The Most Common Qiqong Postures

The most common postures are:

  • Normal sitting Posture: Sit upright on a chair, feet on the ground, legs apart and torso at right angles to the thighs. Let the eyes and mouth rest gently closed, tongue resting on upper palate, assuming a slight, unforced smile.
  • Cross-legged Posture: Sit upright on a hard bed or platform, legs naturally crossed, hands resting in front of lower abdomen.
  • Half-Lotus Posture: Sit upright on a firm bed or platform, left foot resting on right thigh, right foot under left knee, or vice versa. Rest hands on knees.
  • Supine Posture: Lie on ones back on a firm bed, pillow not to high, legs straight and arms resting by one's sides.
  • Sideways lying Posture: Lie on one's side on a firm bed, with a low pillow; upper body straight, legs slightly bent; rest upper hand on hip and lower hand palm up on pillow.
  • Standing Posture: Stand erect, feet parallel and apart at about shoulder width with toes pointing slightly inward. Bend knees slightly, hold in chest and raise arms so that hands are no higher than shoulders, elbows drooping slightly, with the hands about one foot apart, palms down. Keep fingers separated and curved as if around surface of the ball. Eyes and mouth are lightly closed, with a slight smile.
  • Walking Posture: Stand quietly for about two or three minutes, then take a pace forward with the left foot, heel touching first, body and hands swaying to the right as one moves forward. Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. When weight is fully on left foot, take a pace forward with the right foot, heel first, body and hands swaying to the left. Practice in this way moving forward and back for about half an hour or for as long as one can without tiring, the length of time varying, of course, according to the practitioner and their state of health.
  • Reversed Breathing: This is the opposite of complementary breathing. As one inhales the abdomen is contracted, and as one exhales it is expanded. This method gives greater scope and intensity to the use of muscles in breathing.
  • Stopping the Breathing: Here, during or after inhalation or exhalation the practitioner stops the passage of air for a short while and then continues. This method helps focus the mind on the action of the control of breath.

Other than those mentioned above there are certain special breathing methods which should only be used in accordance with certain illnesses. No matter which method is used, however, one must be sure to develop it slowly and gradually by degrees, without forcing it or striving for quick results.