Saturn and Uranus were combining in my chart in a way that spelled challenge for my back. For a couple months, on and off I would wake with a stiffness in my back, like either the long muscles along my spine or the smaller intercostal muscles had had enough and were protesting, going into a protective spasm. After I got out of bed and moved around a bit, I was my normal self, but that spinal weakness and complaint was still waiting there, hidden just below the surface of my regular activity.
I recently got the EnergyArts.com Heaven and Earth online study course. I had learned this wonderful, simple-looking, 2 part movement form many years ago, but it got put on the shelf – like so many wonderful things from an adventurous life. I have such gratitude that it has come along again now, at just the right time for me to dive into it much deeper than I had in the past.
Heaven and Earth qigong. A simple-looking 2 part movement anyone can do when they can find 6 square feet of space and a couple minutes of time…~ john erik
The course is an 8-week smorgasbord, filled with basic body alignment and awareness training and 16 layers of interconnected fundamentals of alignment and conscious body movement subtleties applicable to any and all movement forms. Two simple-looking basic movements consisting of 14 distinct parts, layered with 16 neigung principles of biological movement and awareness. You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Imagine now doing a simple 2 part movement, with 14 distinct sections and 16 layered neigung awareness and movement principles throughout – from keeping forearms parallel as they raise, to sensing the quality of blood and chi flow up or down, to feeling the lengthening of soft tissue, sinew and muscle from your qua extend through your belly and deep into your internal organs.
Immediately, after following along with the first week’s video instruction sessions, I could feel my soft tissues had softened and started to lengthen. In particular, there was more range of movement in my shoulders and between my shoulder blades. My whole upper back was opening up, little pops and adjustments were happening and the stiffness in my back dissolving. I had “me” back again and that felt reassuring and enlivening.
I was stunned at how powerful moving ones arms through a range of slow motion, keeping a particular flow of alignment and conscious connection of upper body and legs – I was stunned at how effective that simple act was at opening my back and freeing up the muscular tension in my back. I was also relieved to have verified it was indeed muscular contraction, rather than disc compression or other serious malady that was giving me such bothersome discomfort.
Heaven and Earth qigong can be done in as little space as a bathroom stall. Though, doing it outdoors in Nature gives it a more profound dimension. You can do it in your house, beside your bed or crawl out of your tent – wherever you can command 6 or so square feet for a few minutes you can do this exercise and gain benefit. You can also do it much more subtly standing in line at a bank or grocery store or TSA queue at the airport!