How to Increase Mind-body Relaxation
Posted by Paul Cavel on 21 June 2017
In my last post, I offered exercises for opening your musculoskeletal frame in a coordinated fashion to create space in your body. As you begin to feel a sense of space, you want to transition your focus from your muscles to your nerves, which means backing off quite a bit from all extensions and stretches. How far? Well, that is a very individual matter. You’ll have to play with your range of motion, looking to stay within a comfortable stretch in your soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) so as not to activate any resistance in your nerves. However, the range of motion that is comfortable for soft tissues is usually far greater than that of the nervous system.
Creating Internal Space in Body & Mind
Posted by Paul Cavel on 17 March 2017
Many events in life close people down in some way or another, especially because, in this age of technology, time pressures and repetitive micro-tasks have become the norm. They can leave your body and mind feeling condensed, hard and tense, especially at the end of the day. Learning how to make space in your physical body is an excellent tool for reversing the cycle of compounding tension, so you can relax, empty your mind and become present to the here and now–where all healing takes place and the creative force thrives.
Sung: Investing in Loss
Posted by Paul Cavel on 27 January 2017
In 2016 we began exploring sung, the foundation of all internal arts training for health, healing and wellbeing. The process starts with soft tissue techniques, which give you a sense of your body, allow you to feel inside on ever more subtle layers and expel superficial tensions in your body.
The next level of the game is activating the pulse to progressively and powerfully root out deeper layers of tension by penetrating the flesh. Pulsing entails feeling, contacting and influencing the joints and fluids of your body to strongly circulate blood and qi. These techniques discharge Fire energy from the nerves, help you let go and in so doing systematically cultivate sung to foster more profound relaxation and vitality in body and mind.
But for all of their potential good, pulsing techniques, like all nei gong, have a rightful place in the cycle of training in order to be specifically developed. So I’ve published a second article on sung that covers the role of pulsing and how these techniques apply to all qi gong, tai chi and bagua practice, which will be relevant to our training in 2017.
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Five Element Practices
Posted by Paul Cavel on 16 July 2016
There are many ways to learn and train nei gong–techniques to develop internal energy and power for health, healing, martial arts and/or meditation. What gives the vast sea of ancient knowledge known as the Water method an edge is that the system is totally integrated, affording students the ability to define and refine each of its 16 broad layers of study, and weave them together into one coherent whole. Along the journey of embodying nei gong, one traditional approach is Five Element practices, which blend nei gong threads into five distinct and unique flavours. Such training generates a path towards realising the underlying Elemental energies which lie at the source of manifestation and give shape to the world as we know it.
Whereas the eight trigrams of the I Ching are energetic templates that govern manifestation, together the Five Elements serve as a lens through which manifestation occurs. Therefore, practising the Five Element nei gong system is essential to understanding (through direct perception rather than only mental conceptual theory) the laws that govern nature. Through the process, the dedicated student learns how to merge with these forces in order to realise a truly natural and peaceful existence as a human being here on planet Earth. Many traditions share such aspirations, but the Water method offers a pragmatic, systematic and safe way to open to and perceive the natural world, including our place in it.
This level of training has always been at the core of Water method practices and is a key to unlocking all of the benefits for which the internal arts, such as tai chi and bagua, are famous:
- A strong, healthy body that supports longevity
- Boundless vital energy
- Balanced emotions and relationships
- A clear, calm and sound mind
- The ability to fully engage with life and the environment in which we live
- Wisdom, understanding and compassion
Train Paul’s Five Element programme:
- Bi-monthly seminars in Islington, London >>
- Tri-annual seminars in Stuttgart, Germany >>
- Seasonal retreats in Andalusia, Spain >>
Soft Tissue Therapy
Four Stages of Releasing Tension & Trauma for Lasting, Positive Change
Posted by Paul Cavel on 16 March 2016
Bodywork refers to a wide range of hands-on treatment therapies characterised by the distinct relationship between a healer and receiver. The healer/therapist operates within the context of the system in which they are trained and selects techniques according to their depth of knowledge of and skill in that system, as well as their ability to tune into and assess the condition of the receiver. No one method can ever be exclusively regarded as the best or correct way as each healer and receiver are unique individuals; the combination of the two is even more exceptional. Therefore, the methodology presented herein is not the be-all and end-all of how bodywork should be performed, but rather a framework for implementing and applying specific principles of the Water method approach to healing. Continue reading >>
Cultivating Sung in Water Method Arts
Free Yourself from Bindings and Awaken Mind-Body Consciousness
Posted by Paul Cavel on 11 February 2016
The Chinese term sung is often translated as “relaxed”, but a more accurate translation is “unbound”–a state in which the body loses all unnecessary bindings, all resistances, all tension.
Understanding the concept intellectually is a good start, but the aim of Water method arts is direct experience: that is to go beyond any mental construct and practice for the sake of embodiment. The ancient Chinese spent hundreds, even thousands of years tinkering with the internal arts to offer pragmatic steps for integrating fundamental principles in their flesh, qi-energy, and minds—in the totality of their being.
Without sung, strong circulation of blood and qi throughout the body cannot be achieved, so there can be no flow. Balanced qi flow is what brings into harmony the body and mind, making lasting, vibrant health a living reality. Therefore, to achieve flow, harmony and vibrant health, sung is the gate through which you must pass.
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For 100+ blog posts on Water method arts by Paul, visit www.circlewalking.com.