The sixth nei gong component of 16 that comprises the science of qi energy development underlying all Tao meditation and energy arts in the Water method is applied to bend and stretch the body in specific ways: namely, bending and stretching the body from the inside out and the outside in along the direction of the yin and yang acupuncture meridians. This class of techniques provides the methodology for working with the body’s soft tissues, including the muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments. Loosening and releasing bound tension and restricted areas in the soft tissues though bend and stretch are absolute prerequisites for more advanced twisting, and eventually spiralling nei gong techniques, as well as introductory qi techniques.
Mind and Body Exercises: Lesson 3 of 4
In my last two posts on creating and using space in your body (review Lesson 1 or Lesson 2), I took you through two individual and distinct processes for increasing your body’s capacity, and releasing stress and tension. Once you’ve practised each thread separately and regularly for some time and with good result, then you can integrate the two streams into one exercise to upgrade potential health benefits.
Mind and Body Exercises: Lesson 2 of 4
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.
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.
In my 2011 Five Element Qi Gong retreat in Crete, I discussed ways to restore balance in and revitalise the body. One method for fretting out imbalances and getting real about your practice is training with a partner, which accomplishes three important goals: