, out of the sensations in the body, out of the feelings that you're having, and the changes that are going on.
This is what's happening right now, how much can you enjoy it? And how willing can you be for the process to work itself through? How much can you enjoy what's happening with your body, your mind, and your spirit right now? And how willing can you be for it to change, in the next moment and the next and the next?
Relax into the position as if you're going to be here for a while longer, so you may as well relax- there's nothing to wait for, so you may as well take a break, sit down inside your own body like a comfortable chair.
Take a few seconds to notice exactly how you are breathing.
[10 sec pause]
Check through your whole body, starting at the top of your head, feeling each place in your body, noticing how it is, noticing the state of the muscles. Don't be too quick to relax anything or change anything, just notice it as it is; if it relaxes by itself that's fine.
You can check out the muscles of your face, the muscles around the eyes, the cheeks, the jaw, the forehead, the neck, the shoulders, the upper arms, the forearms, the chest, the upper back, mid-back, lower back, the tummy muscles, buttock muscles, the muscles of the thighs, both the upper thighs where they attach to the pelvis and the lower thighs where they attach to the knees. Check the calf muscles, the ankles, the arches of the feet, and the toes.
This ends the twenty-minute version of standing Chi Kung.

Now slowly drop your arms, or allow them to drop, place your feet together, place your hands behind your back, and stretch out your legs by raising one of your legs, say the right, straight and then bending it as you bring it in. Do the same with the left leg. You raise each leg keeping it absolutely straight, and then bend it as you bring it in. Do four of those on each side. Now continue to breathe slowly and easily as you walk around the room. Check out how you feel, how your body feels. Take it easy for the next few minutes as you slowly make the transition back to your normal life.

If you have time, please do some Qigong Massage or any of the routines below.
The Key to Longevity - The kidneys
Eight Exercises for Fitness, Healing, and Longevity
QIGONG WALK to increase Qi (vital energy) quickly
How to build up Chi (Qi) to fight off Illness
Standing Qigong produced superior results
What is stronger Qigong or Coffee for an instant “hit”?


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