The Dragon's Head Blog: Exploring Physiology and Taoist Tai Chi® Arts in Costa Rica
Recently in the centre in Heredia, Costa Rica we had the pleasant opportunity to explore the subject of physiology and Taoist Tai Chi® arts through a series of five illustrated talks. This series of sessions has given us a greater insight into the depth of the arts and motivated the participants to practice more, but above all it has helped us become more aware of our own practice. One of the participants commented: «Understanding that the movements allow the integration of the whole body, from the feet to the head, helps me not to do the movements mechanically.”
In the first two talks, we were able to explore human physiology from a more Western view, including the composition of the human body, its systems and functioning. «I did not know that there were so many layers of muscles in the body, from the outermost, the intermediate, to the inner ones. The possibility of generating movement through the whole body in so many levels is wonderful”.
Subsequently, the talks included a more oriental perspective of physiology and health, and highlighted some crossover points between the traditions, exploring the connections between the different components of the body. We learned that everything is connected. One participant commented: «I was very interested in the relationship that the different organs have with each of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, and hence understand why it is so necessary to work on the spine.” We explored the health of the joints and organs resulting from creating space and good circulation, relieving the nerve receptors and reducing pain and stimulating regeneration of discs and knees.
We explored good posture and alignments, anatomy trains, the role and nature of fascia, generating new bone tissue, the meridians and balance, the importance of the lymphatic system. Then we moved on to the role of the cerebral spinal fluid in cleaning the brain and its impact on neurological disorders and some glimpses of the importance of the heart’s brain and electromagnetic field and how we can experience the effects of stillness and openness on our health.
In addition to all the incredible images that provided a visual impact that helped us to understand what was being shared, several instructors had the opportunity to demonstrate different tai chi movements focused on specific aspects of the talks, and share their experience. In this way, one participant was able to «experience very powerful opening sensations in my neck and face only by moving the fascia», or connective tissue, through the movement of his shoulder blades and then explore the role of intention in turning the spine.
An instructor was able to work very profoundly on her damaged hip by doing the first foundation and working on the tor-yus, and continue her process of healing after an accident that resulted in a broken femoral head.
During one of the talks,when the power went off for a few hours, we were all able to explore the feeling of the concepts.
Another aspect we visited during the talks was the importance of keeping our minds calm while practicing Taoist Tai Chi. «Keeping the mind still allows the movements to flow and the connection is maintained throughout the body». We feel the movements instead of analyzing them or directing them from the mind.
«By keeping this meditation in motion, we become more aware of our physical body, and feel more of what is happening within us and beyond» We can feel the connection of the whole body through the fascia, the connective tissue that connects the different systems of the body even at the cellular level.
What a truly remarkable gift from Master Moy to make these beautifully profound arts available to all who wish to learn them.