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A Brief Study on the Fitness Effects of Standing Exercise(II)

II. The relaxation and tranquilization in the standing exercise

Keeping relaxed, tranquil and natural is the basic essentials and guidelines to practice a variety of fitness and health exercises. Only truly being relaxed with peaceful mind, can exercisers enter the high level of nihility and tranquilization, and the unity of heaven and man. And relaxation is also the premise of meditation, and on the contrary, the meditation can promote relaxation of the body.

First, the role of muscle relaxation

At the beginning of the standing exercise, the bones and muscles are a state of tension, as they support and balance the body. However, with the increase of practice time, the strength of bones and muscles has been enhanced, the muscles are also gradually relaxed, and the mind and body also gradually become quiet and relaxed, thereby reducing the burden on the nervous system and the heart. Muscle relaxation also lends itself to be able to get enough rest. Moreover, muscle relaxation can promote the smooth circulation of qi and blood in the body, to complete a larger workload with less energy consumption. The relaxation is in the case of standing, which is in line with the requirements of "simultaneously relaxation and tightness". It is a kind of real relaxation rather than the slackness of some exercisers, who blindly seek loose.

If consciously relax muscles when standing still, exercisers will feel the stasis and bulge of limbs, the blood flow of limbs can be increased by 30% at the moment. Research shows that blood flows to the brain when we think, blood tends stomach when we digest food, so the blood flows to the part where mind concentration on. Muscle relaxation can promote blood circulation of the body, and transport a large number of oxygen to the involved muscles. Muscle tension will cause fatigue soon with slower recovery, sweat and breathe heavily, while muscle relaxation make exerciser feel relaxed and happy, and the fatigue can be quickly eliminated after exertion. In addition, muscle tension also increases the burden of the central nervous system and heart, leading to dysfunction after a long-term practice, at the same time, the physical power of human body is limited greatly due to the interruption of qi and blood of the muscles. However, the relaxation should be moderate, with appropriate support force. The body should not be the same as the meat without bones.

Muscle relaxation test criteria are the following: In the process of standing, exercisers feel natural and comfortable, happy and cheerful. Feel good when experience fever, swell and numb. Feel the muscles fallen down with reacting forces like the twisting hemp rope. How to relax the muscles?

Relaxation of mind is the key. Exercisers should pay attention to standing exercise, taking it as a daily "required course". In the practice, exercisers should act as if nothing had happened, assuming it to be rest. And next is "looking inward". Pull oneself together first, and then look inward. Lift hands slowly and do not shrug or move shoulders. After setting the posture of standing exercise, exercisers should conduct a self-check that whether the muscles of whole body are relaxed. If they are not relaxed, exercisers can operate with the "three lines relaxation method", until achieving the relaxation. Do not pay more attention on "looking inward" and take everything as it comes. Exercisers should patiently and quietly wait, and on the contrary, over hastiness will cause muscle tension and a forced smile. Only when the central nervous has accepted pleasant signal stimulation, can the muscles governing facial expressions will relax, showing smiling face. After facial muscles are relaxed, other muscles will successively relax. If feeling the muscle tension during practice, exerciser can slightly move the body for a while, such as turning left and right, and up and down. Also, exerciser can gently put down the hands and relax for a while. Exercisers should be relaxed and happy and do not use excessive force in the sports, life and work, to develop the habit of muscle relaxation at ordinary times.

Second, the role of static movement

Static and dynamic are two sides of life movement. Usually, people only pay attention to the dynamic, while ignoring the relatively static aspect. The static can relax the tension of thought and reduce the psychosomatic burden. It requires "three quiet" in the whole process of standing exercise:

alphabetic a. Quiet environment: the practice is generally carried out in a quiet place. If not possible, exerciser should pursue the quietness in the unsteady surroundings, and turn a blind eye and a deaf ear.

alphabetic b.Quiet mind: at the beginning of standing exercise, exerciser may be absent-minded and difficult to concentrate, do not worry at the moment, exerciser can take back the mind timely and control oneself, do not impatient and calm down.

alphabetic c. Quiet form: only with the relatively stable form, can exercisers quietly experience the changes inside the body. The instability of body will inevitably affect the degree of meditation. “If the form is not correct, Qi will not flow smoothly. If Qi does not flow smoothly, the mind will not be at ease, leading to distraction.” Only with right and relaxed form, can exercisers achieve the tranquilization.

