Beyond alignment : Opening the Knee Joints

Home Forums Archive Dragon & Tiger Qigong Online Program Week 3 Q&A Beyond alignment : Opening the Knee Joints

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    Proper alignment by itself doesn’t seem to protect my knees when my body’s weight sinks into them. In the I Chuan DVD course , Bruce talks about openning the knee joints instead of collapsing the upper body’s weight into them. I had begun suspecting such a possibility sometime since beginning D/T five years ago. I’ve only begun exploring this concept with success recently. From that effort I suspect this might be a help allowing me to cautiously continue my practice . I have seen no comment regarding this concept in D/T literature. It seems like this concept may be worth scubscribing to, but I thought I’d ask if I’m off the path or whether such a topic is mostly not relevant in the setting of this course. Obviously I need to get my knees checked out as well. I’d appreciate feedback. Dana



    HI Dana,

    For information on protecting your knees, I suggest that you watch the Week One Instruction 5 video on Body Alignments. There I make a number of points that can help you protect your knees, including:

    1. Always in all of the Dragon and Tiger exercises keep the backs of your knees open and springy, and keep your knees just a little bent when you have weight on them.

    2. As you let your pelvis relax and drop, lift your head to counterbalance the drop. For every inch your pelvis drops you lift your head (and torso) an inch so that your hips remain at the same height and don’t collapse down into your knees.

    3. You should always be able to “bounce” the insides of your knee joints (and all your other joints, including your ankles) the way a two-year old kid bounces when they dance.  You should feel the bounce in the fluids inside the knee joints and in the ligaments surrounding the joints, not in the muscles on the outsides of the joints. If you can’t bounce your knee joints, then you’ve collapsed your weight into them or locked or otherwise stiffened them.

    These principles apply at all times in all seven Dragon and Tiger exercises.

    The “opening the knee joints” alignment Bruce discusses in the I Chuan DVD is considered a more advanced alignment than we usually do in Dragon and Tiger at the beginner level of practice. As I explain in that Week 1 Alignments video, you don’t need really sophisticated alignments to do Dragon and Tiger, just basic ones necessary to prevent injuries.

    Feel free to put the more advanced alignments into Dragon and Tiger. They can make your Dragon and Tiger work even better. I’ll just note that over the years I have found that when people put more advanced “neigong” deep internal alignments into Dragon and Tiger too soon in their training, they tend to lose the “lightness” that Dragon and Tiger is designed to give you at the beginning. Putting deep alignments into Dragon and Tiger is a Level 4 stage of practice. FYI, I’m only certified to teach Level 3 so Level 4 is pretty advanced.

    Having said this, since you have knee problems, please be sure to do whatever alignment works to protect your knees!

    Good luck and good practice to you,


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