Spine Rolling Qi Gong

Qi (pronounced "chee") Gong is a Chinese method of self cultivation based on very old Daoist and Chinese folk principles. Qi is a very broad term, and often gets translated into English as 'energy', however I much prefer the term 'atmosphere'. Just as with the word atmosphere, Qi refers to not only the physical happenings in the body, but also the spectrum of sensations that arise and the impressions they leave.
This particular exercise can work on many levels depending on the desire and intention of the practitioner.  In a superficial way (superficial does NOT mean unimportant), it will provide a wonderfully deep stretch for the entirety of the posterior chain and floss the nervous system in quite a novel way.  

On a deeper level one can start to explore the hidden and dormant pathways of the body. To do this one must keep in mind the following elements to take care of:
  • Keep the weight in the precise centre of the foot to the best of your ability at all times.
  • Keep the abdominals and glutes relaxed at all times
  • Do not hold the shoulders and head, just leave them completely relax and let gravity drag them downwards.  Done correctly this will feel something like the spine being 'drawn' from the back in the same way a sword is drawn from its scabbard.

The relaxation of the posterior chain sends the work into a deeper, dormant line of tissue which will respond with a 'protest' of some kind.  This protest is different person to person, but common expressions of it include rapid heating of the body, vibrations and fibrillation of the dormant line, and occasionally the arising of various emotional energies. Typically our body will experience this for a moment and then contract the posterior chain once more to draw the work back into known territory. It is the exploration of this unknown territory that allows the deeper properties of this exercise to emerge.  To dip into the turmoil and instability of these hidden lines requires a certain capacity to digest the experience, so take your time building up to this.  If one rushes into the shadows it will almost certainly finish with disaster.  Proceed gently and with caution, dip into the experience and get a taste and then come out once more.  Over time your capacity to stay in it will increase and you will be able to safely explore deeper aspects but this requires great sensitivity, patience and knowledge of our personal responses, all of which only come with significant practice.

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Craig Mallett



I am a teacher (and student!) of the Daoist tradition known as Ba Men Da Xuan. I also teach a self-created collection of physical practices that were born out of my tinkering with the various methods I have trained in, which I call ‘Hammer’s Anvil’ (Hammer is one of my nicknames.  Mallett…Hammer…get it??! :)). 

Many of the courses found on this page bear the Aware Relaxed Connected or Physical Alchemy logo and website.  ARC was the original name of my solo explorations, and from 2017 - 2018 I was joined with Dave Wardman under the banner Physical Alchemy (a banner which this site shared for a time). ARC no longer exists and Physical Alchemy has returned to being just Dave; I am now back to rolling solo - this time without a particular brand name, just me :)

Contact Me:

email :: craighmallett@gmail.com
facebook :: https://www.facebook.com/CraigMallettDXPA
Instagram :: @craigmallettdxpa

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