"Big action is inferior to small action, and small action is inferior to stillness. Stillness is endless movement". "Standing exercise is a hundred times better than practicing". To achieve physical quiet, it requires neither moving randomly nor looking around in the practice, standing like the pine. With the relatively stable form, can exercisers quietly experience the changes inside the body. Peaceful mind helps to relax the body. As the saying goes, "Quiet form and mind concentration can generate qi, promote the circulation of blood and store the essence, being free of diseases. Dynamic forms lead to distraction, consumption of qi, loss of essence and fatigue.

Third, the role of static training to enhance the functions of organs and systems of body

The material and cultural lives of modern information society are rich and colorful; people are too busy to lead a regular life, thereby greatly undermining the normal laws of our own life movement. As time passes, it will inevitably lead to dysfunction of our central nervous system, thereby affecting the functions of the digestive system, endocrine system, circulatory system and motor system, resulting in diseases.

Relatively quiet form enables the body to get a more reasonable rest and restore energy and physical strength better and faster. "Standing exercise is the exercise in the rest, and the rest in the exercise". Therefore, the static training is the way to ward off disease, keep fit, nourish heart and cultivate oneself.

The effects of static training on the nervous system are obvious. It has been found that the more frequently people contact the outside environment, the worse the functions of nervous system become. On the contrary, the more stable the nervous system is, the more normal its functions are. If the minds and spirit of people often remain relatively quiet, without the burden, it will be able to cultivate and gather vital qi. As the saying goes, "Tranquilization and nihility can generate genuine qi". To avoid the loss and wastefully consumption of vital qi, the form must be relatively stable, to keep the spirit in the interior and be free of diseases. Then continue the static training, it can achieve the effects of fitness and health.

What is meditation, and how to achieve meditation? Firstly, it requires a relatively stable form. Secondly, eliminate all distractions and make the inducing consciousness unified. Thirdly, the consciousness should be in the intermediate state of being awake and sleep. Wisdom comes with the proper application of concentration. Many domestic and overseas scientists have made some academic discoveries and research results just in this intermediate state.

Fourth, static training is conducive to adjust the breath.

Standing exercise can help exercisers calm down, so it can better adjust the breath (pranayama), making breathing into the faintly discernible and continuous state. There are dozens of breathing methods in the practice of Health Qigong, such as abdominal breathing, reverse abdominal breathing, nasal breathing, mouth breathing, chest breathing and breath regulation, etc. All these methods of breathing are essentially a kind of "looking inward". There are four cases in the breathing, namely wind, qi, breath and pant. Breathing with a sound is called wind, breathing silently is called qi, inhaling and exhaling evenly is called breath, and a short labored intake of breath is called pant. In other words, nasal breathing with a sound in the practice is wind phase, a short labored intake of breath without sound is pant phase, breathing not evenly nor fine is qi phase, and breathing unconsciously and steadily is breath phase. After a long practice, the required comfortable and pleasant breathing can be reached. Exercisers cannot deliberately emphasize on the various breathing methods and only use the natural breathing method in the standing exercise ("Directly inhaled qi is good and harmless for the exercise"). As the practice time goes, the natural breathing method will slowly transform to the deep, thin, uniform abdominal breathing, which helps us to meditate and regulate the central nervous system of brain, increase the contraction power of muscles, strengthen the muscles and ligaments, increase endurance and improve the sensitivity of the nervous system and muscles, and accelerate the blood circulation, promote metabolism, as well as increase the movement of the diaphragm, thereby increasing the movements of internal organs, and greatly enhancing the functions of internal organs. 

(By Chen Gang)

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