Exercise #14 – Qigong, Bear Pushes Behind



“The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.”

Tao Te Ching, #26, Translated by S. Mitchell



   The purpose of the Qigong set of exercises called “Bear Frolics” is to help the practitioner sink into the stabilizing, grounded, physical ch’i located in the lower dan tien.   While bears appear to be slow and ponderous as they amble along, these large animals can move with amazing swiftness when on the attack.  What we hope to achieve with Bear Pushes Behind, then, is to “settle” ourselves into the dan tien while developing an underlying lightness, speed and agility with each movement of the exercise.

Exercise #14 – Bear Pushes Behind

Benefits: Bear Frolics warm your body, deepen your breath and are believed to strengthen kidney and adrenal functions. 

Posture: Your posture should be the same for this exercise as it has been during the T’ai Chi sessions.  Your feet are flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart, back supported by your chair.

  1. Begin with your hands resting on your thighs.  Breathe in through your nose.   At the same time, lift your arms with elbows bent at a 90 degree angle.  Palms should be facing the ceiling at about the level of your ears.
  2. As you breathe, out, twist from the waist to your left while pushing your left hand out to the back.
  3. As you turn to the front, breathe in and return your left arm to its original position.
  4. Breathe in again while in the beginning position.  Twist to your right and breathe out.
  5. Push your right hand to the back as though pushing against a wall.  Bring your right arm back to the 90 degree angle as you turn again to face front.  Your palm should be facing the ceiling at ear height.
  6. Repeat, alternating sides for a total of 18 twists or nine twists to each side.

 Note: You may feel a severe pinch in your torso or shoulders when twisting to the back and pushing out.  If so, reduce the amount of rotation.

    To further strengthen your kidneys and adrenal system, try the following acupressure point.  I encourage you to experiment with the amount of pressure you use, particularly with this pressure point.  If you have disintegrating discs or have had fractured bones in this area, consult your health care provider before using these points.  

Sea of Vitality (B23 or B47)

  1. These two acupressure points are located 2 and 4 finger-widths to either side of your spinal column.
  2. Fist both hands and press firmly on both sides of your spine.  Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. To increase the pressure on these points, hold your fists at the back of your chair and lean back against them.


 Don’t forget to drink water after your exercise session or any time in between if you feel thirsty.


 Other Related Health Topics and Fitness Products:


~The exercises in this blog are intended for educational purposes only.  Always consult with your health care provider before beginning a new exercise program.~


2 thoughts on “Exercise #14 – Qigong, Bear Pushes Behind

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