Welcome to the Spring Class Series!
Change in both environmental and internal energies mean we should adjust our lives and practices to the cycles of the natural world. Spring is the time new life is infused into the world. In the five-element theory of Chinese philosophy we are entering the wood phase. In terms of time and space it is associated with the Spring season and the eastern direction.
Within our body Spring means we are contending with rising Liver energy, a distinct change from Winter where nurturing our Kidneys demanded our attention. I always notice this as change in my sleep pattern at this time of year. This is due to heat from the Liver invading the Heart. The Heart in Chinese medicine relates to sleep disturbances. Cold sores and mouth ulcers are another example of heat in the heart channel. The upward and branching force of the Wood Element to which Liver belongs, is manifesting. Think of a tree, or even a blade of grass. Resilience, waking earlier, more motivation. This perspective derives from both Chinese medical and Daoist traditions.
We must modify our practices to reflect the changing environmental energies around and within us. Our Spring curriculum will transition us into some new practices. Core elements like the breathing, shaking and the closing routine will remain. We will begin a sequence of simple movements, Movement as Medicine, designed to bolster and balance our body and mind this Spring.
This year we will teach the Ba Duan Jin or, 8 Pieces of Brocade. These eight movements are all you need in the way of stretching. Done in the standing position, they won’t injure your spine. They are 1,000-year-old Chinese military calisthenics. Simple to perform and easy to learn, people enjoy them more than anything I have ever taught. They will complement the Spring Curriculum very well.