|> Issue 39||
|The german magazine for qigong and taijiquan|
"It's not possible without strength!"
The frequent reminders to avoid strength in Taijiquan can easily create the impression that no strength should be used at all. Nabil Rannè demonstrates that this is not in accordance with the traditional view, providing quotes from classical texts and clarifying the Chinese terms for strength. What is actually required is a sensible, full-body use of strength in which all parts of the body move connectedly and as a unit. As the movement coordination is refined, so can the connection between body, breathing and mind grow increasingly strong.
Grounding and centring in Taijiquan and Qigong
Grounding and centring are two essential aspects in the Chinese movement arts and form the basis for posture and movement. Rainer Lehrhuber has closely examined these two terms - which are often used unquestioningly - and illuminates their application in Qigong and Taijiquan. Through the conscious perception of feet, legs and the pelvic area he creates a focus on the alignment of the Dantian which forms the point of reference, so to speak, for centring and also for 'inner sinking' in a rooted posture. Both mental and physical relaxation are needed to create integrated movement from the centre when in a vertical posture. Mental and physical centring, physical alignment and rooting all mutually promote and influence each other.
"Nothing is softer than water..."
Liuhe Bafa is a martial art that is still relatively unknown in the West. Despite its similarities to the three better-known internal Chinese martial arts, it has undergone its own development from roots which go back more than a thousand years. Notable aspects of this art include the changes of speed and direction as well as the variation between three different posture heights when carrying out the form. Friedhelm Tippner provides an overview of the origins and methods of this system of practice, which besides the form itself also includes partner exercises similar to those in Taijiquan.
Taijiquan as a life art - Strategies for managing health and illness
Prof. Klaus Moegling held the opening address at the congress "Taijiquan as a Life Art", organised by the German Umbrella Association for Qigong and Taijiquan . In the shorter version published here, he sets out his vision of a health-promoting life art and of the role that can be played by a system of practice such as Taijiquan. It can, for instance, help people to lead their lives in a more meaningful, enjoyable and aware manner and to strengthen their own resources. The resulting mindfulness should include not only one's own experiences but also one's environment - 'life art' is thus viewed here not only as a path to individual happiness but also to social responsibility.
Follow your own heart
As winter ends and spring begins, young life begins striving towards the light - and wood energy abounds. It influences the start of the day and also the liveliness of childhood and youth. Joachim Stuhlmacher points out that this boisterous energy is all too often impeded, leading to frustration and anger. He suggests ways in which we can retain this springlike energy, the growth, the creativity, the courage and the dynamism throughout our lives and what role the liver/gallbladder functional cycle can play here. A strong wood energy, together with a courageous heart, also creates the power of benevolence and brotherly love.
Wood - Strength of the origin
The tree, the image for the wood element, grows out of the earth towards the sky. In order to do this it must break through the surface of the earth, overcome resistance and utilise strength . Ursula Rimbach describes how this nascent energy can be cultivated, for instance through gentle movement, and that it should not be quickly overtaxed. Here too, the aim is to develop a flexible balance between tension and relaxation.
Stress management through Qigong
In addition to the general relaxing and balancing effects of Qigong, it is also possible to create programmes of practice tailored to one's individual situation. These can guide one out of heavily stressed situations and have a positive influence not only on one's resilience but also one's ability to manage stress factors. In this context Foen Tjoeng Lie has developed a progressive three-phase model. It begins by relieving and regulating the organism. Following on from this, the practice stabilises the Qi and enables the former state of health to be regained. In the third phase, one's adaptability and resilience are increased. The method special to Qigong helps us to deal with ourselves more sensitively, to coordinate and organise ourselves better and to develop greater tranquillity and endurance.