Harmonizing – Post 4
Air is one of the three essential ingredients required to make human Qi in the body. Water and food being the other two, that we must consume from the outside world around us to live.
Boxers do roadwork (running, jumping rope) to build their aerobic endurance to athletic heights. Once they are physically exhausted or their bodies so bruised that breathing is painful, they no longer have the ability to create force by punching.
The Japanese term 気合 Kiai means energy unification. Ki is the Japanese term for 氣 Qi. During exertion, coordinating the body’s movements, exhaling, and vocalizing unifies the body, energy, and mind together combining to generate greater 力 Li, Force. Many might not be aware of this, but Tai Chi Chuan uses the sounds Heng (inhale – silent) and Ha (exhale – audible).
Try this experiment.
Lifting the end of a sofa correctly, inhale while lower and getting a good grip, exhale while lifting and grunt.
Try it the other way around, exhale while lower…inhale when lifting. What feels more powerful? What harmonizes internal (breathing) and external (physical movement) better? What way makes mind and body one?
心 意 (heart / mind)
意 氣 (mind / breath)
氣 力 (breath / force)
These are the three internal harmonies of the 6 Harmonies. It should be remembered Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art. The practice is energetic, not postural. It is a mobility practice, not a static practice like Zhan Zhuan Posting Standing. Although, it must also be remember that there can be no yin without Yang, and no Yang without yin. Even though we may compare two things as Yinyang, individually they each have Yinyang aspects.
There is a therapeutic Medical Qigong set called 六字訣 Six Healing Sounds. Each tone affects a different organ system of the body. The different vibrating tones target a specific organ. This practice may also use color visualization associated with each organ. It may also be used as a psychological treatment for working with stuck extreme emotional states.
噓 xū – ‘deep sigh’ or ‘hiss’ – Level the Liver Qi
呵 hē – ‘yawn’ or ‘laughing sound’ – Supplement the Heart Qi
呼 hū – ‘to sigh,’ ‘to exhale,’ or ‘to call’ – Cultivate [or Shore Up] the Spleen/Pancreas Qi
呬 sī – ‘to rest’ – Supplement the Lung Qi
吹 chuī – ‘to blow out,’ ‘to blast,’ or ‘to puff’ – Supplement the Kidney Qi
嘻 xī – ‘mirthful’ – Regulate the Triple Burner Qi
Image: Although Kiai may have a startling affect on the opponent, its intended use is unification of body, energy, and mind.
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