Stretch the Body, Stretch the Mind

From TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine)’s point of view, meridians and Qi and Blood circulation are complementary. Healthy meridians lead Qi and Blood to be smooth, and the internal organs will become healthy. Good Qi and Blood circulation promote meridian functionalities.

Stretching is a method of independent health management besides meditation.

With proper stretching, people can dredge meridians and strengthen the circulation of Qi and Blood, thereby improving various acute and chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, gynecological disease, heart disease, prostate disease, bone misalignment, and pain due to contraction of the muscles.

Taoism has a saying: “For every inch of tendon extension, the life can be extended for ten years”, Longevity usually has soft tendons and bones.

If you often feel pain in the waist and neck, numbness in the hands and feet, and minor physical problems, from the perspective of Chinese medicine, this is probably due to contraction of the muscles and tendon. Facts have proved that after long-term adherence to stretching exercises, the pains are reduced or even disappeared and the body gets flexible.

There are many things in life that require tender wisdom from a gentle body and a gentle heart. There are a lot of words, a lot of anger, a lot of suffering, a lot of desires, many emotions in life which require tenderness and gentleness, to bring people balanced energy.

Soft and gentleness are a kind of mind, a kind of comprehension, a kind of life, and a kind of wisdom of rules. The beginning of yoga practice in meditation and stretch requires gentle wisdom. If the human heart is not gentle, then the body exercise will be rigid and hard. In yoga, the mind is to connect and command the breath and the body.

Human life is about energy. This energy’s open switch is at the heart, a gentle open heart. Understand the wisdom of a gentle heart, it is easy:

  • To walk around in life, be able to bow down, work diligently, and show quality speechlessly;
  • To appreciate the beauty, texture, and connotation of yoga practice;
  • To accompany human health and mental growth from the beginning to the end;
  • To help human regain strength and increase self-confidence and they will take better care of their health, physically and mentally;
  • To make them master of regulating emotions, and the master of their own life.      

Maintain a warm and gentle heart, focus the soft mind on the breath, the human breath will guide the Qi and Blood flow through their body. Through Yoga meditation, deep, slow, and soft breath, and stretching practices, humans will gain a soft body, soft breath, and a softer heart.

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The Hollow Spine

Since humans began to walk upright, their bodily functions started to change, their vision started to change, and their relationship with the world also started to change. The human spine had evolved from being parallel to the ground to being perpendicular to the ground, marking a new milestone in the history of human civilization.

It took a long time for the human spine to evolve into an upright state. If it can only take some people a few decades of a lifetime to degenerate their spine back into a curved state that cannot naturally extend upward, it strongly announces the degeneration of their personal life, their healthy disappearance, and sicknesses.

On the contrary, a person with an upright flexible spine, regardless of age, is bound to sufficient Yang Qi, fast hands and feet, a flexible mind, and unlimited vitality.

Let’s observe the spine from the energy perspective. The spine is strong, firm, upright, and is a representative of Yang energy. According to the Yin and Yang theory, since there is Yin in Yang, is there Yin in the spine? The masculine spine, born hollow, is a passage and container for nerves, Qi meridians, and spinal cords. They are as hollow as the long bones of the human limbs that bear the weight and strength. The center of the masculine bone is hollow to accommodate the bone marrow with hematopoietic function. Blood, nerves, serving as the human body’s Yin-water energy system, nourish and regulate all the balance and development of the body, and develop the growth of the Yang energy out from the middle of the human abdomen area.

Empty space, be able to hold everything, is filled with the mysterious code of life.

From YiJing’s perspective, the spine connects to the deep sea of the north of the human body at its bottom and connects to the very south of the human brain at the top. As human life lies on the life water energy and the life fire energy, life quality is reflected in the spine’s health status.

For an elder, with his spine flexible in turning sideways, flexible in bending sideways, flexible in bending forwards and backwards, he could be like a newborn baby, be able to hold his feet to bite his toes at any time, and he must be a benevolent person, a kind person, and a longevity too.

The human bones are connected by ligaments and other tissues from the sacrum, coccyx, lumbar, thoracic, and cervical vertebrae. The health of the spine is largely determined by the flexibility of these tissues. Newborn babies are soft and moisturized, and elders have lost a big part of their water at the end of their lives and their bodies are no longer flexible. The process of keeping the body healthy is actually the process of keeping the body flexible.

