The John Ding Yeung San Chi Kung is a set of eight postures that are based upon the Zhan Zhuang system. The Chinese words ‘Yeung San’ literally translated have themeaning ‘cultivation of life’. Thus aptly, the name Yeung San Chi Kung represents a system whose essence is to harvest and develop the vital energy of life, Chi.
Its method, similar to other types of Zhan Zhuang, involves standing in still postures that exhibit no obvious external movement. However whilst standing in stillness may appear simple, the truth is that the Yeung San Chi Kung is deeply involving both physically and mentally.
As you begin to use these postures their stillness will gradually permeate throughout, settling the mind and body so that you can become centred and focussed. The breathing should also be slowed and deepened. As each breath is taken, it is projected from the diaphragm and abdomen, and not from the chest. This effectively eliminates the use of the accessory breathing muscles within the chest, so that breathing is unforced, natural and relaxed. Indeed in using Yeung San Chi Kung the whole of your body should endeavour to be relaxed and free from tension.
Once this is achieved, chi will flow freely in an unblocked fashion, and begin the cultivation process. The mind too should be relaxed and cleared, as we use the intention of the mind or ‘Yi’ to gather and focus the Chi at a point two inches below the navel, the Tan Tien – the body’s central energy point.
The art not only cultivates Chi for health, it also utilises Chi for self defence – this is what makes traditional Tai Chi Chuan an internal martial art. Self defence requires firm dedication and persistent correct practice with the help of an able instructor. Men and women can achieve equal proficiency, as expertise is not dependent on size, physical strength or speed. At a high level, Traditional Tai Chi Chuan allows Chi to be used in self-defence applications to simultaneously achieve the apparent paradox of effortlessness and tremendous power. The subtlety of such expertise cannot be adequately described … only felt
Tai Chi is both sudden and subtle in it’s effects. Everyone can benefit from the first lesson. For some people it will be as simple as going home after a class and getting the best night’s sleep they’ve had in a long time, for others it is recovery from serious illness. Its deepest effects may not be realized for many years however.
I am constantly amazed at the insights that come with regular practice of Tai Chi. The greater appreciation of the flow of life, understanding of energy and how to go with the flow rather than trying to battle against it has saved me so much wasted time and energy.
Tai Chi has sustained me through so many difficult and trying times, it has enabled me to deal calmly with difficult people and situations and it has helped me to develop discipline and integrity in my character.
Tai Chi trains the body, mind and spirit to work in harmony and when all these elements are aligned, the power is incredible. I wouldn’t say I’m there yet, in Tai Chi you never reach the destination, there is always something else to learn, but my focus is much improved, I feel I have gained wisdom about what is most important to me in my life and how to draw that to myself.
It is perhaps the least written about because it is so difficult to put into words. I know how I have changed myself and see also how my students change as they come to lessons.
Many have reported that they are less concerned about things that used to annoy or worry them. They stop attracting uncomfortable situations to themselves, they no longer become angry when someone tries to push their buttons, they feel more compassion and comradeship with the people around them.
I see their faces change, becoming softer and laughing more as well as their bodies becoming healthier and more flexible. Many change their job or start out on a new road, they discover what is really important to them in their lives and feel confident enough to strike out and get it.
15-Minute Tai Chi serves a purpose. It was specially designed to provide readers with the opportunity to gain a balanced introduction to the art’s theoretical and practical aspects, and begin a journey that would allow the benefits of Tai Chi to spill over into everyday life.
Even with a small amount of practice Tai Chi Chuan will invigorate you from within, and provide you with a powerful antidote to stress. It will make you will feel more relaxed, refreshed and revitalised and will make you become more tolerant, self confident and above all happier in life.
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