Every season we put out a newsletter full of interesting facts to do with Chi Kung and the time of year. Here is an extract from the latest Earthtime one with the Fire and Water information remaining below. If you would like a full copy of this seasons newsletter please tap the 'Contact us' tab top right, send an email request and the most up to date copy will be winged to you electronincally. Included in this seasons is information about key points for Chi Kung training, an exercise of the month, colour and 'food for thought'.

EARTHTIME - Late Summer, early Autumn

This time of year is acknowledged as the season in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) which connects particularly with the Earth element. It is a ripening time of harvesting, gathering and celebrating all the bounty that has come our way so far this year.

Earth reinforces the other four elements of Water, Wood, Fire and Metal as an underpin to all their functions and expressions. This is mirrored within us, as without the Earth we have no support for our physical existence. Earth is a centre of calm after the Fire of summer, and welcomes in yin qualities of;

Grounding - feeling truly connected and anchored safely down

Spaciousness - notice it around & within

Attraction - towards the centre, yours & hers

Transformation - old tensions are converted to new energy, with metaphysical composting!

Merely thanking the Earth for her constant nurturing presence lets us release the pressure of being on the go. When we let ourselves drop out of our busy minds, into our bodies and down to the ground, an interesting phenomena occurs; we start to re-energise.

For as we let go of our physical and mental tensions, we initiate a 'dialogue' with Mother Earth. Her response is to reboot us with renewed energy which is attracted into the spaciousness created inside us from where the tension once was. This occurs to a certain extent whether we consider it or not, but it happens so much more effectively when we do.

Intention is the key and the key is being able to let go, which can be pretty tricky in this busy day and age, but this is where Chi Kung techniques can help...

Try this exercise

Sinking into the Earth

It is about the most 'yin' one in the Chi Kung compendium!

Simply lie down - on the floor if possible, on a mat or rug. You may need a small cushion under your head to keep the back of your neck long and jaw relaxed.

Bring your knees up, with feet on the floor, all hip width apart and just relax.

Take a deep resourcing breath in and as you breath out feel yourself sinking down into the floor, your spine lengthening and back broadening.

With the next out breath, imagine that you are sinking down into the ground beneath the floor, beginning your 'dialogue' with the Earth. Sense the relief as you let go and the gentle buoyancy as you receive.

She enjoys transforming your old tensions and loves to reciprocate by releasing new vitality into your system.

Bask in this exchange for at least 9 breaths, after which roll over on to one side, coming up slowly and notice how you feel.

Shaking is also a great way to release tension down & out!

FIRE and WATER - High Summer-time

Fire ignites, passions grow, Water soothes a calming flow.

With the Fire element season of summer, the year is at its zenith and as part of nature so are we. The height of yang activity, relating to the middle of the day, joy and expansion, pleasure, desire, love and divinity. Heart energy entices us to follow our intuition, play outside, meet friends, go on adventures - harking back to the heady days of summer holidays reaching out over an age to the brightest times of our childhood.

Us Brits need the sun to be so beamy at this time of year, it bolsters us to endure the depths of winter and engages us wholeheartedly with life in the here and very now... Many of us also enjoy being at the beach, where the Water helps to balance the dry heat of the Sun-fire. So it is in TCM, the Water and Fire have an enduring relationship of inspiration and control. In class this term we have been exploring the two, setting up the buoyant support and ease of flow from Water as a foundation for the Fire to safely express. These elements are in an eternal yin yang dance with one another, and so when we work consciously with them, balance can be restored to our systems.

Harmonising Exercise

'Stirring the Fire and Water'

From your WuChi standing structure place your hands in the classic 'holding the sphere' position, with one hand palm up at the level of the lower Dantien - Water- and the other palm down at the middle Dantien - Fire. The palms have a chi connection and as the shoulders and wrists soften the chi becomes clearer. Focus on the space between your hands and after several breaths change position on the out breath by letting the top hand face in and travel down close to the body, landing in the lower position, with the bottom hand sweeping up around the sphere to place itself at the top. Repeat this several times with the intention of restoring harmony.

More investigations on this theme will be taking place in all the scheduled classes for this half of term. See listings for days and times.


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