The connection between the spines is like the connecting shaft between the animal and the cart in ancient times. This is the original intent and purpose of ancient Yoga. If Yoga is regarded as an exercise to train the bone and muscle systems, it is not what Yoga originally meant to be.

Traditional Chinese medicine has an old saying, “下医身体,中医气血,上医心” – ordinary doctors treat the body, medium doctors treat Qi and Blood, and first level doctors treat the heart. While in our daily life, we are the first-level doctor of ourselves who can treat our own body, treat our own Qi and Blood, and treat our own heart, unaffected by time, space, status, power, and wealth, equipped with knowledge and wisdom. And we are our only doctors who can determine to what level we can treat our health. Taking good care of our spine’s health is a secret shortcut in maintaining our body’s physical health.

After Yang Qi rises at the bottom of the spine, in the deep of the north sea of the human body, from the abdomen area and the reproductive systems, it will first reach the low back waist. Low back waist pain is an invisible attacker that has a wide and long-term impact on human health. There are different reasons for low back waist pain. An intuitive conclusion from the perspective of Chinese medicine is that the circulation of Qi and Blood around the lumbar spine has been obstructed for a long time, some Yin Qi stuck at the waist, and the meridians are not smooth.

For people in chronic waist pains, when meditation practice brings up their Qi and Blood energy, the energy will naturally climb up through the meridians along the back spine and it first reaches the waist area. When it is trying to break through the blocked Qi and Blood in the waist area, there will be some waist pain coming out first. This is a very good sign. Sensitive people can feel it and should conduct it positively through continuous meditation and back spine stretch.

Blocked Qi and Blood cause chronic pains, and to kill these chronic pains, it has to take some pains.

The waist, kidney, and the belly button where the human life connects with its mother’s before birth, are at the same area on the body, which is related to the vitality and creativity of life. The solar energy in the water of human life represents the natural vitality and creativity of human beings. Taking care of our waist, kidneys and reproductive system is related to personal health and human development. Taking care of our waist, kidneys and reproductive system is the foundation of taking good care of our water of life and fire of life energies.

The Yang Qi climbing up along the back spine, after passing the lumbar, above the belly button, it arrives at the bottom of the thoracic where the stomach, spleen, and liver are. This is the area where body Qi connects directly to the external energy supplies that come from nature to supplement the human body’s needs at the material level. Maintaining a good digestive system means having good materialized connections between the human body and nature.

Then the Yang Qi energy continues to rise and begins to touch the perceptual side of the world. At this stage, love from the heart becomes an unconditional link between self and the world. Through perceptual contact with the world, humans begin to experience the diversity and complexity of the world with their hearts, through love, or on the contrary, hatred.

As there is love, there must be hatred. The relationship between love and hatred is like Yin gives birth to Yang, and Yang will produce Yin. Neither of them can exist without the other’s existence.

In a world full of love, mankind is full of joy, gratitude, happiness, and meaningful true self-love. The heartbeat is consistent and resonates with the frequency of the world, and the positive energy of love emits a warm light brightening the world. It fires more love.

And at the same stage in this perceptual world, negative energy as the inseparable opposite of love also begins to emerge. With the appearance of hatred, humans have a series of complex feelings, such as sadness, anger, jealousy, betrayal, fear, loneliness, etc.

How does Mother Earth deal with her energy at heart? Mother Earth loves her children unconditionally.

Humans eat her, use her, dig her deep to obtain coal, extract her body oil, use her essence stores and natural gas Qi, destroy her soil, pollute her water resources, harvest from her but excrete to her, dump the garbage to her, consume, pollute and destroy her air… maybe also think of “leaving” her by collecting energies and resources from her which in fact is destroying her…

She accepts everything humans do to her with a broad heart. She provides her air for human’s breath; she provides her skin soil to grow food and green forests; she provides her water, oil, and blood for human to drink and live… She washes pollution with clean water, digests garbage with soil, filters and reproduces air with plants… She gives her core energy to support human society’s development; she gives her resourse for human’s dream of immigrating to other planets. After endlessly giving and accumulating too much negative damages in her body, will Mother Earth get sick too?

