Unfolding the Eight Energies of
Tai Chi & Bagua

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bagua-yin-yangAlthough many books on tai chi assign the eight internal energies of peng, ji, lu, an, lieh, tsai, kao and jou to the eight trigrams, they are not manifestations of the trigrams themselves, otherwise bagua—the art form of the I Ching—would employ that methodology. In bagua’s palm changes, all eight internal energies are used in each palm and yet each palm develops the energy of a single trigram.

Likewise, in tai chi, you stream through the eight internal energies as you practise your
form and yet your focus remains on developing the energy of a single trigram. When
practising a form or any section that is highly familiar to you, your focus is placed on the trigram of your choice, the energy behind the symbol. You then attempt to make the jump
and contact that particular primordial energy.

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The Eight-fold Patterns
of Tai Chi & Bagua

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Paul Cavel Teaches Tai Chi Classes in North London

Paul Cavel Teaches Tai Chi + Bagua Classes in Islington, London

The very fabric of Tao arts is weaved from nei gong threads that intertwine to create the internal structures and external forms of qi gong, tai chi and bagua. The exact same nei gong threads can be weaved in very different ways to generate radically different arts and training results.

However, the nei gong system itself is split into two categories, which yields eight yang and eight yin methods. That is to say each nei gong component naturally develops either the yang or yin qi of the body and, as a whole, every thread contributes to an intimate and delicately balanced lattice.

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Opening or Letting Go:
How Do You Know?

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Pulsing Techniques to Open the Body

Pulsing Techniques to Open the Body

Throughout the years, I’ve been asked this question in various forms, and I’ve come to realise that many students who ask it have often reached quite a profound level of practice. Of course, as with any Tao arts training, the answer lies in developing your skill with ever-more refined nei gong techniques, self-reflection and ongoing meditation practice.

To Control or Not to Control,
That Is the Question

The short answer to the question is that opening entails exerting some level of control while letting go does not. To consider the quality of difference yet deeper, we can look to the nei gong from which opening and letting go derive and how each are applied in practice.

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Follow Your Heart:
Healing from Cardiovascular Disease with Qi Gong Exercise

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energy-exercise-therapyCardiovascular diseases (CVDs) include hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary heart disease (heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure.

Heart Disease: Why Your Cardio Health Matters

The World Health Organization reports that “An estimated 17 million people die of CVDs, particularly heart attacks and strokes, every year”. Along with smoking, poor diet and lack of activity are among the top three primary causes.

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Circularity: The Heart + Soul
of Tao Meditation + Energy Arts

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Circularity in Tai Chi Circling Hands

Circularity in Tai Chi Circling Hands

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.

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