This is a popular exercise in China and I’m taking up this topic for people who haven’t yet heard of this simple and yet effective exercise that can positively impact the next few decades of your life.
‘Jin Ji Du Li’ means ‘Golden rooster stands on one leg’. Martial artists also adopt this stance for frontal and side-kicks. However, as regards an exercise, instead of launching into attack, we stand stationary and try to hold still. This can’t be difficult for many, but try this with your eyes closed, and the outcome is going to be a ‘wake-up’ call for those forty and above.
If you’re in your forties, once you close your eyes, if you’re unable to maintain balance for over 10 seconds, this translates to an ageing body of sixty plus! When we close our eyes for this exercise, the loss of balance signifies a natural ageing of co-ordination between our various internal organs. Of the various Chi-therapy methods, the Jin Ji Du Li exercise is the one that helps to slow down this regression and to improve this co-ordination. Another way of looking at this is a ‘Wellness’ therapy that doesn’t hurt or cost you to try within your own home. Just invest 2 minutes a day to improve on age-related medical & physical deficiencies.
Here is the exercise :
Stand on one leg while your eyes are closed. That is all. Just try it right now, stop reading and stand up, close your eyes and try standing on one foot. If you are not able to stand for at least 10 seconds, it means that your body has degenerated to a 60 -70 years old level. In other words, you may be only 40 years old, but your body has aged a lot faster.
I tried this exercise myself as I thought it’s not a big deal and I was sure I could do this easily but this was not the case, because I discovered, much to my surprise, that while I could stand easily on one foot with my eyes open, trying the same thing with my eyes closed was quite difficult. I just could not keep my balance for more than two to three seconds before I started wobbling and hopping around.
You do not need to lift your leg high. If the internal organs are out of synch, even lifting your leg a little will make you wobble. Now this was quite scary because it told me that my body was almost 60 years old though my biological age is in forties. It was very heartening to know that frequent and regular practice can help you recover your sense of balance. You can try slightly closing both eyes while practicing Jin Ji Du Li, instead of completely closing them.
Chinese specialists suggest daily practice of Jin Ji Du Li for at least 1 minute. This helps prevent dementia and can help in healing many illnesses or diseases like Hypertension, Diabetes, Neck and Spinal diseases. As you gain ability to stand for longer time you will experience that the quality of sleep improves, the mind clears up and memory improves significantly. This exercise can be great for the brain as well.
Zhong Li Ba Ren has written a book titled “Self Help is Better than Seeking Doctors’ Help”, which is a bestselling book that has been the best seller health book in China since it was first published. Its success can be measured by the fact that it has been reprinted 12 times within 6 months, with more than 1 million copies sold. The book is a hot seller because it teaches many simple and practical health tips. It is said that according to the understanding of Chinese physicians, diseases appear in the body because the coordination between the various internal organs encounter problems and that causes the body to lose its balance. Jin Ji Du Li can readjust this inter-relationship of the organs and how they function with each other. Zhong Li Ba Ren stated that many people can’t stand on one foot with their eyes closed for even 5 seconds, but later on as they practice it daily, are able to stand for more than 2 minutes.
So let’s try this again, preferably alongside a wall for support. Try a minute per leg, inclusive of the wobbles and falls. In time you’d find an improvement and ability to maintain balance for longer periods. With eyes closed, our internal organs strive to achieve optimum functionality/balance and the positive outcome becomes evident in better sleep, sharper memory and a spring in your step. So set aside these 2 minutes a day, to regain a body and mind that should be in sync with your natural age.