Masters of Health Magazine August 2022 | Page 51

They have better stamina, more body flexibility, and higher energy levels overall. Internal martial arts have the advantage of minimal injuries caused by training, as their main purpose is building internal strength rather than enhancing external feats.

Internal martial artists believe that the body is a container which is traversed by waves of energy. With an analogy to the science of electricity, this vital energy is polarized into plus and minus, or positive and negative lines.

This is what we refer to as Yin and Yang. In the Chinese language, they are always expressed together as Yin-Yang, unlike the English language where they are referred to as separate entities, Yin and Yang. The Chinese language preserves their fundamental nature in that they always co-exist together; they cannot exist without each other.

Holding Stances

The holding of stances is a practice specific to internal martial arts. It is little understood, even by some long-term practitioners. It is a deeply meditative practice that also involves the physical body. At a surface level, it can be seen as a form of building patience while placing the body in a state of stillness.

Holding certain stances (in a correct manner) is very beneficial for building stamina and increasing the energy capacity of our meridians. Similar to the electrical wiring in our dwellings, the diameter of the meridians can be thicker or thinner according to the amount of current flowing through.

When training in internal martial arts, one aim of the long-term practitioner is to constantly upgrade the size and capacity of their body’s meridians. Increasing the energetical network of our body will enhance our self-healing capacity.

Holding a correct stance for increasingly longer time periods while using proper breathing and positive mental attitude will push the flow of energy through the meridians, adapting them by augmenting their capabilities every time we practice.

Holding postures significantly increases the power of your structural muscles, which directly affects your bones and joints. Your internal organs will all function more effectively.

‘Cloudy Hands’ Exercise using Light Weights

‘Cloudy Hands’ are a set of Tai Chi movements that energize your entire aura by activating all important points and meridians. If practiced correctly, the entire body gets involved in the work out, becoming more supple and flexible.

The effect of Cloudy Hands on the brain is significantly supportive because you are repeatedly working both the left and right sides of your body. Your attention switches between left and right, activating both sides of the brain simultaneously.

Any type of stiff ness in your body can be relieved through the Cloudy Hands technique, especially when done at the slowest pace possible. All your internal body fluids get pumped from one side of your body to the other, which creates a pleasant feeling during or by the end of practice.

Your spine has to be held straight at all times during practice, allowing the spine to only rotate left and right which, added to the accompanying hand movements, opens and closes your spine on a vertical direction which creates smooth flexibility between the vertebrae.

The Cloudy Hands exercise can be used as a full-body workout by adding wrist weights.

Note: You must always warm up your entire body before practicing.