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FINDING NEUTRAL – QI GONG MOVEMENT TEMPLATE

Qi Gong - Balancing the Mind and Body - Restful Waters

1:00 AM - 2:30 PM

12 May 2024

Location

Restful Waters Wellness Centre, 64 Canns Rd, Bedfordale WA 6112

Join me at Restful Waters Wellness and Consciousness Centre starting May 12, 2024. Learn how to cultivate a Yin body state using contemporary Qi Gong practices. Modelling a safe practice over a 8 week course. Book your place at: Balancing the Body - 8 Week Course

The benefit of practicing over an 8 week period includes the opportunity to embody the feelings associated with a qi gong practice. Normally the practice is slow and intentional and involves a form of mindfullness based on paying attention to how you feel. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to 'get it'.

These classes are slow and have lots of repetition and novelty, key features of learning. There is no force involved other than a natural relaxed body state. all you need to bring is your passion! 

These Qi Gong classes will focus on:

  • The somatic balancing of yin and yang energies.
  • The internal energetics associated with the choreography of Qi Gong
  • Unifying oneself and unifying oneself with the other.
  • For example we will be building nervous resilience and other mental and physical health benefits from practicing the 18 Forms Shibashi Qi Gong set. "Shibashi" means eighteen and Shibashi Qi gong is a wonderful set of 18 Qi gong exercises practiced as a whole for maintaining all round good health and well being. The movements are simple, gentle and flowing, and a joy to practice.

Check out this demonstration of the Shibashi Forms.

HERE ARE SOME MORE EXAMPLES OF THE SHIBASHI 18 FORM TO STUDY

The somatic principles involved in feeling the difference between paired energies absorb and project and condense and expand form the basis of the practice. We will be using the Shibashi 18 form as our principle learning scaffold. It's worth noting that these basics are widely applicable and the ability to generate a yin body state can be used in yoga asana and vinyasa, stillness and movement. In fact there are several styles of Taoist Yoga being practiced.

Everyone can use more nervous system resilience in these demanding times. Learn how to naturally default to a relaxed calm Yin body state.

This practice is about feeling and sensing and the cultivation of whole body health and vitality using fundamental Qi Gong exercises.

Slow movement coupled with the breath is an excellent way to practice mindfully, pausing during movement is an excellent way to develop interoception. Interoception is a key to building resilience, mental or physical resilience. Resilience is the ability to return to balance, either mental or physical.

Qi gong practitioners have a unique opportunity to develop stronger, more stable nervous systems via the mindfulness practices associated with slow intentional movement coupled with the breath and imagination. 

In the same way you do exercise for the corporal body, we can practice innercise (interoception) to cultivate mental physical resilience of the nervous system.

This course starts Sunday February 11 and runs for 6 weeks.

My focus is safe and inclusive practice, please take time to read my Safety Blog.

QI GONG NOTES AND KEY CONCEPTS FOR THE COURSE

BALANCING THE BODY

WHAT IS YOUR REFERENCE POINT FOR MOVING? What is your reference point for being still?

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” Alan Watts

Overview – Foundation teaching Zhong Xin Dao I Liq Chuan

Preparation for practice, finding your centre

Form a circle and bow in

This series is based on interpreting and applying somatics to Qi Gong practice. Week One we ask “What is your reference point for moving?” then we find our centres as a starting point. This is a fundamental body state characterised by calm alert awareness and ease of movement.

Health is the greatest possession. –  Dhammapada

If you are still, how do you initiate movement? If you are moving, how do you come to stillness?

Start with stillness

The Benefits of Qi Gong practice are:

  • Physical vitality and mental acuity, resilience and the window of tolerance
  • Secular access – total health, resilience and deep connection, natural biological response, for everyone, an act of service

Cultivate Proprioception and interoception = a natural process

Physical, external, proprioception

Stability, joint mobility, muscle tone, improved balance and range of control

Cultivate a whole body biotensegrity by activating the fascia, reduce tension at the joints

Cross lateral and contra-lateral movements improve brain hemispheric connections across the corpus callosum.

Joint opening and spinal rotation lubricate and nourishes the connective tissues in our joints.

Mental, innercise, feeling, interoception 

Qi gong for building nervous resilience, a calm mind and body, health and vitality, High Performance Aging

Unification of ourselves (mental/physical) and with others, we keep ourselves mentally and physically healthy and support others to do the same.

Homeostasis, Window of Tolerance, practice leads to self-understanding

Overview of practice

This art is about feeling - Underneath the choreography of Tai Chi Qi Gong movement are a set of internal feelings.

Slow and subtle

Use your imagination to feel, this is a practice about how you feel.

Make adjustments

Stand, focus, interoceptive pause,

Mind and nervous system (sensations and feelings) and corporal body

BOUNCE

  • Stand, focus interoceptive pause
  • Rock - neutral
  • Axial extension and forward fold, proprioceptive wakeup call, whole body as one piece
  • Arm activation, proprioceptive wakeup call
  • ARMLINE ACTIVATION hasta mudra, palm activation, hold the ball
  • Axial extension and forward fold, proprioceptive wakeup call
  • AXIAL EXTENSION the back line, hang the muscles, macro cosmic orbital flow, tan dien and ming men

FOOT TO CORE ACTIVATION

Absorb and Project – vertical alignment and the effect of gravity

Heaven/earth

Context ORGANISE AND ACTIVATE (how much?)

