Improve Posture in Sitting Qi Gong + Sitting Meditation
An important aspect of sitting qi gong and meditation is the posture you hold during practice. Proper posture makes it possible for your body to relax, open up and let go, whereas poor alignments lock tension in your body and mind. Like all Tao arts training, the process of improving your posture takes place over time, as you become more comfortable sitting and make small yet significant adjustments. As you do, you gain access to the deeper tensions in your body, so you can release them once and for all.
Throughout the years, I’ve been asked this question in various forms, and I’ve come to realise that many students who ask it have often reached quite a profound level of practice. Of course, as with any Tao arts training, the answer lies in developing your skill with ever-more refined nei gong techniques, self-reflection and ongoing meditation practice.
To Control or Not to Control,
That Is the Question
The short answer to the question is that opening entails exerting some level of control while letting go does not. To consider the quality of difference yet deeper, we can look to the nei gong from which opening and letting go derive and how each are applied in practice.
This 10-minute guided breathing exercise was recorded on my 2011 Crete retreat. It’s an easy breathing practice, particularly good for beginners, that covers some of the primary points you want to focus on when you come to sit.
In my last two posts on creating and using space in your body (review Lesson 1 or Lesson 2), I took you through two individual and distinct processes for increasing your body’s capacity, and releasing stress and tension. Once you’ve practised each thread separately and regularly for some time and with good result, then you can integrate the two streams into one exercise to upgrade potential health benefits.
In my previous post on creating space in your body, I offered progessive energy exercises to help you open your musculo-skeletal frame in a coordinated fashion to gain maximum benefit from ongoing training. If you’re not there yet, just keep working in this direction and don’t worry about achieving the ideal in any given timeframe.
As you practice, however, you want to transition from focusing more on your nerves and less on the muscles. For students who have begun training to open the entire musculo-skeletal frame simultaneously, you want to back off from stretching as described in my previous post.