Tai Chi Qi Gong Energy

Dennis gives an introduction to his 11 lesson Tai Chi warm-up exercises

Complete Tai Ci Qi Gong Workout

This video is a compilation of the following 9 videos. You may do them one at a time using the videos below or do the complete workout using the video above. Enjoy !

Exercise 1: Waist Loosening

1. Stand with the feet parallel, slightly wider that shoulder-width apart. Allow the arms to dangle loosely at your sides.

2. Begin to turn the hips from side to side. Let the arms swing naturally and easily with the momentum of the hips turning. Explore your natural and comfortable range of hip motion. Don't go to extremes; just stay within your free and easy comfort zone

3. After turning just the hips ten or twelve times, allow the lumbar vertebrae to relax and loosen and gently twist with the hips. You should still begin the movement from the hips, but now allow the lumbar vertebrae to respond as well.

4. Next allow the middle spine, upper back, and neck to twist gently with the movement.

5. Keep the shoulders loose and let the arms swing with the movement. Don't use effort to move the arms; let them be totally limp and just let the body swing them. At the same time, be aware of the gentle twisting of the knee and ankle joints as you twist the whole body. Do this at least thirty-six times to each side.

Exercise 2: Opening The Door Of Life

1. Begin in the same stance as for Waist Loosening. This time twist to the left, again initiating the movement from the hips. Let the right arm swing across the front of the torso, raising it up to head height with the palm facing away from you. At the same time, let the left arm swing around to the back and place the back of the left hand over the Door of Life, the area on the spine opposite the navel.

2. When you reach your full extension, relax, and then extend again by loosening the lower back. Feel the gentle stretch and increased extension coming all the way from the Door of Life, not from the shoulders. Relax and extend in this way three times. 

3. Twist to the right and repeat the steps as above on the right side. Repeat for a total of nine times on each side. 

Exercise 3: Windmill 

Outer Front Extension

1. Begin in the same stance as for Waist Loosening. Bring the hands to the midline of the body and hook the thumbs together.

2. Keeping the hands close to the torso, inhale and raise the arms up until they extend straight up over the head.

3. Begin to exhale slowly and bend forward, reaching as far out in front as you can, keeping the head between the arms.

4. Slowly straighten back up, again feeling each joint of the spine.

5. Repeat this movement three to five times.

Inner Front Extension

1. Now do the same movements in reverse.

2. Keeping the head between the arms, begin to straighten up.

3. Gently stretch upward in this position, extending the spine slightly back.

4. Repeat this movement three to five times.

Left Side-Bending

1. Begin standing erect, feet shoulder-width apart.

2. Continue stretching to the side until you've reached your limit.

3. From center, circle back up on the right side.

4. Repeat this movement three to five times.

Right Side-Bending

1. Repeat the same movements as in the Left Side Bending.

2. Repeat this movement three to five times.

Exercise 4: Tendon Twisting

Small Tendon Twist

1. Begin standing erect, feet shoulder-width apart. Reach forward with both arms, palms up. Using a circular screwing motion, twist both thumbs so they face downward. Then reverse.

2. Repeat three to nine times.

3. Now repeat with both arms above the head, with arms at the side.

4. Repeat three to nine times.

Large Tendon Twist

1. This exercise comprises the same movements as Small Tendon Twist but it is performed in large circles in front of the body.

2. Repeat this movement three to five times.

3. Now repeat reversing the direction.

4. Repeat three to nine times.

Exercise 5: Head & Neck Rotations

1. Stand erect, your hands on your hips. Let the head relax forward. Feel the weight of the head providing a gentle stretch to the back of the neck. Allow the weight of the head to provide all the loosening and stretching force; it helps you relax and release and avoids the risk of injury from overstraining.

Exercise 6: Hip & Knee Rotations

1. Stand with the feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place the hands on the waist. As you perform Hip Rotations, keep the head positioned over the feet -- don't jut the jaw and head forward or let the head fall behind the centerline of the body. Move slowly and easily breathing deeply and continuously. 

2. For knee rotations, stand erect with the feet together. Bend the knees and place the palms lightly on the kneecaps. 

Exercise 7: Ankle, Knee & Hip Rotations

Keeping the joints open is an important part of allowing the energy to be properly stored and available to flow into the bones. This exercise helps open the joints and flex the tendons so you do not overstress them during Tai Chi pratice

Exercise 8: Tan Tien Hitting

Since the lower tan tien is the major storage center for chi of the body, this area should be activated prior to Tai Chi pratice. 

Exercise 9: Bouncing & Shaking the joints

Bouncing the body can be likened to a ride on the subway. For those of you who commute this way, this exercise can be practiced too and from work as well.