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Meditation Postures and Energy

Yoga meditation is an effective way to awaken the vitality of the fire energy of life deep under the body’s north sea. According to legend, there are about 84,000 different Yoga postures. Enlightened and became a Buddha under the Bodhi tree, Shakyamuni maintained in only one posture, meditation. Meditation is also a basic Taoist practice. The perfect pose, the diamond pose, and the lotus pose are the most practical meditation postures.

The Sanskrit of the perfect pose is siddhadasana. Siddha means “mastery” and “expert” and also refers to demigods. In their culture, Siddha possesses supreme purity and sacredness. And Siddha also possesses supernatural powers, the magical power of Yoga. Siddha also refers to respected saints, prophets, and sages.

This perfect asana is one of the most relaxing meditation postures in Yoga. It requires the opening pubic area and places the Qi and Blood of the lower limbs in a semi-locked state. The locked Qi and Blood are concentrated in the abdomen so that the Qi and Blood circulation in the abdomen and waist is strengthened, and the reproductive system and digestive system are nourished.

 The diamond pose, also called the knee sitting pose, means Vajrasana in Sanskrit. Vajra stands for diamond or thunder and lightning. The diamond pose almost locks all the Qi and Blood of the lower limbs and puts pressure on the thighs, knees, calves, ankles, and insteps. With almost half of the body’s nerve, Qi and Blood locked and centered in the abdominal area, this posture can do a lot benefits to the human body:

  1. Stimulates the stomach meridian, liver meridian, lung meridian in the lower limbs, so that it strengthens the spleen, promotes food digestion, nourishes the stomach, and smoothes the liver Qi.
  2. Nourishes the waist, treats waist pains, and strengthens the control of the spine.
  3. Relieves knee pain, prevents knee arthritis, and increases the elasticity and flexibility of knees and ankles.
  4. Opens up the meridians of the lower limbs, and opens the microcirculation of the feet, and expels the Yin stasis in the lower limbs and feet.
  5. Locks the Qi and Blood deep in the abdomen, nourishes the reproductive system deeply, and mobilizes the body’s Yang Qi energy.
  6. Drives away the devil in the heart and calms the mind.

People with knee and ankle problems are not recommended to practice the diamond pose. They can try the easier perfect pose.

The lotus pose, also called the Padmasana, is more than the combination of perfect pose and diamond pose. It not only locks the whole lower limbs’ nerves, Blood, and Qi, opens the pubic area, but also twists the lower limbs muscles, tendons and ligaments. It greatly slows down the blood flow in the legs, and a large amount of blood will be supplied to all the organs of the abdomen and chest. The nerves in the lumbar spine, sacrum, and hip bone are the first to benefit so that the central nerve is nourished and the entire nervous system is rejuvenated. It enables people to sit for a long time but staying still and alert. It relieves muscle tension and lower blood pressure. It can improve the flexibility of the legs, ankles, and hips, make the legs and the hips soft, and the entire lower limbs Qi and Blood flow very smoothly.

 Not all the poses are practical to all people. Start with the simplest posture and the ones that suit the body is the best strategy.

 A simple meditation posture can improve the body’s Qi and Blood, smooth the meridians, refresh the brain, and nourish body Yang energy. Just like the “Yi Jing” states: there are great principles in simplicity.

According to the philosophy of Yoga, there are 72,000 meridians (Sanskrit nadi, meaning meridians, and channels) in the body, and the Qi of life (Sanskrit Prana) circulates in these meridians. The meditation postures help clear these meridians and make them unobstructed.

Some scholars have verified that the term pyramid originated from ancient Greek, meaning “the fire of the center.” There is a saying in ancient Greeks that a geometric pyramid can gather cosmic energy and is an energy harvester. Modern science uses different terms to describe it: energy resonator and amplifier.     

More secrets of the pyramid are to be revealed. But, when we meditate, with the whole body shaped like a Pyramid, we set our body as a static energy collector that stimulates the source of life and gathers cosmic energy. We “block” mouth and ears, “close” eyes and nose, focus all attention on the slow breath, adjust the energy frequency of the body to be similar or consistent with the frequency of the universe.

Centered on the belly button, our innate opening to the universe, are the internal organs, the abdominal area, and the waist, harvesting energy stimulated and collected through meditation.

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