In still meditation, the physical body should be very still, relaxed, and calm. This opens the Chi channels and allows the Yi to lead the Chi strongly and without any stagnation. This stillness of the physical body is Yin. However, in order to build up the Chi and to circulate it strongly, the Yi must be strong and the Chi circulation must be alive and active. Therefore, the activity of the Yi and Chi is classified as Yang.
a. The Stillness of the Body includes: i. Light and Cold (Yin), and ii. Heavy and Warm (Yang).
During still meditation you will experience a different feeling. Normally, when you inhale, your physical body feels light and cold, and when you exhale, you feel heavy and warm. Naturally, all of these symptoms are closely related to the Chi Kung strategy, your breathing.
b. The Activity of the Yi and Chi includes: i. the Yi is calm and peaceful, and the spirit is condensed. The Chi is circulating in the Conception Vessel and the six Yin channels, and it is condensing into the marrow and brain (Yin), and ii. the Yi is excited and aggressive, and the spirit is raised. The Chi is circulating in the Governing Vessel and the six Yang channels, and it is expanding to the skin (Yang).
B. Moving Meditation includes: a. Mind (Yin), and b.
In moving meditation, although the physical movements stimulate the body, the mind should remain calm so that it can lead the Chi smoothly and calmly. Therefore, the motion of the physical body is Yang and the calm mind is Yin.
a. Mind: i. Chi Condensing for Defense or Jing Storage (Yin), and ii. Chi Expanding for Attack (Yang).
When your mind is on defending or on storing Jing for an attack, it will lead the Chi inward, the body will feel cold, and the Chi of the body will condense into the marrow. This mind is therefore classified as Yin. This condensing process is usually coordinated with inhalation in the reverse abdominal breathing, and this inhalation is also classified as Yin.
However, when your mind is on an attack, it will lead Chi to the surface of the skin and to the limbs to energize the muscles to a higher level of efficiency. When this happens, the body feels warm and the energy of the body feels like it is expanding. Therefore, it is classified as Yang. Normally, this offensive process is coordinated with exhalation in the reverse abdominal breathing, which is also classified as Yang.
b. Motion: i. Withdrawal and Defense (Yin), and ii. Expansion and Offense (Yang).
In the movement of Tai Chi Chuan, the withdrawing and defensive movements are Yin, while the expanding and offense movements are Yang. When you reach the level where the Yi, Chi, and movements are united, you have touched the essence of Tai Chi Chuan.
Naturally, the Yin defensive movements of Tai Chi can again be divided into Yin and Yang. For example, a completely defensive withdrawal movement is a Yin defense, whereas, if the withdrawal is used to set up an offense, it is considered a Yang defense. This is because the Yi stays Yang, even though the movement is Yin.
Similarly, in the Yang expanding, offensive movements, if the offensive movement is purely for striking, then it is Yang. However, if the offensive movement is used to set up for a retreat, the Yi is Yin, so the offensive movement is strategically Yin.
Breathing is considered the strategy in Chinese Chi Kung. How you coordinate your breathing allows you to regulate your body and lead your Chi efficiently. There are two ways of breathing which are commonly used in Tai Chi. The first way is called "normal abdominal breathing" or "Buddhist breathing," while the other way is called "reverse abdominal breathing" or "Taoist breathing." In normal abdominal breathing, when you inhale the abdomen (or Dan Tien) expands, and when you exhale the abdomen withdraws. However, in reverse abdominal breathing the abdomen (or Dan Tien) withdraws when you inhale, and expands when you exhale. It is usually easier to keep your body relaxed and feeling comfortable with normal abdominal breathing, so that is the method commonly used by those who practice Tai Chi only for health.
As for reverse abdominal breathing, many Tai Chi practitioners today falsely believe that the reverse breathing technique is against the way of the Tao. This is not true. It is simply used for different purposes. Try this simple experiment. Place one hand on your abdomen, and hold the other in front of you as if you were pushing something. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, imagine that you are pushing a heavy object. You will easily see that, when you try to push as strongly as possible, you automatically use reverse breathing. This is the method which is commonly used in weightlifting
Tai Chi Breathing (Strategy for Chi)
(Yin) Normal Breathing Relaxation
(Yang) Reverse Breathing Martial Arts
Figure 2-3. The Yin and Yang of Breathing competition. The competitors often wear a thick belt to support their abdomens and increase their power.
The rationale for reverse breathing is quite simple. You can lead a much stronger flow of Chi to the limbs and manifest more power if you also, simultaneously, direct another flow of Chi to your Dan Tien. This is in accordance with the basic law of physics which states that for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction. If you are still not convinced, try another experiment. Blow up a balloon, and hold a hand on your abdomen to see how it moves.
You can see from these experiments that reverse breathing is in accord with the Tao. It should be used whenever you need to lead Chi to the limbs to efficiently manifest power, as when you are fighting. Because it expands the Chi and energizes the body it is considered Yang in comparison to normal breathing.
A. Normal Breathing includes: a. Inhalation (Yin), and b.
In normal breathing, inhalation is classified as Yin because the Chi is led from the limbs to the Dan Tien, and exhalation is Yang because the Chi is led to the limbs.
B. Reverse Breathing includes: a. Inhalation (Yin), and b.
Similarly, in reverse breathing, inhalation is classified as Yin because the Chi is led from the limbs to the Dan Tien and from the skin to the bone marrow. Naturally, the exhalation is Yang because the Chi is led to the limbs from the Dan Tien and to the skin from the bone marrow.
3. Tai Chi Jing includes: A. Nei Jing (Yin), and B. Wai Jing
(Yang); also A. Defensive (Yin), and B. Offensive (Yang).
There are two ways to classify the Yin and Yang of Tai Chi's Jing (power). The first way is according to how the Jing was generated, and the second way is according to the purpose of the Jing.
First, Tai Chi Jing can be classified as Nei Jing (Internal Jing), which is Yin; and Wai Jing (External Jing), which is Yang. Nei Jing training is the critical key which enables the Wai Jing to manifest its maximum power. Nei Jing includes how to build up the Chi to a higher level and how to lead Chi from the Dan Tien to the limbs to energize the muscles. The mind is extremely important in Nei Jing training, and the methods are critical. The master usually does not reveal Nei Jing training to the student until he can be trusted.
Wai Jing concerns the physical movements of the Jing, which include the movement from the root of the stance, how to use the waist to direct the Jing from the legs to the limbs, and how to manifest and use the power. To use the analogy of a machine, Wai Jing is involved with how strongly the machine is built, while Nei Dan is concerned with the amount of energy which is put into the machine. Remember: THE POWER AND EFFICIENCY OF THE MACHINE IS DETERMINED BY THE ENERGY SUPPLY.
Next, if we classify Jing according to its purpose, then the defensive Jing (Shoou Jing) is Yin while the offensive Jing (Fa Jing) is Yang. Typical examples of defensive Jing are Listening Jing, Yielding Jing, Leading Jing, and Neutralizing Jing. Typical examples of offensive Jing are Pushing Jing, Striking Jing, Wardoff Jing, etc.
Jing can also be classified according to how it Jing is manifested. For example, Jing which relies more on muscles than Chi is classified as Hard Jing (Yang), while Jing which reduces the use of muscle to a very low level is classified as Soft Jing (Yin). Naturally, like all other cases of Yin and Yang classification, these can be further sub-classified.
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