Iquan Form

probably thought, "well, I didn't do that form too badly" a maximum of ten times, that's once a year!)

It might help to look at some of these elements and find ways i n which we can improve them. Let's start with posture and framing. In a recent seminar Darryl Moy stated that posture was the root of energy. A straight spine and balanced head means that Qi ca n rise and ma ke the body feel light and mobile. Obviously a slouched attitude makes one feel heavy and depressed. In fact Tse Sifu often lists posture as the first priority, followed by detail and then " the flow". In other words get the big picture fi rst, throw the rig ht shapes and then start to fiil in the gaps. For beginners one of the most common postural faults is dropping the head or "shoe-gazing". Remind yourself not to look at the ground too much during a routine, or even better, get someone else to watch and remind you, you're probably not even aware you're doing it. Some students tend to lean a little also - slightly forward when turning the body in silk reeling or backward a little when raising the arms up and down at the start of a form.

Framing is simply an offshoot of posture. Ideally, in every shape you throw in a routine, a circle can be drawn around your body, with your extremities at the edge of the circle and your Dantian at the centre. This is obviously hard to check without a video camera, a magic markerand more time than is healthy for you. There are things we can check for ourselves though. For instance, the alignment of elbows with knees. Check foryourself, using the 19-stepform as a template. There are somanyoccasionswhereashapecan be improved by aligning the elbow, sometimes both of them, with the knee(s). This helps the further alignments of hip and shoulder and hand and foot.

Silk reeling lends itself to posture and framing improvement also. Check the tilt of the head, straightness of spine (some students lean slightly when turning the body and extending a limb), alignment of elbow and knee etc as well

Wushu Form

as smoothness of movement. Check also for smoothness of the shoulder joint and keeping the hips level when you move from side to side or step. Keeping both hips sunken and loose with a slighthollowing of the inguinal crease wiil prevent a hip getting locked closed and the knees caving in (another common oversight). Qi can flow so much more smoothly around the body when all the joints, especially the hips and shoulders and areas such as the waist, pelvic region and neck are open and uncramped.

Separation ofyin and yang could also be described as body dynamics. Each movement wiil have a fairly dominant hand and foot. For example in "step back and whirl arms", there's an obvious relationship between the same side hand and foot. The pushing back from the foot pushes the same side hand forward. In "wild horse parts mane", the relationship seems to be from one foot to the opposite hand. In the little double stamp just before "jade lady weaving", the energy travels very quickly from left foot/left hand to right foot/right hand and i nstantly back to t he r oot i n t hie left foot. An exploration/mindfulness of these dynamics wiil improve your

Darryl Moy

form or at the very least make it more interesting for you, the pe rform er.

This exchange of energy from ground to limb via the waist can also be seen or experienced in terms of Peng Jing, ground energy. Peng Jing is a further extension of body structureanddynamics.To use the m ovement of "step back and whirl arms" as an example, when we step back and push we can feel the heaviness of the push in the active foot just before the weight settles into the rear foot. This heaviness is an indication of Peng. Try standing in a high horse stance and getting a training partner to push gently but firmly on one hip in a straight, horizontal line. Feel the opposite foot being pushed into the floor. Don't push back against the pressure. Don't allow your stance to get distorted. Don't shift the weig ht. Just alow the foot to be pushed into the floor. When your partner suddenly releases the pressure, there shouldn't be too much of a rebound. Experiment with pushes on the shoulder, then pushing and pulling on an extended a rm. You wi il find that the more joints are involved in the journey from the push to the ground, the harder it is to mai ntai n a co nn ected a nd i Sftft.

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Fajing could fe defined.d as the abiiity to bring Peng Jing Pack up from the ground."

grounded posture. There are many postures to play with in this way. Eventually perhaps you'll be able to drink a cup of tea standing on one leg whilst being pushed, just like Chen Sigong! Try doing the first silk reeling exercise with a person pushing on each hip. Your solidity should feel fairly constant to both of them. This is Peng Jing, the ability to use the planet as a training partner! Go through your form feeling the Peng energy as it shifts from foot to foot or from foot to hand etc. But don't get obsessive. Though Peng Jing is an essential element of Taijiquan it shouldn't be practised to the exclusion of all else, as it can make your form stodgy and d ul l.

