Alex writes about the Qigong approach to Spring energy.
As I write this we have just been through three storms here in the UK namely, Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. However, you can’t have failed to notice a few signs that Spring is approaching. Perhaps you have spotted a few brave daffodils that have popped out or noted the birds busy collecting twigs or even just that the mornings are getting lighter and that dusk is starting to get later each day.
In Tai Chi / Qigong and other traditional practices we assign an “energy” to each of the seasons, Spring is associated, not surprisingly with growth and that ties in with what we see around us; new buds on trees and plants starting to pop out from their Winter slumber in the comparatively safe and snug earth.
But what else is the Spring associated with in Tai Chi / Qigong? The table below summarises this;
|YIN ORGAN||GALL BLADDER|
Just as the energy is forcing new growth in plants, our own human internal energy starts to force us to venture outside and move more, perhaps to tidy up and do some preparation in the Garden or “Spring Clean” the house. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also advises us that we eat foods to support the Liver during this time, as if the Liver Qi becomes stagnant or congested then it can manifest as negative traits like arrogance, control issues and anger. Foods such as leafy greens, sprouts and cereal grasses are particularly advised.
Warm Up for Spring
Whatever form or set you are doing in your own current practice, if you have no injuries or medical condition that would hinder you then why not try this as a warm up or stand alone exercise each day for the March and see if you notice any changes.
First stand in the classic posture, imagine my voice nagging you about your ankles rolling in etc. Knees slightly relaxed, back straight, head up and looking straight ahead. Arms and hands relaxed but engaged and to side of body, palms facing rearwards.
Take a couple of light, deep breaths. As you breathe in through the nose, raise slightly by straightening the knees a little but not locking them. Then as you breath out, soften the knees but don’t go down too far.
When you feel ready on the next in breath allow the hands to move forwards and upwards being led by the back of the hands, very much like “Raise / Open the Energy Gates” from Shibashi set 1. However, this time allow them to continue with the breath as high as the breath allows. When you stop breathing in allow the hands to move outwards to each side as if you were clearing a space all around you – it will be natural for you to have the palms facing outward as you do this. Do this for a few more minutes then move on to whichever session or form you fancy.
Let me know how it goes!