Three Levels To Ground

There are 18 qigong exercises that make up the famous Shaolin 18 Lohan Hands. This is exercise number 9: Three Levels To Ground.

Three Levels to Ground, 三 盆 落 地 or SAN PEN LUO DI is known to offer the following benefits:

As well as being one of the patterns from the “Art of Flexible Legs” practiced by Shaolin Kung Fu students, this pattern helps to strengthen the heart. However, please avoid this pattern if you have any known heart problems. You must make sure that you are not out of breath, tired or feeling giddy when practicing this exercise.

This exercise is beneficial for the knees and feels lovely after a long Golden Bridge session. (Golden Bridge is a static form of qigong/chi kung referred to as Zhang Zhuang and is used usually by martial artists to increase internal force.)

This exercise also benefits the Small Universe chi flow (the Small Universe is achieved when qi flows harmoniously through the Ren and the Du meridians of the body. There is a saying that when a person achieves the breakthrough of the Small Universe they will be free from illness and full of vitality).
This is one of those qigong exercises where it is vital to remember that you are doing qigong and not physical exercise. This full squatting motion brings a number of worthwhile benefits when practiced at a physical level. But if you want to get the benefits that I mentioned above then it simply has to be practiced as qigong.

It is impossible to practice any of the qigong exercises in this set whilst gritting your teeth or feeling like it’s some kind of torture that must be endured. No, no, no. Remember perhaps two of the most important words relating to these qigong exercises: relaxed and gentle.

Your movements are relaxed and gentle, your breathing is relaxed and gentle, your mind is relaxed and any thoughts are gentle. Qi/chi/energy finds it harder to flow through tense muscle than relaxed muscle, so only use as much tension as is necessary to complete this and all of the qigong exercises properly. Form may be the lease important aspect of qigong (the two others in this context being energy and mind) – but the form is still important.

The next of the qigong exercises we’ll be over viewing is Divine Crane Starts Dancing.

Until then…

Marcus James Santer