Fajing could be defined as the ability to bring Peng Jing biack up from the ground to be applied instantaneously at wiil. Stand in a bow stance in front of a tree, ideally one with a trunk a bout 85-10 inches across. Any wider and you won't be able to see any movement, any narrower and you'rea bully! Three quarters extend the arms, touching the trunk with your palms and suddenly let your front leg go heavy so the foot pushes into the ground. At the same time your palms should push into the tree. Don't pull the hands back first, contact should be retained at all times. Don't tense the shoulder muscles. It's as if you're dropping the weight of the body through the hands. Eventual lyyou'l be able to shakethetree slightly. This is a safe way to build up a combination of Peng Jing and Fajing. Much Fajing also involves rapid movement of the waist too, the famous Chen "shaking power". Movements such as "cloud hands" or "step back and whi rl a rms" in th e Xin jia or the punch in the 19 step lend themselves to Fajing practice. But you must be careful. Serious internal tears can happen if your body is not sufficiently prepared. When in doubt about any aspect of practice, always ask yourSifu.

I hope some of the above is useful to you and makes your training more interesting. (How could Taijiquan training ever be uninteresting?) We have to a lways balancethe need to see signs of progress with the knowledge that Taijiquan is a long haul. Remember also, as in life, that it's not how good you get but whether you're wiiling toacknowledge and address problems and limitations. Do your best - no one can ask for morelH

by Julian Wilde

The sum total of Qigong styles practised in the world today number literally ig the thousands. Pill, however, have their roots within one of pve schools oo thought - Daoist, Buddhist, CorfuCm, Medical or Martial.

Five Schools Unified

The source of Daoism lies within the Yi jing (Scripture of Change),dating back over 3,000 years. Centuries later, Daoist 'sage' Laozi (b.604 B.C.) authored the influential Dao De Jing which emphasises balance, harmony with nature, and cultivation of stillness (calm heart and mind), and morality, as well as discussing Dantian breathing. Health and longevity is the main goal of Daoist Qigong. The path involves character training and refinement of Qi into [jure spirit. Through meditation ego is dissolved, the mind returns to 'nothing', ultimately merging with the Void, or Dao (becoming one with the universe).

In 6th Century Da Mo (Boddidharma), arrived at Shaolin temple from India. Seeing that the monks were poorly and feeble he sat in contemplation for nine years facing a wall. (Long periods in lotus posture cause great pa in in the legs but eventually the body creates its own anaesthetic to numb the pain, and when the pain is 'forgotten' the body is forgotten then the mind is free and the spirit can soar.) Da Mo then introduced his 'Marrow/ brain washing' and 'Muscle/tendon changing' classics to the monks whose vitality greatly improved and so Buddhist Qigong was born. Buddhist Qigong stresses spiritual development; right intentions, right speech, right livelihood etc. Buddhism promotes simplicity, mindfulness, and freedom from attachment and iilustrates the principle of cause and effect. The ultimate goal is toattain 'Nirvana' (cessation of passion, aggression, and ignorance), achieved through 'emptiness' in meditation.

Confucian Qigong employs simple movement and emphasises meditation in its goal to cultivate morality and ethics, and refine personal temperament and character. Confucius (b.551 B.C.) taught how to behave and fulfil your role in society; taking care of family, respecting seniors and helping the younger, subordinate, or inferior, and basically treating others as you would expect them to treat you in return.

Confucianism stresses Li (social propriety) as the greatest principle of living and Jen (compassion, sincerity, respectfulness, and diligence). Li also refers to the 'middle ground'; maintaining the 'centre' (especially in meditation), taking nothing to extremes (becoming too excited or too upset etc.). The goal of Confucianism is individual happiness, attained through inner peace.

