Correct Postural Alignment
Correct posture refers to the alignment of the bones in relation to the joints for the purpose of maximizing qi flow and minimizing obstructions. In qigong therapy, it is said that wherever qi does not flow, disease sets in. Qi is carried in the Blood like water in a river and flows throughout every part of our body. If there are sharp bends in the river, qi slows down; if the river straightens, there is less resistance and the flow increases. By paying attention to how our bones are stacked on top of each other, we can minimize the number of bends in the body and thereby facilitate free-flowing qi.
Free-flowing qi is important on two levels. First, it washes through the body and cleanses the organs, fasciae, and blood. Blood carries qi along with oxygen and nutrients, and therefore it makes sense that wherever Blood is circulating, healing is occurring or disease is not setting in. Qi movement in this case means that there is no holding onto stressors of any kind and that health and relaxation are actively supported. Qigong therapy recognizes that external influences, including physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental influences, have a real energetic charge that can be associated with specific parts of the body.
One important reason for maintaining correct alignment of the body during qigong practice is that it keeps the major energetic center of the body, called the Taiji Pole, straightened. The Taiji Pole is a column of energy extending from the top of the head at the crown down to the perineum and links all the energetic meridians and centers along the midline of the body (see figure 2.1). Each end of the Taiji Pole is an energetic portal that connects upward to Heaven and downward to Earth. Keeping the Taiji Pole straightened facilitates free-flowing qi through its core and a flowing current between the head and feet.