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INDICATIONS
See the video for how to do the move.

Some things to be aware of:

  • Stand slightly wider than shoulder width. You can go up to double shoulder width, but no wider. The position needs to be such that knees can stay in line with the second toe when sinking down.
  • Swing from the dantian, arms in front of the body, making Yin Yang circles
  • Stay upright so that the qi can rise to the top of your head. We have the image of an owl on top of our heads.
  • Keep nose/naval alignment.
  • Clearly distinguish the weight, feel heavy as a mountain & light as a feather as you swing left and right.

As we do Constant Bear, we are humans playing with Yin and Yang, inside and outside. Our arms swing in front of the body (within sight) making ‘Yin Yang circles’ to infinity.
We bring the Tao and Yin Yang into life by moving the qi from the dantian and circulating it within and outside the body.

The Breathing:
Let your dantian breathe and move the arms. Allow it to happen. Relax with it.
Once you have found your dantian rhythm you can look into the option of a breathing pattern. There are two types of breathing. Both should be relaxed and without effort. The recommendation is to use only one type during a session.

  • Level 1: Inhale to the right, exhale to the left. This is the simplest breathing. In teaching patients or students we do not always make the direction specific for the inhale and exhale, but in this case we are increasing the effectiveness by making the inhale - the Yang aspect - move to the right or Yang direction.
  • Level 2: Inhale to the right, Exhale as you turn the yin yang (ball) over.
    Inhale to the left, Exhale as you turn the yin yang (ball) over.
    This is a slightly more complex breathing, and is for those who feel relaxed enough inside the movement to do it this way.

Counting
Each move consists of one complete 100% shift to the right and one complete 100% shift to the left to create a complete cycle. If you are doing breathing level 1, that will consist of one inhale to the right and one exhale to the left; that is, one complete, full breath for one complete cycle.

If you are doing breathing at level 2, that will consist of 1 inhale and 1 exhale to the right, and 1 inhale and 1 exhale to the left. In other words, two breaths for one complete cycle.

In both cases the counting is done based on the shift to the right and the shift to the left, combining to create one count or cycle. If you are not yet strong enough to do 100 swings, begin with less and add 5 to 10 every week. Always increase and never decrease the numbers, and smile during the swings.

Timing and Smoothness
The movement and breathing should be relaxed, comfortable, and conscious, coming from the dantian. The dantian draws the diaphragm down to create the inhale, and releases it to create the exhale, filling the lungs from the bottom to the top and emptying from the top to the bottom.

Timing is based on consciousness in the dantian. There should be no external speed imposed. Rather, we tune in to our dantian, close our eyes half way, place the tip of the tongue on the roof of the mouth, and begin breathing before we begin to move. Once we are in touch with our breath, we are ready to begin the movement.

Once we begin shifting, the thread of qi will remain unbroken as long as our conscious movement and awareness in the dantian is unbroken. Do not fret or seek perfection; rather, seek to be in the dantian, and don't worry about anything. Do your best to be at your most conscious, and forgive yourself any distractions or tiny breaks in smoothness. However, if you need to answer the phone or stop and pee or whatever, you will need to begin again from the beginning.  It should take about 7-12 minutes.

The Professor also admonished all to “remain in a pleasant mood.” Or, keep an inner smile while doing the movements.

Time of Day
This may be done at any time of day. We recommend first thing in the morning, as the yang energy will be drawn up by the Heavenly Qi entering the body. And it is good to do work in a Tuning at the same time every day, so our energy is even more in tune with our companions.

Visualization
Once the principles, movement and breathing are all coordinated, add the visualization of your bear, upright and balanced, moving through the woods, or along the beach, or wherever you choose, with your partner owl on top of your head,

NOTE HOW YOU ARE:
We would like you to get a sense of yourself at the beginning and end of the tuning.

  • How is your general health?
  • Are you able to focus mentally?
  • Are you in rhythm with your life?

Write it down and file it somewhere you won’t lose it.
We will ask you to rate yourself again at the end of the tuning and report back to us.

HEALTH ISSUES NEED SPECIAL CARE. PLEASE READ ON:

Recommendations
There are no formal restrictions. We would recommend a Clean Diet without overeating. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes or anything else which drains your energy. Keep sugar or heavily fried foods to a minimum. Get enough sleep and rest. These recommendations are based on the idea that we don't want to drain our energy as we are building it! If you keep that in mind, you can make your own recommendations to yourself.

We do not recommend completely withdrawing from addiction during this period. Even if it would be a good idea, the process of withdrawal from energy draining substances is energy draining in itself.

Remember
We are all connected during a tuning and our energy will affect each other and the whole group. As we are all tuning in to each other, staying in a healthy vibration will give support to everyone else. We want this to be fun and energizing and healing and happy! Use that as your guideline.

 

You can purchase the Roots and Branches Qi Gong DVD or stream it from: smile.amazon.com
Or you may be able to purchase it from your local tai chi location.