On the weekend of 7/8 February, a medium-sized group of natural health seekers came together to find out what they could do to improve their health and happiness. They wanted to understand in simple terms how best to prevent the onset of annoying pain conditions, injuries and chronic illnesses from arising during the course of their lives.
It was a diverse crowd of mixed ages and backgrounds. For some, what they discovered was the complete opposite of what they may have been lead to believe in this crazy, competitive, more-is-more world that we live in.
Master Yang is off now, travelling Australia and the world in his efforts to spread the word and pass on his in-depth knowledge. And to be clear; a workshop like this barely covers a fraction of his deep, inner wisdom. But if you missed out this time, he will be back here in the Bay the first week in September this year – 5/6. Too much money? Poor health costs lots too but even for the super wealthy, it’s rare to simply “buy your way back”. In this way, it is a great leveller. I know which risk I would rather take.
A Recap – Fundamentals
Our body consists of around three trillion cells – each with its own lifeforce. Think of these cells as being an army. Think of yourself as being The General. In other words, YOU are in charge. Be proactive. Make your cells happy – “make them sing”. Always ask nicely rather than treating your body with aggression. This way, the performance of your “army” will greatly improve.
Let Things Go!
You are unlikely to be healthy if you cannot be happy. Anger and resentment generate heat in the organs and begin the process of ill health by affecting the liver. Some broad examples of heat-related symptomatic ailments are rashes, pimples and acid reflux. After the liver becomes compromised, the kidneys have to work harder and may start to malfunction.
Circulation, Breath & “Tantien”
In the end, everything comes back to healthy blood and circulation. Healthy, oxygenated blood cells burn glucose and energy about 20 times faster than un-oxygenated cells. It is also believed that cancer cells cannot survive in the presence of oxygen. How do we oxygenate the cells? By breathing less, not more and with a focus on our abdominals “tantien” (literally “brain” in Chinese). We breathe more when we are stressed and we may not even realise we are doing it. We also create body tension when we are stressed and/or because we are being competitive. This affects our ability to engage the diaphram when breathing, putting pressure on the adrenals and the nervous system. A diet high in animal protein and processed foods can also affect our breath.
Upper (head) brain is for thinking and organising. Lower brain “tantien” is for no-mind, reflex activity and intuitive “gut” feeling. Movement should always be directed from here.
The whole body – including the blood and vital organs need movement in order to stay healthy. Sitting or being in one position for long periods means the organs are still.
Why the Western Ideal of “Core” Stability equals No Stability
Too much tension in the trunk creates a rigid structure. The spine cannot move, the organs become static. Breathing and circulation is limited. People who overwork the (rectus) abdominal muscles risk serious illness due to organ disfunction. Tension and consistently super-tight muscles that cannot be relaxed generally equal LESS power and strength – not more. Think of how a pliable piece of bamboo may bend but is hard to break – unlike a dry branch which doesn’t bend but snaps easily. Running and other aggressive forms of exercise are no good for adults. This is especially so in our environment where we nearly always walk/run on flat, asphalt and concrete surfaces. The risks are irreparable damage to muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bones. Plus, running and aggressive exercise puts immense pressure on the adrenals and the nervous system; again leading to organ disfunction. It is possible to live without an arm or a leg, but not without most of our vital organs.
Happy & Healthy
In the end, the ability to be happy and to make others around us happy becomes challenging if we are always miserable because we are in pain. The key to a reflex mind, natural exuberance, health and harmony is to do “just enough”. Put in enough effort and time that your practise becomes fluid and meditational. Do whatever you do with joy. Oh and try to relax and breathe (but you knew that bit).
I think most attendees will agree with me when I say that Master Yang is the perfect advertisement for what he teaches. His vitality and enthusiasm combined with his inspiring, joyous nature, meant most of us felt more alive and energetic just being around him.