FIVE ANIMAL QIGONG
The Five Animals Qigong learned in the San Feng Sect of Wudang China is a very unique set of exercises. Within the training of each movement, one opens and strengthens their internal organs and their blood circulation. When the five animals; dragon, tiger, leopard, snake, and crane, are used as a composite whole, one can attain better balance, body awareness, flexibility, tendon and muscle strength, and longevity in health. Qigong is also used to assist the body in the natural expulsion of toxins and waste that has accumulated through bad habits and lifestyles. In time, the dedication to such a practice can improve one’s mental stability, as the training constantly strives to focus the mind’s energy and tame the disruptions caused by external distractions.
In each animal of the Five Animals Qigong, the practitioner coordinates their breathing to match the push/pull the energy of each movement. The flow of breath should always remain natural and relaxed, never forced or erratic. Posture is an important factor as well. The practitioner needs to be incorrect alignment to properly stretch and strengthen the body as well as to create and maintain healthy habits. Through this kind of training, the body can begin to be cleansed and revitalized.
The mind also can sow benefits from qigong. Through dedicated practice, an individual has a sense of stability and clarity to match the body and its progress. By removing unhealthy toxins and problems from the body, the mind is free and can release itself from such distractions. In time, the mind can be relaxed as well. During practice, one should strive to not allow the mind to wander too far from the concentration of only the practice of the qigong itself. Forgetting the outside world, if even momentarily, can help the mind to become not so disturbed by the external factors beyond one’s control as well as keep the mind focused to change and temper the ones within its grasp. By applying oneself, the mental benefits achieved through the practice can far outweigh the physical benefits.