Enjoy every practice! A playful attitude makes exercise more enjoyable. It’s not a big deal if we forget the movement or are not doing the motions perfectly. It’s just play! The flow of Qi will be affected by our mood. When we know that, “anger drives Qi to flow upwards; joy slackens Qi; sorrow exhausts Qi; fear makes Qi sink; contemplation binds Qi.” And, “all diseases are caused by the disorder of Qi.” We know we better practice in a delightful mood!
Monkey Play is the fourth play in Five Animals Health Qigong. Monkeys are naughty and curious. Imitating monkeys’ funny acts helps reduce stress and makes us feel better. As we imitate monkeys’ play, our focus is on enjoying the fun of activities, either picking fruits or simply looking around for fruit.
The Hand Gesture: Monkey Hook
Five fingers pinched together at the fingertips. Flexing hands to form a hook shape.
- Fingers swirl together quickly to make the hook shape
- Hands up, shrug shoulders, engaging core and lift perineum. Then heels up and turning head to the side
- Breathing in as the body is lifting, breathing out as the palms are pressing down, and releasing the perineum
- Hands quick movement helps enhance sensitivity of neuromuscular response
- Massage of the heart improves blood supply to the brain
- Strengthened legs improves balance
- The eyes looking left and right, demonstrates the curiosity of the monkey
- When squatting with knees bent, the whole body is contracted. When picking fruit, extend the whole body
- The turning of neck improves blood circulation to the brain
- The complicated movement enhances physical and mental coordination. Visualizing the pleasure of a monkey picking fruit prevents nervousness and depression
- 「怒則氣上，喜則氣緩，悲則氣消，恐則氣下，寒則氣收，炅則氣泄，驚則氣亂，勞則氣耗，思則氣結」Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine: Plain Conversation [黃帝內經:素問], chapter 39, Discussion on Pains [舉痛論], translated into English by Li Zhaoguo (Xi’an: World Publishing Corporation, 2005), p480.
- Health Qigong Management Centre of General Administration of Sport of China, Health Qigong – Wu Qin Xi [健身氣功 -五禽戲] (Beijing: People’s Sports Publishing House, 2005).
- VCD, Health Qigong – Wu Qin Xi [健身氣功 -五禽戲] (Beijing: Beijing Sport University Audio & Video Press, 2005).
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