Connect to the Earth

Connect to the Earth

Taoist standing exercises, such as Embracing the Tree (shown above) encourage alignment of the knee and ankle joints and an opening of the hips. Sink, down and open the knees a little bit, turning the knees outward slightly. One then feels an opening motion in a downward and outward movement. Visualize your legs as screws, down into the ground, pressing firmly into the feet, and then feel body force transfer to the ankles, the feet, and to the ground.

By practicing Taoist standing movements, a few benefits are experienced. First, mental activity slows down as the attention turns to the body. Second, the tendons, ligaments, and musculoskeletal structure becomes stronger as proper alignment is found. Third, the stance puts a gentle pressure on the glands of the body. After leaving the stance, the pressure is released and it is similar to flushing out the fluids of the glands. Try it and find an instructor if you can!

Photo: from the book ‘Iron Shirt Chi Kung’

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