The third exercise out of the taiji qigong 1st set of eighteen exercises (Shibashi) is called “Moving A Rainbow” or sometimes also referred as raising & lowering the ball. The requirements that each individual should employ to all of the eighteen exercises including this particular one are as follows.
- The Legs: should be used to gently transfer the body weight from one leg to another. Using a rising and sinking action, both knees should be kept soft and slightly bent, never straightening the knees. The front legs heel should gently lift off the floor, allowing for only the toes and ball of foot to remain in contact with the ground.
- The Torso: should rotate from the waist from side to side pointing the navel towards the front foots toes.
- The Arms & Hands: should start hanging down in front of the waist with both palms facing each other, as if holding a big ball. The both arms will then raise above the head and if the torso turns to the right side the right arm will lower down to shoulder height, while the other arm remains above the head with both palms facing each other.
- The Eyes: should follow the turning of the waist, if the waist turns to the right the eyes look towards the right, if the waist returns back to neutral, facing forwards the eyes also look forwards.
- The Breathing: should be co-ordinated with the movements, inhale when raising and exhale when sinking, the Breathing should be long, slow, deep and smooth by breathing in and out through the nose.
The amount of repetitions each individual does should be equally the same on both sides of the body. The whole body, breath and mind should be fully connected together and the speed must remain the same throughout the entire exercise with no sudden changes of speed or tempo. Because taiji qigong utilises the principles of Yin & Yang then it is entirely correct that each individual should also utilise and demonstrate through their actions the changing of Yin &Yang such as:
- Rising & Lowering.
- Opening & Closing.
- Pulling & Pushing.
- Contracting & Expanding.
Even thou this exercise looks simple and easy to perform it actually takes some time to master. As the bottom and top of the body must be fully connected, the body leads the arms and the breathing dictates the whole speed of the entire exercise, which should be very slow. The Mind should be fully focused on keeping the whole of the bodies actions accurate, precise and in harmony.
After a few weeks of practicing the taiji qigong “Moving A Rainbow” exercise each individual should gradually begin to experience the sensations within themselves of their Qi beginning to mobilise & circulate (Yun Qi). At first individuals might begin to feel warmth or heat in their both palms and fingers, or a tingling feeling like pins & needles. Gradually each individual will feel these sensations and a lot more throughout the entire body. Each person will begin to feel more relaxed, supple with plenty more vitality.