Last Saturday, I attended an all-day Qigong workshop with Lee Holden. I really enjoyed myself, there were about 40+ people there and we were at different levels in our practice. I learned some new things and the workshop also confirmed what I am already doing. Once again reminding me truth is truth.
One concept that stood out to me was how the formless (energy) affects the form (our body). I have known this for quite some time, and the way he explained it really resonated with me. Below is my interpretation of what he drew on the white board explaining how this works:
When we think of ourselves, our energy is the formless and it informs [or affects] our body — the form. In nature, the formless is the wind and the form is the trees. Are we connected to nature? YES!!! The trees use the sunlight and carbon dioxide to produce energy and release oxygen. We breathe in the oxygen and the trees breathe out carbon dioxide. [yin-yang]
How does the formless [my energy] affect the form [my body]? Well, look at this way… my breath is a reflection of my emotions. When I am sad, my breath has more inhale then exhale — not wanting to let go. When I am angry my breath has lots of exhale no inhale — you’re right they’re wrong. When I take conscious slow-deep breaths from my lower dantien [belly breath], I can begin to transform my emotion. [AWEmazing right?]
Continual emotional stress creates physical problems.
Stress is simply the perception of what is going on around you, and we all perceive stress differently. The simple act of slowing your breath transforms the stress. In time, you can change the shape of your body. The next time you are in traffic, I invite you to take some slow deep breaths and consciously breathe and see if you begin to relieve tension. You have no control over the traffic, you only have control of you, your breath, which will allow your body to soften and not be so tight and full of stress. When we are tight and contracted not only does it effect our body, but it effects our emotions and our metabolism.
I love this visual diagram, I added the yin-yang symbol because it represents to me, how life is truly Tai Chi. If you attend my classes, you continually hear me say, find your center, relax and breathe. When practicing the form, I know without a doubt, my form is an insight to what my energetic body is at any given moment. The body is so telling and is a true extension of our energy.
We can always change our breath, not our circumstances.
We can change our mind, but not others’ mind.
[We can inspire and encourage others, but not change their mind]
Let’s practice responding more to life … rather than reacting.
[When we react we usually reinforce a habit. Responding to life gives us a chance to slow down, breathe and change our perspective.]