May 20, 2021
About 11 years ago, I treated myself to a weekend at Esalen with Chungliang Al Huang. I learned a movement tidbit from him that has enriched my life ever since, so I’d like to share it with you. Chungliang had added it into his Five Elements Tai Ji–that he practices daily at sunrise, facing east. It’s all about greeting the sun rising over the horizon (or hills, or apartments, or …).
Last month, I introduced this at a 4-day Ortho-Bionomy® conference; one attendee said it was her favorite takeaway from the entire 4 days! So with gratitude to Chungliang, I invite you to join me in a glorious and simple way to start your day. Doing this always makes me feel cheery, centered, and grounded.
Begin: Stand comfortably with your feet about hip width apart, and knees soft, slightly bent; arms relaxed by your side. Let your breath be easy. Notice your weightedness, connection with the earth. And your torso and head, rising up connecting with the sky.
Movement: While your arms are still hanging long, bring your hands together in front of you. Your knees may naturally bend a tad more. Lift your hands together, up your centerline, past your chin and nose, to over your head–which brings a spontaneous inhalation and knees straightening. When your hands reach their fullest height, let each arm float down to the side, describing a semicircle; a full circle when you consider both arms.
Vocalization: Now do that again, saying “WOW!” out loud and slowly as your raise your arms up midline to the highest you can reach. As you float your arms down, let the reverberations of WOW! fill your being. Be sure to say WOW! out loud, not just in your mind.
You can watch me do it here. This was taped a number of years ago on a windy day, however, and the wind is generally louder than my voice. And with time, an echo seems to have crept in. But no matter: the lost words are primarily instructions, almost verbatim of above, but without Wow! So watch this to clarify your understanding of the movement, with no concern about verbal or volume.
These days I generally raise my arms more slowly than in the video; lowering arms about the same speed. After you do it following me, invite yourself to find the timing that suits you, recognizing that it may well change over time.
That’s it. WOW! You’re waking with the morning sun (literally or not). Rising up through your center, over the horizon, and beaming out to the new day. WOW! Doing it three times in a row guarantees a sunny mood. Even doing it once, being truly present throughout the movement and sounding, will increase your happiness. Try it. Let me know what happens.
And, should WOW! not solve all your physical woes, please call 510.526.5414 or email me and we’ll discuss additional options to get you feeling your best.
May warmer weather and Spring activities infuse your life with a bit more beauty and joy.