The Sorcerers’ Crossing
Pass for the Lungs
She held my shoulders and twisted me around so that I was facing north.
“This movement is particularly important for you, Taisha, because your lungs are weakened from excessive weeping,” she said:
“A lifetime of feeling sorry for yourself certainly has taken its toll on your lungs.”
Her statement jolted me to attention.
I watched her bend her knees and ankles and assume a martial art posture called the ‘straight horse,’ because it simulates the sitting position of a rider mounted on a horse, with his legs a shoulders’ width apart and slightly bowed.
The index finger of her left hand was pointed down, while her other fingers were curled at the second joint.
As she began to inhale, she gently but forcefully turned her head to the right as far as she could, and rotated her left arm at the shoulder joint over her head in a full circle all the way to the back, ending up with the heel of her left palm resting on her tailbone.
Simultaneously she brought her right arm around her waist to her back and placed her right fist over the back of her left hand, wedging it against her bent left wrist.
Using her right fist, she pushed up her left arm along her spinal column, her left elbow bent akimbo, and finished her inhalation.
She held her breath for a count of seven, then released the tension on her left arm, lowered it to her tailbone again and rotated it at the shoulder joint straight overhead to the front, ending up with the heel of her left palm resting on her pubis.
Simultaneously she brought her right arm around her waist to the front and placed that fist on the back of her left hand, and pushed the left arm up her abdomen as she finished exhaling.
“Do this movement once with your left arm, and again with your right one,” she said. “That way you will balance your two sides.”
To demonstrate, she repeated the same movements, alternating arms, and this time turning her head to the left.
“Now you try it, Taisha,” she said, stepping aside to give me room to circle my arm backward.
I replicated her movements.
As I swung my left arm back, I felt a painful tension along the underside of my extended arm, running all the way from my finger to my armpit.
“Relax and let the breath’s energy flow through your arm and out of the tip of your index finger,” she said. “Keep it extended and the other fingers curved. That way you’ll release any blockage of energy along the pathways in your arm.”
The pain grew even more acute as I pushed my bent arm upward along my back.
Clara noticed my pinched expression. “Don’t push too hard,” she warned, “or you’ll strain your tendons. And round your shoulders a bit more as you push.”
After performing the movement with my right arm, I felt a burning in my thigh muscles from standing with my knees and ankles bent.
Even though I stood in the same position every day while practicing kung fu, my legs seemed to vibrate as if an electric current were running through them.
Clara suggested I stand up and shake my legs a few times to release the tension.
Clara emphasized that in this sorcery pass, rotating and pushing the arms up in conjunction with breathing moves energy to the organs in the chest and vitalizes them.
It massages deep, underlying centers that rarely are activated.
Turning the head massages the glands in the neck and also opens energy passageways to the back of the head.
She explained that if awakened and nourished by the energy from breathing, these centers could unravel mysteries beyond anything we can imagine.