MOVEMENT

Tao Yin

Tao Yin is the Chinese equivalent to Yoga – a cultivation of mindfulness in movement, inner power and strength. Tao Yin consists of a series of lying, sitting and moving postures and stretches. These exercises stimulate the Chi flow, strengthen the muscles and tendons and increase flexibility. Combining breathing techniques and meditation you experience directly the flow of the life force in your body.

Tao Yin is characterised by an interchange between movement and stillness. The period of rest between each exercise allows you time to feel how your energy has been affected or to guide chi to the area of the body or energy system you are working on.

Tao Yin emphasises flexibility and strength of the spine, psoas muscle and sacroiliac joint and initiation of movement from the lower abdomen. By learning to breathe and move from the Tan Tien (lower abdomen), body and mind become more efficient and you find you have more energy to spend each day.

 

The gentle movements of Tao Yin serve to unwind the stresses of life from the body and return a sense of natural movement and calmness of mind. I believe this system that could benefit many people in our current culture of inactivity and stress. Our body is designed to move, and a lot of people spend a good deal of time behind a desk or sat driving a car. Our sedentary life style leads to all sorts of physical and mental dis-ease.

 

Benefits of the practice:

  • Increased strength and coordination of the body

  • Move with grace and power

  • Learn to initiate movement and breathing from the lower abdomen

  • A strong spine and psoas muscles

  • Open your body with full body breathing

  • Clear both energetic and emotional blockages from the body

6 Directions Chi Kung

In this Chi Kung form you expand your mind and connect with the 6 directions releasing the build up of day to day pressures. Once connected you draw in the energy of each direction building the energy in your centre. You then learn to light the three internal fires of the body improving digestion and feeding the heart, intestines and kidneys.

 

This Chi Kung form increases your sense of connection, your internal store of energy and grounds you firmly in the centre of your universe.

Iron Shirt Chi Kung

Iron Shirt Chi Kung comes from the martial arts branch of the Universal Healing Tao. It is the physical foundation on which many of the other practices are built.

 

Before you venture into the spirit realms you need a firm base and Iron Shirt gives you that solid foundation. The Universal Tao is an integrated system so learning Iron Shirt also increases your understanding and effectiveness of all the other practices.

The core of the practice consists 6 Iron Shirt Postures and the Packing Breathing Process

  • Embracing the Tree

  • Holding the Golden Urn

  • The Golden Turtle Immersing in Water

  • The Water Buffalo Emerging from Water

  • Iron Bridge

  • The Golden Phoenix Washes Its Feathers

Energy is drawn in from the earth, nature and the universe and is packed into the organs, connective tissue (fascia) and the bones. This increases the chi pressure between the fascial layers and thereby provides a protective layer much like an inflated car tire provides cushioning between the car and the road. Increased chi pressure also detoxifies the organs, connective tissue and bones.

Through the practice of the postures, muscle locks, related exercises and guidance on how the posture feels you start to become aware of your own inner structure. Through connecting the structure together as one unit you are able to channel large forces effortlessly to the ground.

With regular Iron Shirt practice you:

  • Cultivate your centering and rooting power

  • Create a strong structure

  • Align your structure with the forces of heaven and earth

  • Develop internal power

  • Strengthen, protect and detoxify your organs

  • Prepare your body for higher spiritual energies

 

It is now widely understood that the body and mind are intimately connected. By working on your physical structure you are building a strong stable mind capable of dealing with the constant pushes and pulls of life. Emotions are balanced and you feel more calm and grounded.

Tai Chi Chi Kung

Everyone knows Tai Chi is good for your physical and mental health and it is now quite easy to find classes so what makes this style special?

First of all, the Tai Chi Chi Kung form taught by Master Mantak Chia is easy to learn. Yet it contains all of the essential movements and doesn’t require much space to practice it. You can practice the whole form in an average sized room, which is handy when we are in the depths of winter. And because it is simple and fast to learn you can get to work on the things that are going to have an impact in your life, the energy (chi) flow and the structure.

The benefits people experience are numerous but here are a few common ones:

  • Increased flexibility

  • Stronger legs and back, as well as less back pain

  • A growing sense of calmness

  • More energy

  • A general feeling of contentment, peace and happiness

 

As Grand Master Mantak Chia has said, there is little point in knowing many of the thousands of forms of chi kung or of tai chi with 60, 108 or 128 movements if you do not have any ‘Chi’ in them.

 

This 13 movement short form of Tai Chi concentrates on the inner structure (see Mantak Chia’s classic reference book ‘The Inner Structure of Tai Chi’). It consists of working with the 8 forces in the 5 directions (North, East, South, West, and Centre) and its simplicity allows real work on inner power and energy.

 

For a long time the form was only used by the Yang family for their in-house practise as it is very short and simple, and could thus be repeated many hundreds of times in order to build up inner power and structure.

Many who practice it regularly report great benefit from doing as little as 15 minutes a day.

 
 
 
 
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