Bear is connected with the Earth Element and this is related to the emotions of worry and anxiety. To balance worry, we need to relax and ground ourselves. The bear is solid and rooted into the earth, which is connected to the spleen. You will see every Bear movement gets deep and different compressions & expansions, and twists around the spleen to really squeeze out dirty Qi and bring in fresh, vibrant Qi and circulation.
Bear Level IV – 刚臂熊 Gang Bi Xiong—Bear Strongly Shakes Off Its Paws
Horse stance (Ma Bu) is done with the feet wider than shoulder-width. You can turn out the feet so the knees are facing the same direction as the feet to protect weak knees.
Body: Step out into horse stance while bringing the fists up directly above the elbows and facing forward.
Keep the shoulders in alignment with the elbows so that they are bent at a right angle.
Push with your right leg off the ground and bend to your left side, bringing your right fist over your head.
Focus on stretching your right side and feel the compression on the left. This is expanding the liver area and compressing the spleen.
Make sure to keep the right foot pointed to the ground. Put the foot down and repeat on the other side.
For breath and spirit instructions see the book Five Animal Qigong
Anatomical and Physiological Benefits: Fascia/Anatomy
Bear IV’s sharp movements create elasticity in the fascia, and stability while at the same time being on one leg. It is the lateral line that gets an elastic, dynamic stretch with side to side balance and gives a dynamic elastic side stretch. The pulling up of the knee will also help open the hips and psoas a bit.
© Copyright Anatomy Trains, Thomas Meyers
This Bear contains lateral dynamic mobility while balancing sideways on the inner and outer leg quadrant of standing leg.
Chinese Medicine Relationship:
Lateral, direct, intense, and fast paced squeeze on the liver and spleen.
Meridians/Acupuncture Points Targeted:
Holding the fists holds the Qi in the hands until you release it at the end, sending a surge of Qi to the fingertips, which contain acupuncture points from the major meridians in the arms.
Try doing at least 3-9 repetitions on each side of the body.
You can also see it live in the Five Animal Qigong Online Course