I’ll talk to you about some insights I’ve made these last weeks, all of them dropping in when I was at home for a week, sick in stomach-flu and its aftermaths.
These insights are all about your ENERGY, your life-energy, your QI, PRANA or whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t matter what word you use, or if you can explain it though Western Scientifics, but it matters that you can FEEL it and cultivate it. I think it would be rather complicated and even impossible to explain all the synergetic processes that create the sense of energy moving through the body.
When I was weakened by disease, mostly lying still on the floor, I wasn’t up to my normal yoga practice. But I had enough energy to do some gentle and simple exercises of Tao Yin (Taoist Yoga). The teacher (Lee Holden, online) emphasized the concept of qi (life force energy) and the importance of creating a balanced and free flow of qi throughout the body-mind. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stagnant energy in the body-mind creates unease and if it’s stagnant for too long it can even create disease. Chinese medicine as I’ve understood it is focusing a lot on creating health and vitality through dissolving imbalances. It’s focused on preventive measures, rather than on the states of disease that seems to be the focus of Western medicine. Western medicine is great at emergency care and giving you appropriate information on diseases like calici virus (kräksjukan) on “Vårdguiden 1177″, but doesn’t focus much on raising you up to wellbeing (physical-mental-spiritual).
Anyway, the aim of Tao Yin to cultivate and circulate qi/energy in the body is the same as in Yoga from the Himalayan traditions. Through practices like certain physical exercises, breathing and mind-focus you can release stagnant energy (tensions in the body-mind) to create a free flow of energy, a more resilient body-mind, internal strength and higher levels of energy.
Talking about higher levels of energy and raising up to wellbeing, I started reading another book “Nya självläkande människan” (Sanna Ehdin Anandala). It’s a holistic health-book taking into account several aspects of being human and how to honor them all for greater wellbeing and health. For example, exercise and eating vegetables may not be enough to keep you healthy and well if your relationships to other people bring you down. I’m not so engaged in the details at the moment, but the overall teaching as it landed in me is: health is created by HIGH LEVELS of ENERGY and there are many aspects of human life that needs to be taken into account to balance this.
Although I’m curious and schooled in natural sciences, I don’t need much analysis, reading books or scientific articles to confirm the truth I learned from this teaching. For now, to me it doesn’t add much of worth anyway.
Instead, when I feel this teaching in my body, I understand it as natural and true and not only a pretty philosophy for the mind. My body tells me more or less clearly what kind of exercise I need, what kind of food raises my energy and keeps me happy, awake and resilient. What kind of relationship I need to engage in or get out of to be well. Etc.
Even if my body knows very well and tells me so, my mind many times overrides the signals of the body and I maintain patterns that are no longer helping me. Either, the pattern in itself creates too much pain and discomfort and wakes me up to a crisis, or I release these unhealthy patterns gradually through daily conscious practice (yoga, relational therapy, mindful eating, being in nature and more).
So the point of all this is: RAISE YOUR ENERGY and keep it CIRCULATING.
By the way, I can recommend another book I started reading recently. If you’re interested in Chinese medicine, Daniel Keown has written a book about Chinese medicine in relationship to Western medicine. He’s a doctor of both and also a great author, highly interesting and fun reading. You’ll probably read it all before I get to the 3d chapter…
For HEALTH, peace & love!
Feel free to add your ideas in the comments below.