Monday, October 13, 2014

Taichi and Yoga energy flow

Out of curiousity, I turned up for a Body Balance class at a fitness centre to experience this hybrid workout with Taichi, Yoga and Pilates all in one. Though there are distinct segments for each of these discipline and the music tracks are carefully selected to synchronise with the movements, the Taichi is a far cry from what I practised in the community centre. The only thing in common is the weight shift between legs. 

Perhaps a fusion class is intended to work this way. If one adheres to the proper techniques of doing Taichi, Yoga and Pilates, breathing control may turn out to be beyond imagination. Should one breathe naturally, adopt reverse breathing, follow yogic abdominal breathing or lateral breathing for pilates ?

In terms of energy flow, the bulk of the poses in Yoga nourish upward flow whereas in Taichi, there is a need to sink the 'Chi' down to the dantien (lower abdominal region). My Taichi teacher discourages practice of both Yoga and Taichi on a given day. Whether there is any negative impact on proper flow of energy I'm not too sure, but it is good to take extra precaution then be sorry later.

Based on my current understanding through reading up, all mind body spirit practices follow the same pathway in terms of energy circulation. ie the microcosmic orbit which involves the circulation of energy around the female yin and the male yang pathways. The abdomen, or area around the navel, is believed to be the starting point of the pathways.

The yang path travels from the abdomen down to the perineum and back toward the coccyx region. From here, the path continues up the spine, up and over the top of the head, and onto the face. Yang then moves down the face, into the mouth, and ends at the palate. Yin begins in the abdomen and travels up the medial front line of the body, ending at the tip of the tongue. Based on this distinct path, there is really no difference in energy flow between Yoga and Taichi in my opinion.

Whether this is proven true or not, only time will tell...

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