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No previous qigong background or background in qigong meditation required.
This course is suitable for both complete beginners, as well as advanced practitioners
already familiar with other coursework in the qigong or qigong meditation lines.
Individual attention during practice periods will facilitate all skill levels.
No Iron Shirt 1, Qigong Meditation Basics, or Tai Chi is assumed in this course.
The purpose of this course is to explore techniques for improving one's physical health and emotional health.
The tools used for this in this class will be the Primordial Qigong form and the Tao Yin Qigong health exercises.
Primordial Qigong is a short qigong form that opens your heart center and accelerates spiritual development.
Tao Yin Qigong is a set of floor exercises designed to keep the body in a youthful state.
ABOUT PRIMORDIAL QIGONG
Primordial Qigong is attributed historically to Zhang Sanfeng, a legendary figure of the 14th century who has been attributed to being the originator of Tai Chi and many other disciplines. However, unlike Tai Chi which was originally designed for martial arts, this form was created for its spiritual power. It was kept private over the generations and was only revealed recently in the modern era.
Practically speaking, Primordial Qigong is a fun 10-minute qigong form. However, this form is more than just fun. Without being too dramatic, I dare say that this is one of the most important qigong forms you will ever learn. It is extremely powerful and it is one of the few forms that I myself practice almost every day. Yes, it is just that good!
For starters, Primordial Qigong opens up your heart center more effectively than any other qigong form I've encountered. Consequently this form can be viewed as a physical qigong version of the Inner Smile. If it were "only" that, it would already be outstanding, but that is just the beginning to the power behind this form.
Also called Wuji Gong, Primordial Qigong has relaxed, flowing, and spiraling movements. Through a sequence of counter-clockwise turns, you turn into a deeper dimension of yourself and into the Primordial . . . the Wuji, the supreme mystery. The movements themselves gather energy from the cardinal directions and bring that into your being, like a vortex. The movements are so powerful that they help accelerate your spiritual evolution. You don't need to sit and meditate to expand your consciousness to higher levels; you just need to do this form, and the form does all the work for you, effortlessly.
Primordial Qigong has a continuous sequence of counterclockwise movements that generate an overall clockwise pattern, which reflects the evolution in time of your own spiritual development. This pattern of counterclockwise turning that is embedded inside of a larger clockwise pattern creates a spiritual friction that amplifies the power of the form.
There are a lot of esoteric ingredients built into the form (some of which are discussed in the class), but you don't need to know them on a mental level for them to work. All you need to do is to do the movements--to do the form--and your heart and spirit open up deeper as a result.
In total, Primordial Qigong is a true gem.
ABOUT TAO YIN QIGONG
Tao Yin Qigong is a set of floor exercises in the Chinese qigong tradition. These exercises incorporate stretching, flowing movements, breathwork, Chinese five-element theory, healing sounds, and focused intention. They form a foundation for much of qigong. Our focus will be to learn several Tao Yin routines that the student can take back home when the class ends.
Tao Yin--or perhaps more appropriately spelled "Dao Yiin"--literally means "the way of intention-directing". Through focus and full-body awareness, intentioned energy is directed throughout the body and often to a particular area being stretched. The purpose of these exercises is to become more embodied (i.e. body-conscious), as well as maintain flexibility and youthfulness. It is often said that a young tree bends and sways in the wind, while a rigid old tree breaks.
Like the five elements themselves, Tao Yin has five separate--but equally important--aspects:
1. Full Body Breathing
Here we learn to surrender to the earth, to the force of gravity. We allow our breathing to become slow, relaxed, and deep. Through conscious and effortless breathing, we allow our breath and its associated energy to permeate various different areas of the body. With focused intention, this breathing process will allow many patterns of tension to dissolve. As we move area-by-area, we feel more relaxation and space inside. We feel our consciousness shift more from the head to a relaxed full-body awareness. Soon, we discover that our whole body is breathing and we feel a sense of calm in our new embodied state.
2. Strengthening the Psoas
One of the most important aspects of the Tao Yin work is in strengthening the psoas muscle. This is a muscle that exists in the lower back and extends down the back of the legs. The psoas muscle is often called the "seat of the soul" as it surrounds the kidney area. This area houses the "Door of Life" which--according to Chinese medicine--is where our vitality comes from. Unfortunately, due to stresses in life and poor living habits, the psoas muscle is usually tight and compressed. When the psoas muscle is tight and compressed, it inhibits our vitality from flowing into our body, and this causes chronic fatigue; it shortens our lifeforce. One of the main focuses of Tao Yin is to strengthen, expand, and relax the psoas muscle. Rather than address the psoas muscle indirectly via other means, here in Tao Yin we address this issue head-on and put it at the forefront of importance. Not only is strengthening and expanding the psoas muscle important in its own right, but it has immediate benefits in many other qigong disciplines, e.g. in Iron Shirt 1, pain/discomfort that occurs in standing meditation is often caused by having a weak and tight psoas muscle.
3. Strengthening the Spine
Also in the back is the spine. The spine is our energetic highway throughout the body. In western medicine we know that the spine houses the spinal cord, which contains nerves and spinal fluid; these provide communication throughout the body. However, the spine also helps distribute qi (lifeforce energy) through the body. One of the most important ways to have a healthy body is to have a healthy spine. So in Tao Yin, we work with this directly, to help release patterns of tension and tightness around the spine. We will learn to develop more sensitive awareness of our spine and learn to distinguish the individual vertebrae from the spine as a whole. Through this work, much rigidity is released which allows us to have a more vibrant body.
4. Strengthening the Tendons
Surrounding and stabilizing the spine are many ligaments and tendons. Thus, to expand upon the spine work, we address the tendon system. Tendons, when springy and elastic, contribute to our youthfulness. They allow our body to be more flexible. The adage mentioned before about a young tree swaying in the wind is an apt description. So in this aspect of Tao Yin we focus on flowing floor exercises that strengthen the tendon system. This work also serves as complementary material or preparatory material to the tendon qigong of Iron Shirt 2.
5. Lotus Meditation
To round out our five aspects of Tao Yin, we have the Lotus Meditation. The Lotus Meditation is a heart-centered meditation that has two components: one, it is a means to balance out the heat in our body (especially the common heat imbalance between the heart and kidney system), and two, it also opens the loving compassionate qualities of the heart.
These loving qualities of unconditional acceptance spread throughout the body and then permeate out into the world. Thus the Lotus Meditation forms a natural pairing with the Inner Smile meditation (also introduced/reviewed in the course).
Both qigong sets learned in this workshop will lay the foundation for additional courses in qigong and qigong meditation.
For those that are brand-new to qigong, this course provides an excellent starting point to diving into core courses such as "Tai Chi Qigong 1 + Qigong Meditation Basics 1". At the same time, those of all skill levels will find the material an extremely useful support mechanism for overall health and spiritual development.
In total, I look forward to sharing "Primordial Qigong + Tao Yin Qigong" with you.
If anyone has any questions in advance of the class,
Steven may be contacted at his email address: steven [at] spiritualtao [dot] com.
At the end of this course, students will receive an attendance certificate which will identify hours completed in Master Chia's system, which may be used toward the certification requirements in his system.
Do you want to be an Associate Instructor or an Instructor? If so, click on Certificate Program for more information.
Last Revised 1/16/2019
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