Exercise #46 – Swallow Returning to Nest

Welcome to


Healing T’ai Chi

The award-winning blog of seated exercises based on Qigong and Yang style T’ai Chi for people of all ages and levels of fitness.


 “Empty your mind of all thoughts.
Let your heart be at peace.”

Tao Te Ching #16, Translated by S. Mitchell 


The following exercise should look like two swallows circling each other as they return to their nest.  Try to relax as much as possible and move very slowly through the sweeping motions.  Remember to be mindful of your breathing and the air through which you’re moving.

Benefits – This exercise will stretch your arms, shoulders and torso while slimming your waistline.

Posture – Sit with your feet shoulder-width apart, hips tucked under and head held comfortably high on your neck.

  1. Take a slow breath as you extend your left leg out to the side.
  2. Exhale and lean horizontally to the right over your right leg reaching over your right leg with your left arm.
  3. Inhale as you swing your left arm across your thighs to the left side.  At the same time bring your left leg back to its original position and stretch your right leg out to the side.
  4. Exhale and circle your left arm counterclockwise over your head and back to your lap.
  5. Inhale again as you bring your right arm to the left in a large, clockwise circle returning it to its original position. As your right arm reaches the top of the circle, arch your back and let your head fall back so that you are looking at the ceiling.  Exhale.
  6. Repeat beginning with a lean to the left for a total of 3 times on each side.

Note:  If you have had neck or back surgery, please consult your physician before attempting this exercise.


back-of-neck-arms-and-hands-pointsSwallow Returning to Nest is a great exercise for loosening joints and stretching upper body muscles.  Use the acupressure point, Outer Gate (TW5) to enhance the results of your exercise session.




  • You can find this pressure point on the outer forearm two and a half finger widths above the wrist crease between the 2 armbones.
  • Press firmly on this point (one arm at a time) for at least 60 seconds. 
  •  You can use this point frequently throughout the day to combat joint and muscle pain.

Benefits: This effective point will relieve shoulder and wrist discomfort as well as rheumatism and tendonitis.


Don’t forget to drink water at the end of your exercise session or any time you begin to feel thirsty.  A Word of Caution…If you have or have had problems with your kidneys, please consult your physician regarding the amount of water appropriate for your condition.


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Find great deals on home exercise equipment at the Exercise Equipment Super Store.

T’ai Chi in a Chair: Easy 15-Minute Routines for Beginners is now available exclusively at Barnes and Noble.

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


4 thoughts on “Exercise #46 – Swallow Returning to Nest

  1. Fitness during Your Pregnancy Period

    Bothered that you are gaining weight during your pregnancy period? Feeling confused about how to manage your fitness regime during pregnancy? The answer to all these questions is simple – EXERCISE!! Moderate exercises during the pregnancy period will keep in check your weight, helping you to lose the extra pounds after delivery. Regular exercise during pregnancy reduces chances of complications at the time of delivery. If you suffer any side effects, stop the regime. Take pregnancy massages and see the effect they do to you, both physically and emotionally. Never stress on your abdomen during pregnancy and remember that it is the baby who is of prior importance!

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