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  • Writer's pictureJohn Blue

Lotus Leaf Swaying in the Wind

Updated: May 11, 2022

This video is the 5th in a series of 16 that will explore each Snake & Turtle movement in a little more detail. It is a resource for beginners to learn the basic motions. Later, I will present more advanced methods of cultivation and deeper layers of skill that can emerge from this practice, step by step. Please take your time to study each of these exercises in detail, and only begin following my practice sessions once you've grown comfortable with the instruction.

Swaying Movement Shaking Tail

搖 動 擺 尾 (yáo dòng bǎi wěi)

B.) Lotus Leaf Swaying in the Wind

風 擺 荷 葉 (fēng bǎi hé yè)

Check out the video instruction:

Green Snake Softens its Hips, feels better with every rotation, and can dramatically alter your ability to soften the upper body. Over the years, many of my clients have had a problem positioning their hips beneath their shoulders or their lower back remaining frozen and locked into a fully extended position. This rigidity becomes a significant obstruction to the strength and stability of the spine overall and makes it impossible to connect their movements to the ground.

Placing your feet a little closer together, rest the backs of your hands against your lower hips. I find it very helpful to put my knuckles into the space just below and behind the bone at the top of the thigh called the greater trochanter. This connection point gives clear feedback about softening the glutes & hips during practice.

Starting small, begin circling your hips. It's as though you were going to draw a circle around the outside of your feet. Allowing your head to remain mostly centered, emphasize effortlessly letting go of the areas opening along your hips and waist, rather than trying to close the opposite sides using tension. How do those two methods of generating movement feel different to you?

People with fused vertebrae, spinal support rods, or pronounced scoliosis may find it challenging to make these circles perfectly round. It’s vital to move in the ways our unique bodies allow and follow the principles. Be patient and gentle with your body at all times, and you will find great benefit!

Breathing normally and circling your hips outwards, you will eventually change direction and begin spiraling back inwards toward the center. Take your time with this practice, enjoying the spreading softness until you notice a greater degree of flexibility and ease in your lower back & hips.

Make successively smaller and smaller circles, spiraling towards the center point and eventually coming to rest & returning to stillness. Start the third movement of this sequence as soon as you feel ready.

The Next Step:

Continue studying each of the Snake & Turtle exercises at a basic level until you can begin a daily practice of the entire series. This exercise is just the second piece of a 3-part movement that creates spirals through the spine. Many masters have suggested using these hip circles before any athletic activity or lifting heavy objects. However, I most often recommend that my clients practice it before cooking & cleaning in the kitchen. Unfortunately, it seems to be a widespread place for people to lock their hips and knees! Washing dishes can be an excellent opportunity to practice good posture alignment.

Homework Suggestion:

The homework for this practice is an extension of the last recommendation. Earlier I had strongly recommended that you find yourself at least one training buddy to support the consistency of each other's healing. Next, find yourself an accountability companion. This person will be someone who will check in on you from time to time to make sure that you're moving forward toward your goals. While it can be the same person as your practice buddy, it's often better to have yet another person in your community take on this role. They can check in on your progress weekly to keep you feeling motivated. My clients will often ask me to take this role since they know I'll be consistent and kind. You can also reach out to the community in the comment section if you are looking for someone to help you. Or, if you feel generous, perhaps you can become that support for someone else.

Building community is an essential part of our success! Happy training!

Remember that this is only a tiny part of a more extensive system and sequence of teaching videos. Subscribe to my channel to learn more!

Make sure that you begin your practice at the beginning of the sequence

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Yung Sahm

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