Unbalanced rooting

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Unbalanced rooting

Postby clairvoyager » Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:26 am

When practicing rooting exercises, like yongquan breathing I have come to become increasingly aware of my connection to the ground. At this point I can clearly feel that my left leg is connecting much more than my right leg. I can feel a sensation of qi sinking in my left leg, far better than in my right leg.

I check the alignment and try to relax section by section (hip, knee, ankle) but this kind of blockage remains. In fact, I have come to be aware of this unbalance even while walking.

I suppose the classical advice for this would be "keep practicing and your right leg will open in time", but anyway I'd appreciate any thoughts/advice/experience about this kind of unbalanced rooting.

Thanks.
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Postby lilman » Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:01 am

Im not sure if this will help, but I read this in a book and I dont know, it may be relevant. It shouldnt hurt anything to try. I read this has to do with your physical and mental center.

You should make sure first you are physically centered. Your bai hui, nose, bellybutton and huiyin should all line up in a straight line, up and down. Then your mental center, you should picture a straight line going down the same line and directly in the center of your two feet. Sometimes your notice its hard to picture the line exactly in the center. Once you can get it there, then try the Qigong evenly on both sides, and see how that feels... Just a suggestion... Pls let me know if you try it and how it turns out. :)
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Postby darth_freak » Sat Apr 12, 2008 10:57 am

maybe you should check if you have a leg longer than the other or a disbalance in the waist area.
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Consider Tai Chi Bu

Postby jfraser » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:09 am

If you know or your teacher knows and teaches a form of Tai Chi Bu or walking, you might consider putting time doing that in your training routine. This kind of walking can range from very simple to very complex and difficult. Liuhebafa has many kinds of walking, as well as rowing, and standing practices.

That might help, and give balance to the standing work you are doing.

Just a thought. :)
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Postby lilman » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:45 am

To touch on what Jfraser just mentioned, a couple sources for meditative walking would be in the books The Way of Qigong (a great book), by William Cohen, I believe the author is... and the foot work in the book Combat techniques of Taiji Xingyi and Bagua, by Lu Shengli, using the same method.

One technique for meditative walking mentioned in The Way of Qigong...
Start with feet together, and mind clear. You should be in a trance, same as when you do standing on stake, through whole exercise. You should also coordinate breathing with steps, inhale before, exhale during. Doesnt matter if abdominal or reversed abdominal. Feet should be firmly rooted and all steps should be carelfull and gentle as if you were walking on ice. Slightly bend knees as in beginning of Taichi to sink wieght and Qi. step out with one foot by pouring your wieght from right foot to left foot making right foot wieghtless, like pouring water from a pitcher. Step out in a crescent shape that curves in towards your left foot, and out at 45 degree angle from your body about a regular stride forward. As the foot touches the ground it goes from heal to toe, and the wieight slowly pours from rear foot to front foot. move rear foot next to front foot, only toes touching floor, step out in a crescent shape that curves in towards your right foot, and out at 45 degree angle from your body about a regular stride forward. repeat with left foot, right foot, etc. etc. About as many steps as you feel like doing.

You can do this backwards too, just toe to heal instead of heal to toe. You'll be amazed at how relaxing and grounding this exercise really is. It also builds "stepping sensitivity". You dont commit to your steps until you know its safe. If you do this blindfolded with a bunch of stuff on the floor regularly, youll make stepping sensitivity a habit and your walking will be much safer... Ever stepped on a nail before? Will never happen again. Also it will help you to avoid traps in a fight, and stepping into a bad position.
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Tai Chi Bu

Postby jfraser » Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:15 am

And you can, if you are up to it and ready, add up and down kneeling movement between your stepping, that Illman has clearly described.
Just don't let your front knee go past your front toe. Take is easy, and let your legs get used to this one.
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Postby clairvoyager » Wed Jun 18, 2008 6:43 am

It's been now nearly 4 months, since I posted this question. In the meantime, I have been training mostly two fundamental aspects: 1) feel the quality of my breathing a trying to improve on it through meditation practice and 2) body conditioning (specially legs and back) through holding postures.

Today I came back to practice the yongquan breathing, and certainly it felt very differently. I could "feel" better below the ground, and there was not much difference between both legs, although the left one was still smoother and deeper. This time I focused more on keeping the yi-intention under the ground, and not so much on "travelling up and down" through the legs.

The bottom line is that, I think I have improved slightly by practicing leg conditioning, and smoothing the breathing. Still, it feels like there is a lifetime of work ahead hehe :)

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'll try the stepping exercises sometime.
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what are the best reading sources for yongquan breathing me?

Postby jfraser » Wed Jun 25, 2008 9:21 pm

Thanks.
jfraser :)
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Postby Syd » Thu Jun 26, 2008 1:22 am

darth_freak wrote:maybe you should check if you have a leg longer than the other or a disbalance in the waist area.


This is not as silly as it sounds ... many people have structural issues of the spine, hips and shoulders ... western tension and rat race stress are key issues with this more often than not with western types also being very top heavy in tension and stiff in the waist. Most people have significant issues with one leg being slightly longer than another and don't even know it until other muscular-skeletal issues set in.

Another issue is to try and observe what your feet are doing ... if you have your feet lightly scrunched during Qigong ( as they should be ) to draw energy down into the ( Bubbling Well ) K1 point you may be over emphasizing one foot more than another due to the aforementioned structural issues.
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Postby lilman » Fri Jun 27, 2008 9:44 am

For addressing the issue of structural differences, theres a book called Tai Chi Walking. Its actually very interesting. But it does tell how they come about and how to correct structual differences. If you think on may be hindering your progress, I would suggest reading that book. Most public libraries have it. I wouldnt buy it, but it does have helpfull info...
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Postby Yatish Parmar » Sat Jun 28, 2008 4:49 am

It's worth practising asymmetrical qigong. For example in Master Yang's flying crane set, double wing flying i not as effective as balancing the qi in the body as single wing flying. This is because you have to become aware of your centre line and imbalances and correct them with yi.
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Postby clairvoyager » Fri Jul 17, 2009 12:25 pm

I though I'd share this, related to uneveness in the development of the leg.

Sometimes, specially after intense workouts, I feel uneasiness in my right knee, not real pain, but some degree of discomfort. This comes and goes all the time. I kept revising my alignments (knee over foot and such) all the time, and although I was very careful, still I would get the discomfort.

Through study and feeling I think I found out the main problem regarding my right leg. I think that my right quadriceps is way too short to keep a proper relationship of the bones of the knee and the hip while doing stances. Since it is shorter than it should (probably the vastus lateralis and the psoas too), it pulls the knee, stressing it. Since this is uncomfortable for the leg, I must have developed a habit to "hold" with the knee, to prevent much lengthening of the quadriceps.

This is not a conscious thing, but I have become increasingly aware of some degree of "holding" on the right knee. This is probably causing the lack of connection to the ground of the right leg, as well as the discomfort after practice, and remains even when maintaining adequate stance in terms of alignment (at least gross alignments).

I've had some success by mentally "releasing/opening" the knee. This puts more pressure (stretch) on the quadriceps while holding mabu, but the knee feels ok after that. However, I have to keep focused on the area all the time, otherwise the knee will go back to its holding automatically. I found this takes quite a deal of subtle muscle control. From the outside it would look the same, but the feeling is different. Any thoughts?
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