Taoism is based on balancing yin and yang energies. Knowing where your centre is helps us find neutral points, or balancing points while we move or be still. Staying connected to our centres has many benefits including physical, mental and energetic especially if we co-incidentally organise and activate our fascial system.

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” Alan Watts

SLOW AND SUBTLE, PROPRIOCEPTION AND INTEROCEPTION

Healing practice, calm mind and relaxed body maintain coherence=resilience

Safety, limits, connection to centre

stability, strength and ROM

Natural, get out of the way, don't

 Better to stop in time than to fill to the brim.

Grass and trees are pliant and tender when living, but they are dry and brittle when dead. (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

Secular access – total health, resilience and deep connection, natural biological response, for everyone, an act of service

Health is the greatest possession. Dhammapada

Physical vitality and mental acuity, resilience and the window of tolerance

ZHAN ZHANG (John Gwong)– Standing, 4 vertical basics, while I talk. Bare attention

Setting up for mindfulness. Buddha dharma, Stillness, paying attention, focused awareness.

Quiet, stillness, default practice back to homeostasis

Empty everything out; hold fast to your stillness.

Even though all things are stirring together, watch for the movement of return.

The ten thousand things flourish and then each returns to the root from which it came. Returning to the root is stillness. Through stillness each fulfils its destiny. That which has fulfilled its destiny becomes part of the Always-so. To be aware of the Always-so is to awaken. (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

Steps Setting up for standing

  1. Make a gesture, health
  2. Respect to all, attitude, good will
  3. Posture sets up deep memory, context Qi Gong
  4. Scan and calm, foot up the backline, sink down the front and settle on abdominal breath, activate the hands
  5. Focus your bare intention to foster healing, mindfulness,
  6. Breath, and stand
  7. Offer benefits, gesture of good will

I have three treasures that I cherish and hold fast. The first is gentleness, the second is simplicity, the third is daring not to be first among all things under heaven. Because of gentleness I am able to be courageous. Because of simplicity I am able to be generous. Because of daring not to be first I am able to lead. (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

Taoism – yin and yang, binary?

The Tao gives birth to the One. The One gives birth to two. Two gives birth to three. And three gives birth to the ten thousand things.(Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

soft inside body

Yin body state? Fascial activation, biotensegrity

NEUTRAL

“Stay in the centre, and you will be ready to move in any direction.” Alan Watts

ROCKING finding Neutral is an awareness practice, change stance.

RELAXATION IS A PROCESS best posture

Empty everything out; hold fast to your stillness. Even though all things are stirring together, watch for the movement of return. (TO NEUTRAL) (Lao Tzu) The Tao Te Ching Translation by Tolbert McCarroll

BONE MARROW WASHING 3 energy centres 

Heaven and Earth

First exercise of the Ba Dwan Jin, go to Circlework.Training….

Assists with shoulder mobilisation and improves blood circulation flow. On a subtle level it activates our bone marrow and strengthens our immune system.

(The next 5 weeks will be spent on refining our proprioception and interoception including practicing absorb and project, condense and expand, the eight spins and segments of Shibashi.)

  • Focus, attention and interest and breath = motivation and understanding,
  • Finding your centre, 6 directions
  • A/P, C/E
  • A/P in 3 planes
  • The 8 spins, Circle walking
  •  Use pole then partner for A/P
  • Splitting A/P
  • Open and close form, #1 Hold up Sky/Bone Marrow Washing, #3 Stomach/spleen, #6 Kidney,

PHILOSOPHY

  • What is your reference point for movement? What is your reference point for stillness? They are the same default point within the body, your centre.
  • Slow movement, the pause is as important as the pose
  • Yoga/Qi Gong is about feeling and imagination
  • Proprioception and interoception, sensing and feeling, nervous system resilience
  • Organising and activation the fascial lines, internal vs external.
  • Defn of vinyasa---“to place with precision”, tai chi no stillness, Iyengar no vinyasa,
  • Movement (from stillness) = [initiation of movement] + [maintenance of movement] + [completion/cessation of movement], go to definition
  • If you are still, how do you initiate movement? Soften.
  • Absorb to initiate movement.

  • Philosophy of neutral and movement, absorbing at the point of contact, absorbing to initiate movement.
  • Moving meditation, this practice is a bridge between classic formal sitting and our daily life
  • Train in nature, The Yin body state, fascial activation.
  • Axial extension
  • 8 spins review, go to floor and feel protraction/retraction etc on mat
  • Do big circle to engage the shoulders and deep arm lines
  • Add hand reference to circle walking
  •  A/P review, neutral, double weighting vs split
  • Horizontal hip rotation
  • Pole A/P and partner work,
  • Toe stands to single leg

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