Within the practice of the Li Family (Lishi) Dao Yoga system there are a numerous amount of exercises that can help to gently open the joints, stretch the muscles, tendons and ligaments to help in releasing any tension or stiffness that may hinder the circulation of both the blood (xue) and energy (qi) to flow smoothly, plus to help the individual to become more relaxed.
One such Dao Yoga exercise that develops flexibility of shoulders, elbows, wrist and fingers, plus strengthens the tendons of the arms is the Leopard stance hand reeling exercise as seen in the picture that accompanies this blog. This exercise dredges both the yin & yang energy channels of the both arms, promoting strong blood and energy flow into the extremities by removing any blockages or stagnation that may have accumulated. Because this Leopard stance reeling hands exercise is performed from a standing position. The legs are used in co-ordination of the arms by rocking the body weight from one leg to the other as the left or right arm performs the reeling, drilling action. By shifting the body weight from one leg to the other also promotes blood and energy flow into the both legs and feet and also strengthens the leg muscles.
The Leopard stance reeling hands exercise is an excellent exercise for those individuals who suffer shoulder tension or stiffness, especially those who work at a desk or have to work using their arms to lift or carry heavy objects, as tension can be easily trapped within the muscles of the shoulders and arms. Using the reeling hands method of the Dao Yoga Leopard stance exercise can release the muscle tension and improve relaxation.
All of the exercises that are practiced in the Lishi Dao Yoga system all combine the body, breath and mind and so it is with the Leopard stance reeling hands exercise. As you rock the body weight and perform the reeling/drilling action you should breath out the eyes focus on the drilling hand. As you relax you breath inwards and then switch to the opposite side and breath out as you perform the reeling/drilling arm action on the opposite side rocking the body weight from one leg to the other.