Kan-Lii and Yin-Yang adjustments are critical keys for success in Chi Kung, and so adjusting them is one of the main subjects of both training and research. According to the experience of the last thousand years, a Nei Dan Chi Kung practitioner who wishes to adjust his Kan and Lii efficiently must learn how to regulate his Yi and breathing. There are also several "Chiaw Men" (Tricky Doors) which have usually been kept secret, and only taught when the student had earned the trust of his master. One of the secrets is to touch the tongue to the roof of the mouth. This connects the Yin Conception Vessel to the Yang Governing Vessel. Without this, the Chi could stagnate in the mouth area and make the body too Yang.
Another secret of Nei Dan training is using the Yi and the movement of the Huiyin cavity (Figure 2-4) and the anus. When this is done in coordination with the correct breathing, it can effectively adjust the body's Yin and Yang. It is quite simple. If you use normal breathing, when you inhale and expand your abdomen you also gently expand your Huiyin and anus, and when you exhale and withdraw your abdomen you gently hold your Huiyin and anus up. It is important to know that HOLDING UP DOES NOT MEAN LIFTING UP OR TENSING. TENSING CAUSES CHI STAGNATION.
Practicing Tai Chi Chuan with normal breathing relaxes the body and mind and opens the twelve primary channels. This can effectively maintain your health. With normal breathing, when you inhale the Lower Dan Tien expands, you gently expand the Huiyin and anus, and at the same time use your Yi to lead the Chi to the bottom of your feet and further into the ground. However, when you exhale, the Lower Dan Tien withdraws, you gently hold up your Huiyin and anus, and at the same time use your Yi to lead the Chi upward to the Baihui. This is a calming and cleaning process which is used in almost all Chi Kung practices. Normal breathing and the coordination of the Huiyin and anus is the key to calming down both the physical and mental bodies, and it is one of the most effective ways of changing the body from Yang to Yin.
With reverse abdominal breathing you withdraw the abdomen and hold up the Huiyin and anus when you inhale, and expand the abdomen and gently expand your Huiyin and anus when you exhale. This enables you to energize the body and lead Chi out to the skin on the exhale, and lead Chi into the marrow and internal organs on the inhale. The inhale also leads Chi upward to your brain through the inside of your spine. If you do this right you will feel cold and light, and you may also experience a sense of rising. When you exhale this way you should feel hot, expanding, heavy, and sinking. You can see that inhaling is a way to become more Yin, while exhaling is a way to become more Yang. Inhalation is Kan while exhalation is Lii.
In conclusion, when you practice Tai Chi Chi Kung it is important to remember to keep the tip of your tongue touching the center of the roof of your mouth. This must be done lightly, because if you exert too much pressure the tongue muscles will tense and stagnate the Chi circulation. In addition, you must remember that your Huiyin and anus must move up and down in coordination with your breathing. As always, your Yi remains the main key to successful Yin and Yang adjustment. Normal breathing is more effective in leading the Chi up and down, while reverse breathing is more efficient in leading the Chi inward and outward.
There are many other things in Tai Chi which are classified as Yin and Yang, but it would take too many pages to discuss them.
However, we will briefly discuss some typical examples. Once you understand the idea, you should be able to classify almost everything in Tai Chi into Yin and Yang.
A. The root is Yin and the limbs are Yang. In Tai Chi Jing, the power is generated from the legs, directed by the waist, and manifested by the limbs. The root is the origin of the power and is therefore Yin, and the limbs manifest this power and are therefore Yang.
B. Relaxation is Yin and tenseness is Yang. When you relax, your body and mind are calm and the Chi can be led into the organs and marrow. Relaxation is therefore Yin. When you are tense, the muscles are manifesting their strength and the power is demonstrated on the surface of the body, so tenseness is therefore Yang.
C. The center of the palm is Yin while the edge and fingers are Yang. In the palm, Chi is distributed from the Laogong cavity (Figure 2-5) to the edge and to the fingers. Therefore, the center is Yin while the edge is Yang.
D. When the palms are facing up or forward, energy is emitted and so they are Yang. When they are facing toward your body or downward, the energy is conserved and they are Yin.
E. Attack is Yang and defense is Yin. When you attack, the attacking hand is Yang and the rear leg which supports the attack is Yin. Also, if you grab the opponent's hand and pull, then the pulling hand is Yang while the front leg which is supporting the pull is Yin. Remember, Yin is the root, source, and cause of the power, while Yang is the power itself.
Again, every example of Yin and Yang can be subdivided into another Yin and Yang, and so on. The deeper you are able to dig, the more you will understand Tai Chi. This is the way to understand the essence and the root of the Tai Chi Chuan.
Figure 2-5. The Laogong cavity
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