Medical Qigong (or Meridian Therapy) is aimed at healing

Wushu Posture Form

(restoring balance and strengthening the patient's constitution), and is generally found in hospitals and clinics. It involves Qi transmission,from medical doctoror Qigong healer to pa tient, to help relieve symptoms and improve the patient's condition by raising his Qi (and spirit) and helping Qi flow. It also involves teaching the patient specific exercisesfor his condition, so that he may continue to maintain himself and prevent illness from returning. (Qigong therapy can also work in conjunction with Western medicine; it helps repairthe body's cells damaged bydrugs, radiation treatment, and chemotherapy Qigong heals minor complaints from allergies, headache, backache, insomnia, and constipation to chronic conditions such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, neurasthenia, neurosis, hypertension, hypotension, arthritis, asthma, ulcers, heart disease, and even cancer. It is effective in treatment of pain (used as an anaesthetic before surgery), disorders of the digestive, respiratory, nervous and immune systems, and ca rdiovasculara nd neuromuscular problems.

Martial (Qigong (or Hard (Qigong, Iron Shirt etc.) employs special breathing techniques, dynamic movement, firm stances, striking the body, and special equipment, to enhance physical strength and spirit. The aim of Martial Qigong lies in developing Qi of the bones, muscles and skin and directing it to protect the i nternal body from attack (by bare-hands and weapons) or accidental injury and to repair the body. The seemingly superhuman feats accompanying this method are simply the result of hardship and endurance. The majority of Chinese martial arts, having originated from Shaolin temple, featured this type of internal training as an enhancement of, and complement to, combat skiils. There is a saying, "Training in martial arts without internal Qi wiil lead to nothing". This truth becomes evident in old age.

All five schools originated from one 'breathing skiil', created to prevent stagnation of bodily fluids, prevent iilness, and cultivate Qi. As the various benefits, or 'potentials', became known and recorded, training methods became more specialised, hence the diversification a nd need to categorise the separate styles. However, the boundaries are not so distinct i.e. there are Daoist and Buddhist styles of Martial Qigong, morality stressed in Confucianism is also important within other schools, and all attempt to balance yin and yang, and improve the human condition etc. Ultimately, they all returnto one-simply 'Qigong'. Each school is one path to the top of the same mountain, and the route taken is immaterial as long as it is followed to the summit by siclam Wallace, adamd^qimagazine.com

The gffgIoom is a woompor socialisifgafd relaxing and patching tehvisim. It is a place por se^g Wffds who come to pisit, lffmfg tea ad cakes and the time pii ehlm. Some glopllSfl So sudy in ahe Sivf groom, read ahe flwsyaplr or books ahee. Others ply computes and other games ahee. Some pepl use sSi piving room as a Sophy room, disylpyifg phi models, clgtifcatls or other hobbies or colllcaofs sSoiwi.

The living room is very important as peoplewiil spend a lot of time there. It is one of the most used places in a home and becomes very important for a person's life. It is a place people can escape from stress and their hectic schedules and somehow hide themselves and forget about the problems in the world.The living roomis a place in which you can go back to yourself

This issue we wiil learn some living room Feng Shui and how it can help us and what is a good living room?

1. A living room near the entrance door means you have an easy life, no matterhowhard you work, you wiil have a break, a holiday and your job wiil be not so diif cult.

2. If you come into the house and you need to walk through a corridor or walk through other rooms to get to the living room, then your life wiil be more difficult. Everything you wiil do you need to work hard to get your position and meet your goals.

3. If your living room is small, it means you are not too happy with your situation. You want to do something but you cannot get it now.

4. If your living room is too big, when you walk in you fnd it too ope and empty and that means you wiil be lonely and not happy. You wiil think too much and eventually be iil. If a big house has enough people to live there, it is okay. But if not, it is not good in the same way as having a small house having too many people living in it. It wiil cause problems.

5. If your living room has no windows, it wiil cause too much thinking and is not good for the health. Your luck wiil not be good.

6. If your living room has windows in which you can see a good viewoutside with nice scenery, you wiil have luck and have a happy life.

7. If you look out your window and you can see far away and the view is peaceful and nice, then it means you wiil travel outside or in the future you wiil move away somewhere far

8. If you have windows in which you can see a lot of sky, then it means you wiil travel a lot.

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