Circularity is regarded as one of the primary training tenets of Tao energy arts because circular motion is the mechanism by which continuous rather than intermittent motion can be realised, giving birth to a myriad of positive health benefits. The massive gap that lies between understanding the concept of a circle or circularity as a mental construct as opposed to integrating circularity into the body’s motion is one of the main hurdles to overcome. As a result, many practitioners fall prey to visualisations and all sorts of mental gymnastics instead of actually developing and eventually embodying the true nature of circularity. For dedicated practitioners, the solution can be found by tuning into the kinesthetic of any neigong technique, that is to feel what your body does rather than what your mind thinks about it.
From gross to subtle and big to small, transitions link form and content into cotinuous, fluid motion. Most practitioners focus on the broad strokes of the forms they practice and pay little attention to the seemingly less significant transitions that link them together. However, transitions are precisely what carries forward any momentum and qi development, making possible more profound levels of practice and supercharging power and health benefits.
On the other hand, when not executed properly, transitions can sever the momentum you build and thereby diminish and limit training results. Therefore, the wise and dedicated student hones in on the all-important linking components as a means of generating efficiency from move to move and advancing their practice.
Mind and Body Exercises: Lesson 4 of 4
This final lesson in my series four-part series on creating space in the body is all about how you incorporate cyclical, deep breathing to multiply practice and health benefits (review Lesson 1, Lesson 2 or Lesson 3). However, if you haven’t solidified your foundation in the previous practices, you may experience the opposite results in which case you would simply want to revisit and continue developing those techniques before continuing forward.
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.
Deep Breathing Techniques,
Lesson 6 of 6
Now that we have built up to deep, spherical breathing over the last five lessons, it’s now time to apply your skill while in motion (see the first blog in my deep breathing series to study the progression).
Many people who practice Tao movement arts, such qi gong, tai chi or bagua, focus only on what is directly in front of them, up-down or left-right because these directions are in their field of vision. Most people do not turn their consciousness to what is behind them. This is a speciality of Earth Element Qi Gong (Gods Playing in the Clouds in the Energy Arts System) and bagua because each art develops the ability to create spherical movement. Although once you develop spherical awareness, you can apply it any exercise, such as qi gong, tai chi and Taoist yoga.