In a previously posted video and article, I demonstrated the ZhiNeng QiGong Wall Squat and described the benefits. This is a follow up video and article to demonstrate and assist you in how to modify this exercise and slowly progress to performing the wall squat correctly as shown in the original video.
Most people are not flexible enough to begin practicing with their feet together and their toes close to a wall. Typically the tendons and ligaments at the heels, ankles, knees, and lower back are too tight to lower your self into a squat, without raising your heels. For this reason, the exercise must be modified initially. Here are the steps:
1). First simply see what sort of squat you can initially do. Stand in an open space, not facing a wall. Try to squat as low as you can with your feet together and heels flat on the ground. If you have trouble, try it again with a wider stance. If you can squat with your spine relatively straight up and down and without falling backwards, then you can start doing the exercise facing a wall.
Your issue will be the distance from the wall. Stand far enough away that you can squat, but no so far away that it is not challenging. Over time, try to place your feet and knees closer together, and slowly move closer towards the wall.
Do not attempt the snake (caterpillar) like entirety movement of the spine, until you can perform the exercise with your toes nearly touching the wall, and are not bending your head and spine forward.
2). The majority of people may be able to almost squat, but have trouble balancing or fall backwards when they lower themselves to a certain position. In this case you will need to hold onto something until you open up the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. You can use a railing, a pillar, or a doorway.
However, I must stress that it is easy to keep doing this and not push your self to advance with the exercise. Something to hold onto is there as an assist, do not rely on it! Always make this exercise challenging. Your initial goal is to try and do a squat without holding onto anything, but something is there to hold onto if you need it, for balance. With time, you will be able to lower yourself all the way down, heels flat on the ground without holding on to anything.
3). For others, they can do a squat, but have to lean forward otherwise they lose their balance and fall backwards. This is a modification of holding onto something and is performed best with a column, or pillar, in front of you. It can also be done in a doorway, where you can stretch your arms forward in front of you and close them to grab onto something only when you need it, so you don’t fall backwards.
Your goal is to work towards, not needing to keep your arms forward for balance. You are very close to being able to face a wall. Keep at it. You are nearly there!
4). Once, you are facing the wall with toes nearly touching, and can perform the exercise without hitting your nose, or forehead. You can start trying to perform this movement as an entirety, by including a wave from your hips to the top of your head through your spine. Over time this will stimulate the nerve roots, and improve flexibility at every vertebra.
For most people it takes 6 months to 2 years of modifying this exercise and gradually progressing, before they are able to do a wall squat correctly as an entirety. This is the essence of Gong Fu and Qi Gong - mastery develops with practice, time, diligence, and dedication. At some point, it will be as simple as breathing, and walking. At that time, you will have reached a level of Gong Fu.
The physical movements of this exercise have a lot of benefits. But, I must emphasize that the real benefits and effectiveness of this exercise comes from doing it in a deep QiGong state.
I have audio downloads available, where you can listen along while performing the physical exercises. This simulates being in a classroom environment, following my instructions. Listening along you will perform the repetitions correctly with pauses and rests.
But, most importantly it will guide you into a deep healing state, with the correct focus of awareness and consciousness. Then this exercise transcends from just a physical exercise, into a healing of body, emotions, and consciousness.
The audio download is available here.
Hun Yuan Ling Tong!
For more information about ZhiNeng QiGong, classes, and retreats please visit:
Taoist Acupuncture is located at the Alchemy Wellness Centre in Nashua, NSW near the village of Bangalow in the beautiful Byron Bay Hinterland.
RJ Singer is a registered Acupuncturist, and Chinese Medicine Doctor with AHPRA and AACMA. He is also a highly regarded QiGong Healer and Teacher, and Feng Shui Consultant. RJ’s area of special skill is in the successful treatment of stubborn and difficult chronic disease, and all types of painful conditions.