Besides just following AN 3.16, with alternating 4 postures as needed (instead of sitting all the time), you can really speed up the process of opening blocked energy channels with good exercises.
This is a big topic, so I’m not going to drop too much information and overwhelm you, but I have done meditation, yoga, taiji, qigong, for decades, and I have a lot of experience of what works and doesn’t work. If I’m recommending an excercise, among the millions of options out there, there’s a very good reason for it.
I would advise those of you practicing brahmacariya, celibacy, in the pure EBT sense (no sex, no masturbation, not even one microsecond of lustful thought), don’t casually browse around on youtube randomly looking at exercise videos on the related videos sidebar. Your best bet is find a youtube video downloader, download the specifically curated videos I’ve recommended. Turn off wireless on your computer/phone most of the time, only turn on wireless when you go at safesites like suttacentral, do only what’s necessary, then turn wireless off, and turn your computer/phone off. Delete your facebook account, keep your phone in airplane mode as much as you can, get the slowest internet connection speed you can get away with. The faster your internet connection, the more you’ll be tempted to consume rich media. The slower and more sluggish your internet, the sooner you want to turn off your computer out of frustration.
This yoga video is really sublime. The guy is doing something that I thought I invented. Yoga tends to only hit orthogonal angles. You can open up your world by adding little twists turns to every yoga pose, and every subsection of several yoga sequence and pose, improvising and hitting angles of body tissue that the standard basic never addresses.
Before and after every sitting meditation, I exercise at least 5 minutes (some combo of yoga, taiji, qigong). In the sun salutation, the one part that I especially spend a lot of extra time on is the upward facing dog portion. In the video, the yogi turns left to right slowly, from the crocodile part before upward facing dog (backbend). I do that too, but I’m more flexible so my range of movement is way more turned than his is. I’m saying this not to brag, but to point out that you can really open the your hatha yoga practice by adding improvised twists and turns and undulations, circles and spirals into the framework. If you do 5 minutes before and after every sit, eventually you’re going to be really flexible.
opening eight extraordinary meridians
This is an excellent way of doing step 3 of 16 APS (anapana). My suggestion to improve this taoist exercise would be don’t force your breath to coordinate exactly with the sequence in the video. Never forget the prime directive of taiji, and passadhi-bojjhanga (pacification awakening factor) - relax (body and mind), every moment all the way, all the time. The main purpose of the sequence is to stop vitakka and vicara (thinking and evaluation), to develop sensitivity to the movement of 4 dhatu experientially, combined with 16 APS, all in a completely relaxed way. Once you’re well versed in that exercise, you can try coordinating inhales and exhales as they suggest, but it’s not important to do that. What melts blocked energy channels is relaxation and noble silence. The exact sequencing of inhale exhale is more of an aesthetic.
neck exercises, especially the turtle (around 6min mark)
When I was young, I had a desk job and got carpal tunnel syndrome. My hands were cold all the time, my wrists hurt, I went to the doctor. This was western medicine’s best strategy: They gave my a wrist brace to wear, and they had a name for the cold hands “renauad syndrome.” What a joke. They named the problem and gave me a extra pad for the mouse pad and a cast to keep my wrist immobile. If my problem was worse they’d probably prescribe painkillers. This was when I started to look seriously into yoga and qigong with earnest. When you’re in pain, you’re motivated.
The neck turns and neck circles are kind of obvious things to do, but the turtle qigong is really sublime, this is the exercise that I swore by, of all the qigong and yoga I ever learned. I didn’t just do it 9 reps in one set, once a day. I did it every hour. I did it every half an hour. And I fixed “renauds syndrome” without drugs, without wearing a stupid cast, by doing the opposite of what western “medicine” prescribed. Instead of immobilize my wrist, I made sure I moved it as much as possible, as well as my neck, my shoulders, my spine, every vertebrae in the spine. When I first try to do the neck exercise, I felt like a mannequin, my spine felt like it was just a single iron bar that could bend slightly. After a few months, my spine felt like two warm iron segments, after a year, 3 segments. After 10 years, I can feel every single vertebrae independently. It took over 10 years to get my hands really warm and comfortable. A big part of the problem was my mostly vegan diet. A meat eater, would probably fix the problem in less than a year doing the qigong I did to fix carpal tunnel and renauds sydrome.
bagua whirlwind palm
I came across this video, I never did this exercise before, but I know its good. Not just good, spectacular. It’s similar to some other exercises I do, but this one is like a superset, it combines stretching, circling, and spiraling motions.