Even though the body doesn't seem to do much work aside from holding itself up in a relatively still fashion or moving simply in circles, it is actually relearning muscle usage and body mechanics. The spine is stretched, relaxed, and energised to easily and efficiently support the head and internal organs. The legs and hips are loosened, and their muscles and tendons are strengthened while the knees relearn to naturally provide shock absorption for the spine and head. Standing and moving are not as comfortable as sitting qigong and meditation, so you must concentrate on the principles of relaxation and body balance in order to do the exercises for extended periods of time.
In this way the entire body learns to use only the right muscles to do the task at hand—not too much effort, not too little. The torso and arms must, in particular, be relaxed. As the joints and body loosen, your internal energy is better able to circulate properly. Think of it as the Qi circulating through hoses which are often partially impeded by kinks of varying degrees. The energy inside cannot flow easily until these bends are removed.
As the lungs expand, the spine straightens, and the joints relax, circulation improves often lowering high blood pressure. However, even if you practise correctly, your legs and lower back may get quite sore at first. This is normal, especially if you are tense by nature or don't have strong legs. Last but not least, using a standing posture means there is less chance of getting drowsy. Similarly, keeping the eyes open reduces the chance of falling asleep and collapsing.
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