Tuesday, 18 August 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
The Earth; Yoga and Tai Chi
The Earth is balanced by the cycles of the seasons, the sun and moon and the water cycle to name a few. In Our human body there are similar cycles of growth youth old adolescence and old age, the birth death cycle, and female cycles. As we tune into the cycles of the outer workings of the universe then we also start to look inward to the inner motion of energy.
With the beginning of life on earth we take our first breath and we rely on this life force all through our lives. The air and other gases within our universe nourish us and keep us alive. To study any ancient art one must study the breath and the cycles of the breathing in order to gain depth in the art. In Yoga we have pranayama and similarly in Tai Chi there are breathing practices which; focus the mind, channel energy to different parts of the body for healing and the development of spiritual energy and awakening, for healing illness and developing martial power. In Tai Chi there is an explosive energy breath called fajing. In nature we have expressions which also describe the affects of the wind on us or its general nature like the howl of the wind, the still if the night air, a breathless night, the rush of the wind, the scowling wind.
Stillness and peace
In literature and philosophy/religion the earth has historically been associated with peace and stillness. We use phrases like the stillness of the earth, or if a person is stable then he she is an earthy type. Due to the fact that we walk and rely for all our actions on the earth such as locomotion, building homes and buildings and growing food it is little wonder that the earth has such a huge role in our culture. Often ancient sages built sanctuaries in a quiet mountain place far away from the madding crowd in order to commune with the Gods and nature.
Fertility and growth
The earth is a symbol of creativity and fertility since ancient times and the ancient arts over time unlock blockages in our system of energy called nadis in Sanskrit or Chi lines in Chinese. The constant study of these arts will unlock our consciousness to the truth of reality and the flow of our energy within simultaneously. The mother earth has been a symbol of love, protection and compassion since time immemorial and the study of the arts teaches us that love is the highest aspiration for any human. The opening of our consciousness and the dissolution of fears gives rise to compassion and a loving attitude to living.
Water in the body and on the earth is over 70% of our capacity and water is the substance of life and the original womb of the first embryonic cell life which gave rise to our vertebral structured animals and our plant kingdom. Water is used for life giving for growth and for purification and healing. So it is essential to recognize and know the properties of its use. In Tai Chi it is a potent symbol of the way of Easy flowing in life. As they say Flow like a river and be firm like a mountain. Water symbolizes the flow of life.
Practice can be a daily ritual in uniting with the self within and a time out for recovery and healing. Rituals ground us to positive actions and provide a way of healing and clearing negativity. Prayer, mantra, asanas and forms all are useful in clearing and grounding the practitioner.
Feel connected and united
When we feel the asana or form of Tai Chi then we connect to the energy about us in the air, trees flowers and earth. We connect to the energy of earth under our feet and in our hands as we work our energy to a balanced point. To connect to earth gives one the feeling of unity and calm as we feel secure with the female earthly energy of Kwan Yin or the female spirit.