The blog of Paul Cavel, Founder of The Tai Chi Space London
Category Archives: Beginners
New to Tao meditation and energy arts? The following blogs will help you understand my three streams of teaching, including articles on theory, how-to training tips, guided audio practices and video demonstrations. Or, just click on the tabs above to read my pages on energy arts, I Ching arts and meditation.
In my previous post on creating space in your body, I offered progessive energy exercises to help you open your musculo-skeletal frame in a coordinated fashion to gain maximum benefit from ongoing training. If you’re not there yet, just keep working in this direction and don’t worry about achieving the ideal in any given timeframe.
As you practice, however, you want to transition from focusing more on your nerves and less on the muscles. For students who have begun training to open the entire musculo-skeletal frame simultaneously, you want to back off from stretching as described in my previous post.
My colleague Dan Kleiman recently launched a new podcast series, Qigong Radio, to cover a wide variety of qi gong and internal martial arts related topics.
Dan invited me to join him to discuss the fundamental levels of early qi energy (nei gong) training, and how it specifically provides the foundation for and links with long-term development in body and mind.
How to Activate + Develop
Your Soft Tissues, Fluids + Qi Energy
Although internal energy arts practice and the process of embodying ever-deeper layers of nei gong is a lifetime pursuit for the most dedicated practitioners, at each increment of advancement, the associated health benefits increase significantly. Many students will sacrifice content for form, but it is the internals that supercharge qi gong, tai chi and bagua forms—that which makes all the power-generating and health benefits possible.
Many events in life close people down in some way or another, especially because, in this age of technology, time pressures and repetitive micro-tasks have become the norm. They can leave your body and mind feeling condensed, hard and tense at the end of a day. Learning how to make space in your physical body is an excellent tool for reversing the cycle of compounding tension, so you can relax, empty your mind and become present to the here and now.
Paul Cavel in Wu Style Tai Chi’s Single Whip Posture
Over the last two decades or so in the tai chi game, I’ve noticed that many practitioners have unrealistic expectations about what they can achieve in short timeframes. Many times, students seek to learn a form and gain a high level of skill within a period of a few months, which of course is impossible unless you’re a rare genius in mind-body-chi. The irony is that those who let go of these expectations are usually the students who advance more quickly and, more importantly, experience the deeper health and healing benefits for which tai chi is renowned.