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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Warriors of Stillness 3: Masters of Perception

Over the next weeks, we will be sharing short excerpts from Jan Diepersloot's Warriors of Stillness III. The book can be purchased from: http://warriorsofstillness.com We highly recommend all three books in the series and they can be purchased together as a Trilogy Set for $75 - a great deal. Enjoy!

The primary principles internal martial artists follow to cultivate robust health in the qi state are proper posture, proper breath and proper mindset. In the internal martial arts, the rules of posture are governed by the pivotal concept of zhongding, or central equilibrium, and consist of the optimal re-alignment of the spine in the vertical plane. 

Within this proper postural framework, internal martial artists utilize mindful breathing practices to transform typical (and usually restricted) breathing patterns into full and free natural breathing. As this process unfolds over time, the tensions that stiffen and harden us, both physically and mentally, progressively dissolve. The resulting state of relaxation is called song by the Chinese, and denotes a state of alert relaxation that is ready for immediate action. 

Proper breath and proper posture create the foundation for optimally efficient movement of torso and limbs. The rules for movement, like posture, also are dictated by the constraints of central equilibrium. The fundamental components, or basic grammar, of movement are the horizontal, vertical and rotational movements of the body's central vertical axis in space. These three elemental movements combine to create an infinite number of possible movements.