Sway Left and Right like a Wave
Updated: May 11
This video is the 3rd 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.
Sway Left and Right like a Wave
左 右 浪 動 (zuǒ yòu làng dòng)
Check out the video instruction: https://youtu.be/buvJJ_MqWYo
Snake Softens its Sides is a perfect movement to incorporate throughout your day, especially if you sit for long periods. I've found this to be a helpful treatment for common forms of knee pain due to tension within my clinical practice. Also, many people who suffer from regular bouts of anger & frustration will find this a very relieving daily exercise.
Standing normally with your feet beneath your shoulders, allow your palms to rest near your lower back. Move your hands only as far as possible, maintain soft shoulders and good posture. Don't allow your shoulders or hips to push forward. If your arms feel uncomfortable or you suffer from arthritic pain in this position, try using the backs of your hands instead. What differences do you notice in your arms, shoulders, and upper back by changing the position of your hands?
Please remember to be gentle with yourself during practice and you will notice your body beginning to heal.
Slide your right hand down your right leg, starting with a small movement, allowing the left side to open effortlessly. Simultaneously, the left hand glides slightly up the left ribs while allowing the shoulder to remain soft and the neck to open comfortably. As the right hand sinks, release some of your body weight through the right leg to the ground. As the left hand lifts, feel the left side of your body soften long and become light.
You will then repeat this exercise on the opposite side, slowly increasing the movement's size, leading with your hands, and taking your time to enjoy the experience. As with all of the practices in Snake & Turtle, emphasize the opening of the body rather than the closing. Feel a lengthening rather than a shortening.
Continue with this practice, softening side to side like a wave until you feel softer and looser in this expression of your body. Eventually, taper the movements bit by bit until you return to a basic standing posture. Slide your hands back around to cover your navel, relaxing for a moment and noticing the new freedom in your body.
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. Each activity in the set is a kind of preparation for the next, and taking the time to learn each movement thoroughly will make the following that much easier.
If you find it difficult to relax your body at this stage, be patient with the process. Continue with this exercise and the methods taught in future lessons, and you’ll become a little softer every day.
How much time are you willing to spend each day to heal and feel your best? This commitment includes practicing qigong, taking the time to prepare healthy food, resting when needed, and even cleaning up your house. How much are your health and wellbeing worth? Take this question seriously and come up with a heartfelt response. Pause for as long as you need.
Among my patients, the average answer has been 5 hours each day, although some very busy people are only willing to commit to an hour each day. Many studies show that being brave enough to make commitments aloud and announcing them to a community will powerfully motivate change.
If you are willing to do it, write down your dedication to health in the comment section. Please be kind and respectful and support each other in our healing goals!
You can do it! 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
Ready to train? Follow along with traditional practice sessions
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