Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Mind Body Release Relax

[Path to Mastery 4/6/10 – Wk30 D2 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

Hope you had a great Easter Weekend!  I know I did!  

Starting today we will be covering the Tai-Chi principles governing Relaxation.  First one up is
‘Mind Body Release Relax’.

This is a great principle.  This one basically says that unless the mind is relaxed, the body cannot relax, and unless the body relaxes, the mind cannot relax.  It shows that the mind and the body is the same.  You cannot separate them.  

There is a reason the word ‘Release’ is mentioned first.  Tension is like having your hand clenched into a fist.  Now imagine your shoulders are a clenched fist and you are letting them go.  You will feel them relaxing and dropping.  Muscles that are tense are like fists that are clenched.  For them to relax, you have to let them go.  In order for you to notice that they are clenched, fist you need to notice them.  You cannot let go of that which you are not aware.  

If you let go, then relaxation automatically comes.  Relaxation is a state.  Letting go is the act.  

Here is an even more powerful exercise for when you are stressed.  Imagine that you let go of the grip that your forehead has on your brain.  As your forehead lets go of the front part of the brain, feel how your forehead opens up and how your brain relaxes.  Feel how your whole body starts to relax as your brain relaxes.  Go to any part of your brain that feel tense and release that part of the brain.  Feel the relaxation in the body.  

This is what you do in No Tai-Chi before the form begins.  This is what you do through your day so you keep your mind relaxed.  You will notice that when you are rushing and you feel tense, that your brain will be buzzing.  Exhale, take a deep breath and slow down.  Release and relax your brain, and feel your mind calm.  

The mind and the body is a feedback loop.  It may take a little time before your body and mind completely relaxes.  After you release your brain, you may notice parts of your body feeling tense.  Relax and exhale through those parts of the body.  Slow your exhale.  As you feel those parts of the body relaxing, you will feel your brain further relaxing and your mind further calming.  As your mind slows, you will feel the body relaxing deeper.  

These are the signs that you are relaxed.  You will feel your jaws relax, and your mouth will salivate.  This is one of the reasons why in Tai-Chi you place your tongue gently on the roof of your mouth.  It will create saliva to flow in your mouth and relax your body.  Your shoulders will relax, and your face will be smiling.  Incidentally, this is also that same physical state of happiness.  Additionally, your hands and feet will get warmer.  According to my friends in the medical field this means that the tonus on the parasympathetic nervous system has increased and your body is in healing mode and your tonus on the sympathetic nervous system has decreased so that you are not in your excited state of feeling like you are in a fight or flight mode.  You are no longer running from your adrenalin addicted state as we discussed last Thursday.  

Moral of the story?  Being relaxed is being happy!

History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:
Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Chi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Chi-Gong); 2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Mediation; 4. 7 Basics; 5. Basic Form; 6. 30 Form; 7. 108 Form
8. 4 Type Pushing Hands

Interactive training after we went public with the blog.  
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11); 2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19); 4. Weapons (Covered on 2/23)
5. Healing System (Covered on 2/24)

Non-Structured System:
1.Introduction (Covered 2/25); 2. Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26); 3.Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1); 4.Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2); 5.Free hand weapon (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/3)

Detailed Instructions:
1.Principles (Covered 3/4)
2.Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3.Principles of Upper Body #1~5 (Covered 3/8 – 3/15)
4.Principles Governing Lower Body #1~5 (Covered 3/16 – 3/22)
5. Principle Governing the Whole Body: (Covered 3/23)
6. Principles Governing Movement #1~5 (Covered 3/24 – 3/31)
7. Principles Governing Relaxation – General Concept (Covered 4/1)
   1) Mind Body Release Relax (Covered 4/6)
   2) Use Mind Not Use Strength
   3) Internal External Mutually Integrate
   4) Dropping the Weight (Weight Underneath)
   5) Extension
   6) Chi Sink Dan-Tien


  1. Relaxation is being happy? Yes! The body and the mind are like the opposite sides of the Yin/Yang. They are different but inseparably linked. Working on one means working on both.

  2. Tai Chi is the perfect exercise to train you in the relationship between the mind and body. You must align them to do Tai Chi.