T'ai Chi letters

Three Qigong Foundation Exercises

1. Kwa Squat

The “kwa” describes the area from the upper thigh to the lower (lumbar) back and comprises the central hinge of the body.

The kwa squat exercise strengthens the core of support in the upper leg by engaging the hip adductor muscles on the inside of the thigh, and improves both hip flexion and lumbar stability via the repetitive shortening and lengthening of the iliopsoas muscle. With practice, this exercise will help restore the mid-body elasticity and equilibrium essential for the slow, flowing movements of Tai Qi. As a bonus, the pumping action of the kwas assists lymphatic circulation and consequently boosts the immune system.

Points to keep in mind

2. Cloud Hands

Cloud hands is a complete exercise in that it manifests Tai Qi's basic shifting, turning and reciprocating movements. It is especially effective in integrating the energies from the arms and legs through the spine and in connecting the body to the spine.

Points to keep in mind

3. Polish the Stone

Polish the stone exercise uses all the elements of shifting and turning embodied in cloud hands, but changes the direction of movement to forward and back rather than laterally.

Points to keep in mind

These three exercises are individually beneficial. Performed as a set, they are an excellent way to warm-up and prepare your mind and body for the challenges and rewards of Tai Qi.

Qigong is the Alphabet,
Tai Qi is the Writing