Saturday, February 19, 2011

Eckhart Tolle on Taiji, Qigong, and Yoga

“Spiritual practices that involve the physical body, such as t’ai chi, qigong, and yoga, are also increasingly being embraced in the Western world. These practices do not create a separation between body and spirit and are helpful in weakening the pain-body. They will play an important role in the global awakening.” Quoted from 'A New Earth' by Eckhart Tolle p 158 – 9

I love this quote from A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle but at the same time, I think more needs to be said on the phrase 'These practices do not create a separation between body and spirit....'

Not only do they not create a separation, they can actually repair separation that has already taken place, and work together to create great inner enlightenment as well as outer strength.

The word 'yoga' means union; it is understood that this means union with the Supreme Spirit. Just as there are many types of yoga, there are many styles of qigong (sometimes referred to as Daoist Yoga), and taiji. They all work toward the same end: to unify your body, mind, and spirit, enabling you to experience a harmony and wholeness that has been disregarded, or worse, outright scoffed at, in Western culture.

In these practices, your body becomes a component of the meditation process, not just a focus point as when you sit quietly and place your attention on your breath or some other physical attribute. Certainly, seated or other styles of meditation are great practices, and I've done many, but body meditation practices like taiji, qigong and yoga which combine Attention and Intention with Breathing Techniques enhance your unity with Spirit, and allow growth in a new and exciting way, ever supporting and strengthening your practice toward unified wholeness of body-mind-spirit.

This gives you the clarity and power to manifest the love-filled and joy-filled and freedom-filled life you desire and deserve!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Resonant Frequency Breathing Promotes Wellness

This is a short (demo) version of a breathing exercise used in our research studies to train the participants to breathe at near resonant frequency (6 bpm) with both visual and audio aids.... You may try this technique when you feel nervous, stressed or anxious, or just want to relax. This program is based on the findings from studies of heart rate variability (HRV) biofeedback, and the longer version (15 to 20 min) has been used in clinical studies of treatment of hypertension, panic, asthma, major depression, fibromyalgia, and anxiety disorders....

- Dr Kevin Chen

Monday, February 7, 2011

Qigong: mindful movement made in China

Here is a reprint from Yahoo! News. Whether it's called Chinese Yoga or, as it sometimes is, Daoist Yoga, qigong is a great, self-healing practice!

Qigong: mindful movement made in China

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) – If yoga is all the rage, can Qigong be far behind?

Sometimes called Chinese yoga, Qigong is a mind-body practice that melds slow graceful movements, mental focus and deep abdominal breathing to boost and balance a person's vital energy, or "qi".

As China's star rises in the west, devotees believe this 5,000-year-old energy cultivation system is poised to become the new kid on the block among rat racers hungry for a more serene form of fitness.

"As China becomes more of a player in the world, Chinese practice is becoming more mainstream," said Matthew Cohen, creator of the Tai Chi & Qi Gong Basics DVD, "just as yoga became popular when the Beatles went to India."

Cohen, an instructor at Sacred Energy Arts in Santa Monica, California, said unlike in India, yoga in the west has come to favor the athletic at the expense of the meditative.

"The world is getting more crowded, cars and computers getting faster," he said. "Qigong is about going slower, so internally you create space."

Tom Rogers, president of the Qigong Institute, a nonprofit educational organization, said Qigong is the precursor to all Chinese energy practices.

"Tai Chi is the most well known moving form of Qigong. Kung Fu is also a form of Qigong," Rogers said from his home in Los Altos, California

Rogers added that the idea of energy cultivation is foreign to westerners but common to other cultures.

"Look at e=mc2," Rogers said of Einstein's insight that matter and energy are different forms of the same thing.

"In the west we look at mass," he said. "Western physics made weapons. The east looks at energy."

The slow, spiral exercises of Qigong, such as Rolling the Ball or Wave Hands in the Cloud, require no equipment, can be done anywhere, and are easy to learn.

"I call it getting an MBA: Movement, Breathing and Awareness," Rogers said. "One is adjusting your posture so energy flow is better; two is slow, deep, abdominal breathing; three is awareness, or trying to get thoughts out of your head."

Balance, posture, breath control and relaxation are among the benefits of Qigong, according to Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist with the American Council on Exercise.

She said some research trials have also reported statistically significant decreases in the incidence of stroke, decreased blood pressure, and increases in bone mineral density and improved effectiveness of cancer therapy among practitioners.

"Exercise is not just about going on the treadmill or lifting weights," Matthews explained.

Rogers said as you become more adept, the benefits increase.

"Like an onion you peel the layers back and there's more and more to it: movements are more fluid, posture is better, energy is flowing, breathing is more efficient with movement," he said. "As your awareness deepens you're distracted by less and less."

He added that every chronic illness on the planet is affected by stress.

"Connect with that healer within. Turn that on," Rogers added.