6. The Crane Opens and Closes Its Wings
Begin in the basic Crane stance with the hands at the
waist. The legs are separated with a shoulder's width. Stretch the fingers open. Inhale as you lift both hands up
the center of the body, fingers pointing forward, arms about 24" apart.
As the hands reach the neck begin to move both hands to the side, upwards, and
backwards. Spread the arms as far apart as you can and to either side of
the body as you lift both arms high above the head. Draw the arms up and
back as you gently bend backwards.
At the same time as the arms are lifted up and back, try to lift both heels off
the ground, and come up on your toes. Look up at the sky with your head
As you begin to exhale, gently draw the arms forward and down, straighten the
back, look forward, and move the arms down to the waist.
Repeat for 4 to 8 repetitions in a gentle, slow, calm, deliberate, and smooth manner.
This movement is found in the
Wild Goose Qigong
(Dayan Chi Kung) routine.
Refer to "Wild Goose Qigong" by Hong-Chao Zhang, pp.20-21.
Back-bending while standing with the arms lifted above the head and with the
hands touching is a commonly used hatha yoga posture called Anyvittasana.
This exercise is a hyperextension of the back, stretching of the
dorsi muscles of sides of the upper back, a stretching of the upper
rectus abdominis, engaging the pectoralis major, and a tensing of the
in the upper back and neck.
This movement opens and fills with Qi (Chi, Energy) the Middle Dan Tien (i.e., 中丹田, Zhong Dantian,
middle elixir fields, cauldron) of the esoteric body system explained in
Qigong (Yoga); or, analogously, opens the Heart Chakra (Anhata) of Hatha Yoga.
Exercise of this area in the front of the body helps heal disturbed emotions,
calms the spirit, strengthens the heart and lungs, and opens the Heart-Soul to the grace of
The wide-spread arms held up high help establish a feeling of opening up,
freeing oneself, and uplifting one's mood and spirit.
You often see this ritual body posture in Christian revival meetings as a kind of
"Saying Hallelujah" posture.
If the movement was done forcefully and with power and quickly it would be the
flapping of the wings of a powerful bird like a Crane or wild Goose or for a
human bodybuilder the performance of incline dumbbell flys.
Crane Frolic Qigong Exercise Set
Eight Animals Frolics Mind/Body Fitness Practices (Chi Kung) by Mike Garofalo
webpages for the eight specific animals will also have photographs of me or others doing
these exercises. There are also five, eight or twelve animals in Shaolin Kung Fu, Ba Gua Zhang, Taijiquan, and Xing Yi Quan. Movements or postures called a "crane" or "hawk" or "rooster" are found in most of these mind-body internal arts.
exercises recommended for improving fitness, maintaining good health, overcoming diseases, increasing energy and vitality, contributing to good mental health, and improving one's chances for longevity have a very long documented
history going back to as early as 160 BCE in the Daoyin Tu.