When the Indian Buddhist Monk Bodhidharma got to the Shaolin Temple in about 520 A.D he didn’t like what he saw. Monks were tired and sickly and just didn’t feel up to meditating all day. Yes, the Shaolin monks were Zen potatoes. Like today’s workers who sit behind computers, the Monks just weren’t getting enough exercise. As a result their work, searching for the ultimate truth and all that, was suffering.
So old Bodhi decided to shake things up a bit. He got the Monks up and introduced sets of exercises that would become the basis of Shaolin Kung Fu. Try them when you’ve got a few minutes and need a bit of an energy boost.
The Horse Stance
The Horse Stance or Mabu is one of the basic stances in many Asian martial arts. It’s simple, but very effective and can really challenge you if you decided to hold it for any length of time. See how long you can hold it for, and then try to beat that next time you do it.It’s great for strengthening the back, neck and core muscles.
The Handstand Pushup
We used to do them as kids, but as you get older doing a handstand becomes more challenging. Try facing away from a wall and then putting your feet against it and walking them upwards until you feel your arms really working. Do this a couple of times to start and work your way towards doing pushups from the handstand.Excellent for arms and chest.
Walking on Your Hands & Feet
Shaolin Kung fu was developed further by monks. They watched the natural world and included movements of animals into their workouts. Walking on your hands and feet is something we did when we were youngsters. But now we really only do it now when we’re drunk or looking under the couch for our car keys. Great for forearms and chest.