The main purpose of this set is to lead Qi to the surface of the skin and into the bone marrow through the use of breathing and coiling motion. The set is designed to strengthen the Guardian Qi (Wey chi) and to increase the sensitivity of the Skin Listening Jing, which is required for Pushing Hands and Taijiquan fighting.
In these exercises, your muscles are tensed by the twisting of your limbs and body, and then relaxed. The Qi that is generated in these tensed areas is led by the mind to coil out to the extremities and spiral out to the skin. This coiling motion helps to increase the penetration of your Jing and brings the Qi out to the skin, opening all the little Qi channels (Lou). This slows degeneration and increases the efficiency of your muscles.
Although the Coiling Set was designed for martial artists to train their Qi and increase their listening Jing, it is a very good health exercise. The twisting movements help to loosen the joints and strengthen the tendons and ligaments. Leading the Qi into the bone marrow helps keep the marrow health, and that is a vital requirement for health and longevity.
Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing for this set. Tongue should be touching the roof of the mouth Feel each movement begin at the bottoms of your feet. The movement is continuous, without stagnation, like an octopus. Stretch the arms to open the joints, then twist. Emphasize the thumb and little finger of each hand to accentuate the twist. Imagine that you are moving against resistance, and that your feet are pushing against the floor. Do not hold your breath. The entire body should be soft like a whip. Breathing should be slow, deep, and long. As you inhale, imagine that you are drawing energy in through your hands and feet and condensing it in your Dan Tien and spine. As you exhale move the Qi from you Dan Tien and spine out through your hands and feet. When you exhale, you should notice five flows of Qi two out the arms, two out the legs, and one from the Dan Tien down to the tailbone. To build Qi to a high level, do each form 10-20 times and go on to the next form without stopping.
Stand calmly to regulate the Hsin (spirit) and breath. Feet shoulder width apart, arms hang naturally at sides. Take 10 complete breaths.
Form 2: White Crane Relaxes Its Wings
Inhale while turning palms to rear, rounding the shoulders forward and slightly arcing your chest. Exhale, turn palms to face front. Repeat 10 times.
Form 3: Drill Forward And Pull Back
Inhale: lift hands to mid chest, palms up. All fingers and both arms should be in a straight line. Exhale: pull in the elbows and extend arms in front of you, palms up while gently rounding the shoulders forward. Inhale: spread your elbows out to the sides and draw arms back to chest. Rotate your arms as they move so that they end up with palms facing your chest, arms and fingers in a straight line. Exhale: press arms down while keeping them in line, palms facing down, until arms are fully extended and fingers point downward. Repeat 10 times.
Form 4: Left And Right Yin And Yang
Exhale: raise right hand from upper abdomen level and drill it forward while rotating the palm up. Turn body slightly. Inhale: pull the hand back to chest and lower into original position, palm down. Repeat with left hand. Keep your gaze straight ahead. Repeat 10 times.
Form 5: Water And Fire Mutually Interact
Continuing from stopping position of #4, inhale: turn palms up and raise hands to clavicle level as if you were lifting something. Exhale: turn palms down, then push them downward to your abdomen keeping the hands lined up in front of your body until arms are fully extended and fingers point straight to ground. Repeat 10 times.
Form 6: Large Bear Encircles The Moon.
Continuing from #5, inhale: lift hands to clavicle level while turning palms up. Exhale: extend and rotate your arms forward so that your arms and chest form a large circle with palms facing forward. Inhale: turn palms to face inward as you move your hands back toward chest. Exhale: push both palms down to your abdomen keeping the hands in line. Remember to imagine you are lifting something when raising hands and pushing down something when lowering them. Repeat 10 times.
Form 7: Living Buddha Holds Up The Heavens.
Similar to #6 except that you push your hands up instead of forward. Inhale: raise hands to chest level, palms facing upward. Exhale: rotate palms outward and upward as you push upward raising hands above your head. Inhale: rotate your palms to face downward as you lower your arms to your chest. Exhale: push your hands downward to your abdomen. Repeat 10 times.
Form 8: Turn Heaven and Earth In Front Of Your Body
Inhale: turn palms upward and raise both hands to your chest. Exhale: push up with one hand and down with the other. Inhale: bring both hands to your chest. Exhale: push up and push down with the opposite hands. The fingers point inward when the arms are fully extended. The descending hand goes behind the ascending hand. Repeat 10 times.
Form 9: Golden Rooster Twists Its Wings
Similar to form 8, except that the descending hand is threaded behind your back. The fingers of the descending hand point downward and the ascending hand point upward until the arms reach full extension. Repeat 10 times.
Form 10: Turn Your Head To Look At The Moon.
Continue form 9 but now twist your body to look directly behind you as you exhale. When right hand is up, twist to the left and vice versa. Repeat 10 times.
Form 11: Big Python Turns Its Body
Step your left leg to the left and squat down to put about 60 % of your weight on it. Your body twists and arms move exactly as in form 10. Exhale: twist your body to the left and twist your head to look to the rear. You are twisting your body from right hand fingertips to your feet. Inhale: return to center. Exhale: turn to the right. Toes point 45 degrees outward. Pivot feet as necessary to keep stance stable. Repeat 10 times.
Form 12: Up and Down Coiling
This form is optional and recommended only for students in strong physical condition without knee problems. Others should skip this form or reduce the number of repetitions. After form 11, turn your body to face forward and bring your hands to your waist palms up. While exhaling, stand upright and raise your hands straight up palms facing forward. While inhaling, lower your body as you twist it to the side and draw your hands into your chest turning the palms up. You should finish this movement in the Sitting on Crossed Legs Stance. Pivot your feet as necessary to keep your stance stable. Then raise and twist your body into Horse Stance facing front. Repeat the movements to the opposite side. As you practice the Coiling Set, gradually increase the number of repetitions of form 12 until you reach 10 repetitions.
After practicing: Stand still and regulate your mind and breathing for a few minutes.