Lift the Head to Lower Your Arms
Updated: Oct 12, 2022
It is difficult to feel suspended if you were never suspended by your hair. An easy way to feel it is to imagine a pully, a wheel, or a hook that is above your head. How high is dependent on your ability to feel it, and the height will increase as you progress. Imagine a bungee cord or rope that goes from the crown of your head (bai hui point) (1) through the pulley or hook above you (2) and is attached under your hands (3). When your arms go down as gravity is pulling them, your head feels as if it is pulled up and you feel as if you are suspended. To be clear, your head is pulled up from the top of your hips and not from your neck. From the hips down you are sinking and rooting. Also, the lengthening is not a muscular effort. It is a letting go inside your body so you feel taller and yet your muscles are relaxed and loose. When done correctly, you will feel a lot of “feelings” under your palms.
This works when lowering the arms, and it also works for raising your arms, although the cord is attached to your tailbone rather than your head. In other words, to raise your arms, you need to sink your hips. When your tailbone sinks, it will pull the cord to raise your arms. Of course, your head continues to expand upwards so that your spine continues to get longer. There are more internal changes needed to have your arms rise effortlessly, but this will get you started.
This way of raising and lowering the arms is very effective for feeling how the arms connect to the head and the hips. Another great benefit is that you can relax your arms completely because they are supported by the cord. If you can imagine the cord as described above, then you can feel as if the cord is holding your arms and you can let go of all tension in your arms. As you progress and the feelings are established, you can let go of the process and just feel.
*The ideas for this article are based on the teachings of Master William Ting
Written By: Joseph Eber