Stretch and Support the Sky is the perfect quick pick-me-up. It gets your blood flowing while stretching your muscles and meridians (acupuncture channels that conduct energy to and from different areas of your body). This is a great exercise if you sit in front of a computer all day and suffer from neck, shoulder or wrist tension. Stretching your arms upward gives your lungs more room to take in a bigger breath, giving more oxygen for fuel for your cells. You begin this exercise in wuji posture.
In Qigong, Wuji posture is the foundation for all dynamic (moving) and quiescent (static) standing exercises. This posture maximizes relaxation and the flow of qi. You begin by standing with your feet flat, with your weight distributed evenly through your feet. Your legs are separated as wide as your shoulders' distance apart and your toes should point forward. Your toes should softly grasp the ground to keep your body firmly rooted yet relaxed. Rigid or tense feet disrupt the flow of qi from the earth into the body. Your knees should be slightly bent and facing the same direction as your feet. Never bend your knees past your toes. Try to align the knees directly over your feet, if possible and comfortable. Relaxing the knee joints increases the qi and blood flow through the legs.
- Stand in wuji posture.
- Place the backs of your hands on top of your head with your palms facing the sky and the fingertips of both hands pointing toward each other.
- Inhale into your belly, and then exhale and stretch your arms up directly over your head. At the same time that you begin to raise your arms, rise up on the balls of your feet to stretch your legs. Keep your palms parallel with the ceiling as you stretch upward until your elbows and knees are no longer bending.
- Exhale, and lower your arms and hands back to the starting position while coming back down to flat feet.
- Inhale, and raise your arms directly overhead while rising up on the balls of your feet. Stretch and elongate your entire body while keeping your head facing forward.
- Exhale, lower your arms, and come back down onto your feet.
- Repeat at least 9 times if you can.