These Daoist exercises are practised walking and can be carried out in the countryside away from polluted areas, in parks, by a river, or during a walk through fields.
When walking normally, respiration and thoughts are often disordered: during these exercises respiration and thoughts are regulated. When you practise these exercises over a long period of time, the human microcosmos can connect with the macrocosmos of nature, bringing with it all the benefits for the health and life in general. Because much qi is absorbed from the environment directly around you during these exercises, you should avoid practising in the middle of towns or on busy streets.
Beginning with a procedure to make a connection with the qi in the cosmos, steps are then coordinated with respiration. Walking naturally, at a steady pace, calm and relaxed, you start by taking three steps while breathing in, then three steps breathing out. You practise until the exercise is easy to carry out, then you increase the number of steps in threes until you reach 12, then up to 24 – always in such a way that the exercise is never difficult, tiring or forced. The exercise is further developed by stopping breathing altogether for certain periods.
In order to guarantee the results, the exercises should be practised in threes, just as they have always been taught from centuries of Taoist experience. The number three is said to be a yang number. One of the aims of Taoist practice is to achieve long life: this requires a strengthening of the body’s yang.
These exercises are also called “breathing with nature”. A feeling of a profound connection with nature is made possible by these exercises. They have a very refreshing effect because a lot of energy is absorbed. The exercises can also develop diverse latent abilities.
Through these exercises heaven or sky (tian), human (ren) and earth (di) become connected. The human microcosmos can be developed by connecting the heart (xin), spirit (shen), energy (qi) and intention (yi). The ability to send out and receive ling (information) over great distances can also be developed.
Permission to teach these Daoist exercises may be given to people who have participated in at least two Xing Gong courses, who work under licence from the Dao Yuan School. Apart from this the ability of body breathing is a requirement for permission to teach these exercises.