#2: Turning the Waist

General Description

Recommended Time: 1-2 minutes

Movement: Turn the torso from above the pelvis, left and right, letting the arms flap loosely to each side.
Main Purpose: Opens the waist.
Main Qigong Principle: Turn the torso with the waist.

Description of the Movements

While standing with feet shoulder-width, twist from the waist, loosely letting the arms swing from side to side. Let the hands flap on the buttocks. Try to twist mainly from the waist, which is—in the secret language of Qigong—the lower back muscles. It is best to move the pelvis as little as possible and to let the arms and shoulders be moved freely from the turnings of the back. The pelvis is the base upon which the turnings of the rest of the torso above it rotate. As you twist push the lower back in a slight reverse arch to the rear, but don’t hunch over. Keep the spine gently stretched tall.

Be gentle with yourself (always be gentle with yourself) and get into a rhythm. Swing for several pleasant minutes if you like. Rest for a few moments and feel the internal vibration.

Let arms hang

Let arms hang

Turn waist to the right

Turn waist to the right

Turn back to the center

Turn back to the center

Turning to the left

Turning to the left

Flapping arms on the hip

Flapping arms on the hip

Modifying the Exercise

Don’t over-twist. Small movements are as good as large movements for Qigong. It just depends upon your body’s capacities. If the lower back hurts, slow down the turns considerably and just get a slight, warming movement.

Mental Focus

Focus on horizontally rotating the waist and abdomen, keeping the legs rooted in ground.

Energetic Focus

Turn the Belt Vessel. The Belt Vessel is an energetic channel that can be thought of and felt as a belt that wraps around your midsection at the level of the belly button.

Loosen and Massage

The Turning the Waist exercise loosens the spine and shoulders, increases blood and Qi flow in the body, and focuses you for a great practice. Even better, it teaches you to move rotationally from the waist, which is highly beneficial to your lumber spine, Kidney health, and overall energy. By turning with the waist you are giving your abdominal organs and bowels a good massage. Be sure to keep your knees and hips forward when turning, thus learning how to save your hips and knees from dangerous sideways force.