Questions about The Five Taoist Yin

Working with the Yin Meridians - Metal
#SBqigong #qigong #DesLawton

Over the decades I have had the opportunity to answer many questions about the Five Taoist Yin (AKA the Five Yin) Qigong that have been asked by my students. I’m sure that there are plenty of other questions out there and that some practitioners may already be asking some of the same questions so I thought that it would be a good idea to add them to the Pro Holistic blog. That should, in theory at least, give practitioners who are not my direct students the chance to find the answers that they seek. If you have a question, or can add to an answer, please use the comments box.

Question from Linda

For ‘eagle spreads its wings’, should the fingers be spread  as wide for both the upward and downward movement?


Answer from Des

Yes, you need to keep the fingers spread for both movements.


Question from Leigh

When crossing your hands either at the heart, or at the third eye does it matter which hand is closest to the body for each move?

Answer from Des

No, it does not really matter. You could focus on alternating left and right but this is an additional distraction. What you will probably find is that your arms will start to cross in an apparently random manner as the Yi guides them, subconsciously, to maintain balance in the Qi.

Question from Karen

Why do we splay the fingers slightly for eagle spreads its wings and then keep them closed for saying a prayer?

Answer from Des

In the Eagle Spreads its Wings, the hands are opened like this so that the acupuncture point, Heart Governor 8 is opened/activated.  The point is in the centre of the palm.
In Saying a Prayer, with the fingers gently closed, Small Intestine 3 is opened/activated as the hands are lowered.

Question from Karen

Saying a prayer – When guiding the Qi down towards the Dantian is it 3 dimensionally through all meridians in the body or should I be guiding the Qi through a linear channel like chong mai, ren mai or just between the hands or a different specific pathway?  

Answer from Des

Saying a Prayer - Draw the Qi to the Dantien from all directions.
  • The focus is between the hands.  The intention is the Dan Tien.
  • With the intention on the Dan Tien, the Qi starts to accumulate there even before the hands start to lower.
  • The lowering of the hands enhances this attraction to the Dan Tien and the accumulation of the Qi.
  • Even though the hands, the physical part of the exercise, are downward the Qi is drawn from all directions to your “centre”.
  • This, effectively and efficiently, guides the Qi through all the meridians and extra vessels

NB. For beginners. You are not drawing ALL your Qi to the Dan Tien (not possible).  You are, for want of a better description, putting newly earned cash in the bank.


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Question from Lesley

If you are constantly ‘sinking the chi’ in Wuji, what distinguishes this from guiding the chi along the various channels? Is there a different quality to the Chi that sinks and the Chi that is being guided, or is it being divided in some way?

Answer from Des

Short question……………. Longer answer!  This is going to take me a while to get the wording right (or as correct as my vocabulary will allow).

I’ll answer the last bit first…………. No, you are not dividing it. You are connecting it……… sort of.  That is to say that, through the action of sinking the Qi and raising the Shen, YOU are consciously connecting to your energy body.  Although we are looking at this, thinking about this, in a two dimensional manner…………. Up and down……… the expansion of our awareness of the energy body is in ALL directions (even though we might not be aware of this initially).

This action is only possible when our body/minds are quiet (I know that I keep on repeating this but it is crucial) and it is through this expansion of awareness that you become, truly, aware of your Qi. This awareness goes beyond the physical body.

All of these essences, these qualities are always connected (ie. They are always interacting and communicating) with these connections explained in the Five Element Theory.
The distinction that you ask about is that the sinking of the Qi and the raising of the Shen expands your awareness of self, of the energy body as well as the physical body.  You are then using this awareness to guide the Qi to various points and in various directions, depending on the accuracy of your Qigong. During this guiding you will experience the quality of the Qi that you are working on.
Additionally, how you experience the sinking Qi and raising Shen, and how you experience the Qi of the meridians (How your brain interprets what it is “feeling”) will not always be the same. This is because of what is known as your “condition”, the effect that your environment and life in general is having on you, affects the flow and the qualities of the Qi.


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Question from Craig

i was wondering if you could clarify the method used to keep shoulders dropped and connected during raise hands and sliding down a mirror movements, are there any visualizations that can be used to train the correct movement in the shoulder joint?

Answer from Des

The method of visualization that I prefer is to have “heavy” elbows.  By that, I mean that the elbows are always hanging down, that the shoulders are not strong enough to lift them.  Even when the hands are above shoulder level, or above the head, the weight of these “heavy” elbows keeps the shoulders down………….. and connected.


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Question from Robert

Is there a particular sequence for this set?

Answer from Des

Hello Robert,
Each of these Qigong can be done as an individual exercise if the practitioner wants to focus on that particular quality. However when you want to perform the entire set it is most beneficial if done in either of these two sequences: –

  • Using the Sheng Cycle, the feeding cycle, of Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood.  Depending on what Element you wish to finish on (to focus on most) you start with the next Element in the sequence.
  • Using the Ke Cycle, the controlling cycle, of Fire – Metal – Wood – Earth – Water. Again, if you start on the next Element in the sequence to the one want to finish/focus on.

Regards,
Des

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Question from Shaz

For the Metal / Lung exercise is there are correct way to rotate the hands? Do that rotate around the thumb, around the centre longest finger, around the baby finger). These all feel different to me so was wondering if there are any guidelines or suggestions.

Answer from Des

For the Lung exercise:-

  • Just turn the palm upwards without the need to focus on any particular axis (this is the same when you turn the palm downward). Your focus should already be on the thumb as you do this.
  • Then “extend” through the thumbs as you open the arms. By this I mean that you slightly stretch the thumbs physically (as though you were giving directions and pointing with the thumb) and, more importantly, guiding the Qi to LU11 and through it.
  • By having awareness of LU1 opening as you are conscious of the Qi extending through LU11 you will appreciate the connection between the two and gradually your experience of the entire energy field (meridian) will become more substantial.

Regards,
Des

Do you have questions about The Five Taoist Yin?

Interested in Qigong? We have a group of Qigong enthusiasts (on Facebook) that you might want to join that is used by students and teachers to exchange ideas and ask questions. It is part of the San Bao Qigong.

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