Inhale arms forward and up. Exhale arms down and back.
Swing Arms Slowly – to circulate and balance qi!
This gentle qigong movement is energetically enriching with a calming influence. Some use it as a prelude to seated or still-standing meditation. Others find it a beneficial preparation for their morning walk, exercise routine, or athletic involvement. Swing Arms Slowly improves overall circulation of qi through all qi meridians and vessels.
METHOD: Stand relaxed with feet at shoulder-width, arms resting at your sides. Turn palms forward and begin to bring them forward and upward slowly and gradually with arms extended, as you simultaneously shift your weight forward. When your weight arrives fully forward on the big toes and balls of the feet, your arms will fully extend forward at shoulder-level. To complete the movement, turn your palms down, lowering them slowly and gradually, while simultaneously shifting your weight back to the heels. Some like to lift heels slightly as weight shifts forward, and lift toes slightly as weight shifts back. Move slowly and evenly using the least muscle effort, with relaxed, full, even breathing synchronized perfectly with the movement pattern.
Breathe in while lifting arms, breathe out while lowering arms. Move in a smooth, continuous, relaxed manner while synchronizing your breath with the weight shift and arm movement, as if your inhalation causes your arms to rise, and your exhalation causes your arms to lower. Establish a continuous, unbroken rhythm. Important: Keep your abdomen relaxed during inhalations, then gently contract your abdomen while exhaling (basic yogic breathing). Begin with 10-20 rounds per session, and increase with proficiency as inclined (some find 36 repetitions gives optimum results).
(I learned this qigong movement over 40 years ago, and continue to enjoy its particular life-enriching effects daily. Swing Arms Slowly can be experienced as a valuable moving meditation, which helps clarify awareness and prompt insights, and is also useful as a lead-in technique for still-sitting meditation practice.)