Ushiro Ukemi (Sitting).

Very simple, but one of the all time great Ki exercises. If you have time for only one Ki exercise in the morning, do this one.

Double click the black & white picture above to play a video of Ushiro Ukemi, single click to stop. If the mini-video didn't download automatically, you can get it while you're reading. It's only 126 K.
(Get the most recent Quicktime plug-in for best performance.)

How to do it.
Sit down with your legs crossed, your upper body leaning forward about 45 degrees, and your hands lightly touching the ground in front of you.
Roll back.
Roll forward, returning to the starting position. Repeat lots of times.
  • At first, you may want to practice this exercise on a soft surface like a thick rug. Eventually, it'll feel comfortable even hard surfaces.
  • Switch your feet while you're rolling back. So each time you roll forward, you'll end up with a different leg on top.
  • Each time you roll forward, let your eyes softly settle on a point on the ground about 3 feet in front of you. Don't stare at the point, just kind of notice it.
  • When you roll forward, stop smoothly without letting your upper body bounce.
  • You can have a friend test you. Stop after rolling forward. Have her stand facing you and place one hand on each of your shoulders and gently push. Keep One-Point, stay focused on that point on the ground, and you'll be quite stable.
  • Just do this exercise over and over. It has a very natural way of reinforcing your feeling of One-Point and making you feel calm and comfortable.
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