Raise Hands is a subtle yet very powerful exercise in Chi Gung. It is well worth practicing on a daily basis. After 40 + years it is still my best friend, my most profound teacher, and has kept me balanced during times when I thought I might not walk again after a devastating car wreck.  Simple and profound is its healing prowess.

There lives a legend of the exercise of raise hands. When Ben Lo was a young man suffering from tuberculosis he went to visit Professor Chang for help as he heard that the practice of T’ai Chi Ch’uan could cure a person of tuberculosis. When granted an audience he asked Professor to please teach him T’ai Chi. Ben said that Professor did one round of raise hands and told him to go away and practice what he just showed him for one year then he might consider taking him as a student. Ben graciously asked Professor if he could see the exercise one more time. Professor sighed as if annoyed yet showed him the exercise one more time. “Now, go away!”

Professor gave Ben Lo a test in his commitment to study T’ai Chi and to Professor’s surprised Ben showed up a year later after having practiced the exercise diligently. He was cured of tuberculosis as well. Professor agreed to teach him T’ai Chi. They were in Taiwan at the time.

Ben Lo was one of my teachers and he recently died a ripe old age and probably with a smile on his face. He was always smiling, yet he was a fierce and dedicated teacher.

The point of this story is … please don’t over look an exercise that seems too simple to have any value. We do not need to pound ourselves into submission to be strong … quite the opposite, really. When you can practice this exercise and begin to feel your balance or the struggle with your balance you are on the verge of becoming soft, pliable, and strong. Suppleness and relaxation allows all parts of your body to work interdependently in balance and in harmony. Professor knew the efficacy of this exercise.


Slowly practice Wearing the Moon to study your alignment, then move to Raise Hands. Go internally with your awareness and allow your balance to show you where to look and where to let go of holding patterns. Practice before you ride. Practice first thing in the morning. Practice before you go to bed. The benefits to your riding will become obvious with dedication.

I’ll will always enjoy a conversation with you if you would like to contact me.

Enjoy the ride … Sara