Four Directions

This chi kung is ideal to be done outside on a morning working with the four elements and connecting with the earth. When doing the exercise, start and finish facing the most beautiful direction. The basic movement is repeated in all four directions, first turning clockwise and then anti-clockwise.

Stand with the feet together, relaxing the body, quietening the mind and rooting and connecting to the earth and light. Once the mind and body is settled, reach up and take hold of the light above the crown. Draw the light down through the centres. At the heart bow to whatever you believe in and to the earth. Continue bringing the hands down and let them rest on the tan tien, right hand on left.

Root into the earth, feeling the earth beneath the feet and the connection of the body to the earth. Focus the mind on the tan tien, directly behind the hands and feel the warmth grow, feeling the connection between the earth and the hands.

Turning right, feet still together, and let the right hand drift away from the body.

Lifting the earth – Turn back to the left, bringing all the weight onto the left foot, the right hand draws up towards the heart, lifting the earth energy, the left hand drifts away from the body. Feel the quality of the earth as you do this movement.

Waving hands – step backwards and to the right, with the right foot. The foot points at 90 degrees to the right. Turn to the right, right hand at heart, left hand trailing at the tan tien. Feel the quality of air as you do this movement.

Ripples in the water – turn back left, both hands palm down, level with the solar plexus as though rippling across the surface of the water. Feel the quality of water as you do this movement.

Fire Hand – turn right again, pushing from the heart with the left hand, right hand coming down in front. Turn the left foot on the ball of the foot bring it round to the same direction as the right foot. Feel the quality of fire as you do this movement.

Merge – Step forward, bringing the left foot into the right and drawing the hands back to together to rest on the tan tien again. Feel as though youi are bringing together all the four elements of the earth.

You have now turned 90 degrees to the right. Connect again and repeat the movement, three more times until you are back where you started. As you step in the last time the left hand should rest on the right.

Now repeat the connection and movement 4 times in an anticlockwise direction. This time you turn left first and the left hand leaves the body first. When you step, you step to the left.

Stand for a while. Just aware of how you feel. Not just aware of the body and breath but of the earth, nature and feelings of connection.

Close down by repeating the opening movement, but with a sense of closure and completion. Once again bow at the heart feeling gratitude for whatever you believe in and for this world.