(5 pages total)
Page 3 - Body Posture for Qigong Practitioners
7. The Hu-Kou Must Be Rounded
The hu-kou (tiger's mouth) is located between the thumb and index finger and the changes of the internal power mainly arise from the hu-kou. If the thumb points forward, then the internal power is weak but if the index finger points forward the internal power is strong (when pointing forward along the direction of the finger, do not raise the finger up). When the hu-kou is joined together, the internal energy is contracted, the qi is blocked and there is no power. Each joint of the thumb and index finger must be arched and brought together and, by making the hu-kou round and open, we can produce internal power wherein the hard and soft benefit each other.
The size to which the hu-kou is made round and open can be determined based on the movements of the different postures. For example, it must be made smaller when stationary standing (the wu-ji form) than when doing moving forms; when doing moving postures, the hu-kou of the 'standing palm' must be larger than that of the hanging wrist. When the palm faces in, the thumb is curved outward so that inverse winding power reaches the index finger and produces strong internal power; when the palm faces out, the thumb is brought in so that the direct winding power is in the thumb and produces soft internal power. Whether the hu-kou is large or small, hard or soft, it must always be kept rounded. In this way, we can have joining internal power wherein the hard and soft benefit each other. Therefore, the hu-kou is the key to using internal power.
8. Make the Palms Hollow and Contained
If the palms are made hollow then the qi does not disperse out and one will not have stiff force. If one can contain the palms, they will then be able to bring into play 'drawing transformation power." When the palms are slightly hollowed, are far apart and face each other and have drawing power, the internal power is naturally stored within. Then one consciously joins the top and bottom together, that is the centers of the feet and the crown of the head. The 'five centers' of the head, hands and feet are joined. In this way, one will feel full and that the qi is penetrating through the entire body.
The above mentioned four principles and twenty-four requirements appear to be complicated and rigorous yet all of these requirements are merely designed to enable the body to reach a natural physiological state. There are no additional movements. If one understands that it can be spontaneously accomplished through relaxation and quietude, it can then be said to be simple and easy.
If these twenty-four requirements are applied to each posture and daily activities, then one can always and everywhere correct body form, make the mind clear and quiet and have the qi move naturally.
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