DAY 608. 6am courtyard practice with the hummies, big-blossoming chives, abundant lemon balm, roses, lavender, columbine, and everyone else, all waking up together.
This form is one of my most favorite first-thing-in-the-morning Qigong movements. It takes your typical morning stiffness and wrings it out so very gently. When I do this upon waking I hear and feel pops and creaks as the Qi begins to move through the places in my neck and spine where it was stuck during the inactivity of the night. .
It’s called Wise Owl Turns Its Head to Cure Fatigue and Distress— the fourth form of the Ba Duan Jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocades/ 8 Brocades).
[FORM NOTES] Wise Owl Turns Its Head to Cure Fatigue and Distress
1. Begin standing in a soft Horse Stance (feet beyond shoulder distance apart, knees bent, spine straight, head suspended by a thread).
2. Hands are either on the hips (thumbs to the front, fingers to the rear) or the palms are placed on the kidneys (thumbs toward the side body, fingers toward the spine).
3. Inhale*, turn the waist to the L, allow the head to follow.
4. Exhale, continue turning the waist as far as it will go without lifting the R heel off the ground, while turning the head to gaze behind the body (or as far as your body allows comfortably).
5. Inhale, begin to turn the waist back to the front, also turning the head; reach the halfway point, then:
6. Exhale, continue turning the waist and head back to center.
7. Repeat on the R side, and continue for at least 9 repetitions (one side counts as one rep).
8. On each turn to gaze back the vision sharpens.
9. On each returning to the front the gaze softens and the lids can become heavy.
*Follow the breath pattern that feels right in your body. You could breathe as I have outlined above, you could reverse them from the way so described, or you could let the breath be natural and move the body without specifically intending to match it to the movement.