Posture 16: Yin and Yang
The sixteenth posture of Luk Tung Kuen is known as “Yin and Yang”. It is because the exercisers stretch out the hands with the force of Yin and Yang. The purpose of this exercise is to train our reaction so that when we topple down, we can protect ourselves by stretching out the hands immediately.
Starting position: The starting position is similar to posture 15. Keep the fingers straight. Bend the elbows slightly. Touch the level of the hip by the thumbs with the palms facing downward. One point that worths noticing is that the speed of doing this exercise is slow at the beginning and then increase gradually. Use the Yin force and then the Yang force.
Movement 1: At the start, raise both hands forward and turn the palms inside out. Then the palm of the left hand is facing the palm of the right hand. Stretch out the hands sideward. The movement resembles someone who are swimming in breaststroke style. When stretching out the arms, raise up the heels slightly and breathe in deeply. When the two hands are almost at the level of the shoulder, stretch forward with effort. This sequence of action should be done at a fast speed. It should be finished in a second and count “one”. Again, return to the starting position. Keep the fingers straight with the palms facing downward. The hands should be at the level of the waist. Then stretch out the hands and breathe in deeply. When the hands are at the level of the shoulder, stretch out forward and heels down, then count two”. Do it slowly first, then increase the speed. Repeat the whole sequence for ten times.
Note: When stretching out both hands until they reach the level of the shoulder, the movement is slow. When stretching out both hands sideward just like someone who are swimming in breaststroke style, the movement is still slow, that is to use the Yin force. When stretch out the hands forward, use the Yang force. The movement should be fast. Bring the heels down.
This sequence of movement is not only strengthens respiration but it can train our response by doing three movements almost at the same time (about one second). The two hands will stretch out, the feet will support the body and one will stand upright. Hence, if a person who topples down, he or she can support the body by stretching out the hands immediately.