Frustrated? Shouldering Too Much?

Exercises for Releasing Frustration
Ever have one of those days?  These next qi exercises are helpful in both cleansing the liver and releasing the upper body tension that sometimes comes with frustration (and sometimes, just comes.)  In the first three exercises, it’s important to always keep a slight bend in the elbows to avoid hyper-extension, and only go as fast as feels comfortable for your body (particularly your shoulders).  These exercises are NOT appropriate if you have a dislocated shoulder or other joint instability in your shoulders.
“Swinging Arms, Twisting Spine”: Allow one arm to swing in front of the body, hitting at the opposite side of waist.  At the same time let the other arm swing behind the body, hitting the opposite side of waist, while twisting in that direction.  Swing back and forth in both directions, bending knees when in the center and standing upright while twisting around. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
“Giving Yourself a Hug”: Allow one arm to swing toward the opposite shoulder, letting the hand hit the top of the shoulder (GB 21), while the other arm swings and hits below the opposite armpit on the upper back or side of body. Continue for 1-3 minutes.
“Skiing Qi”:  Bend your knees and come forward bending your elbows and drawing them back like you’re skiing.  Then come up, draw your arms up and come into a little back bend — using momentum continue back and forth.  Continue for a 1-3 minutes.
“Shoulder Drop”: On an inhale thru your nose lift your shoulders as high as you can toward your ears, with clenched fists and arms close to the sides of the body.  If you can do so steadily, lift your heals up off the floor too.  Hold for a moment and then,  with a forceful exhale out thru the mouth, drop the shoulders and heals down and open your hands wide (still facing down).  Repeat several times.
“Punching Out”: In this group of exercises, it’s important to keep your eyes open wide (stimulating the liver) and knees slightly bent.  Punch out with each arm, first to the side, then out in front, then up toward the sky, and finally down towards the ground.  Each time you punch make the sound of “HA” loudly.  Go as quickly or slowly as you feel comfortable doing.  Repeat two or three times, taking a breath or two between each set.  I recommend, if possible,  doing this in a place where you feel comfortable being loud…. or, at the very least, with the door closed.  Your neighbors might be a little concerned, but at least you’ll feel less annoyed.  😉

4 thoughts on “Frustrated? Shouldering Too Much?

  1. Walking every day, I find the first two exercises very helpful as part of the warm-up.
    Thanks Vanessa

    1. so glad to hear this! there are actually a whole set of qi exercises that work great for warm up. i’ll include them at some point soon as a future omwork assignment.

  2. For “Swinging Arms, Twisting Spine”, because this is (also) a stretching exercise which involves momentum, my instinct is to say that one should probably be careful not to be aggressive with the momentum and to take this very easy, not trying to “twist further” by using your momentum for example. If someone does it as you have described, with the hand hitting the opposite side of the waist, this would be safe for most people. We’ve all seen people doing the torso-twisting motion aggressively; which seems like good way to aggravate something, _especially_ if your no doing “cold” ie early in a warm up or with no warm up.

    1. thanks for pointing this out derek, i totally agree… whenever i teach these exercises i always start with slower motion, and if there’s any question at all in one’s body, i encourage slow, controlled motion, rather than momentum. good to clarify this for the blog too…. it’s hard to remember to include everything.. which is why it’s nice to have real live teaching too! 🙂

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