THE FOURTHWAY MANHO E-JOURNAL
Volume 80 October 15, 2019
YOGA, HAIDA YOGA AND TAIJI
By Professor Dr. Tan Man-Ho
(An excerpt from the original work, Real World Views, Book 16 by Professor Dr. Tan Man-Ho entitled "Thoughts, Reflections and Sayings; The Secret of the Work; the Reciprocal Destruction of Cosmic Concentrations", February 1984 ~ June 1986 Discourses, Chapter 8, Section A: "Yoga, Haida Yoga and Taiji" pp. 122 ~ 128)
A. YOGA, HAIDA YOGA AND TAIJI
1 Flowing and yet cannot be seen;
Happening and yet cannot be controlled.
It just happens;
No one has ever controlled it.
It is ascending and it is descending,
But all the time it is becoming......
2 In Taiji, the qi emptying is not a complete emptying and the filling is not a complete filling. The process can be fast or slow.
Improper circulation of qi, blood and inner forces from centers inevitably results in discomfort, uneven tension, fatigue and even dis-eases. When qi accumulates we have high qi pressure and it requires the way of Taiji or Yoga to relieve this pressure. But when qi circulates and distributes itself uniformly in the body we become healthy.
When the head becomes tight as if one is having high blood pressure, the qi must have risen and there is something that has blocked the downward flow of the qi. Relaxation is essential and “qi sinking” is a recommended exercise to distribute this inner tension.
Now when qi is abundant, the body becomes warm. It has plenty of reserve energy. It is lively and it is healthy. When qi is depleting, the body becomes cold, pale and deprived of live forces.
3 Yoga (means 'to yoke' and then to 'concentrate' in Sanskrit, India), Haida Yoga ( means 'very quick' yoga in Russian) and Taiji exercises (means 'Supreme or Ultimate Flux of Yin Yang in Chinese) give useful “fillings” for the moving center. The moving center expands as a result of “substances” accumulated during this filling process. A new world for the moving center is thus created. Minus these “fillings” the moving center is subjected to all changes and coming passengers that are seeking for a vacuum.
4 Free style Taiji, its nature and prospects:
a) The principles of Taiji remain the same
b) The postures and forms are freely chosen at the moment, not pre-planned
c) It follows the natural motives of the body
d) All movements must be conscious
5 Taiji exercises shake up the viscera of the abdominal cavity and strengthen them.
6 In Taiji push-hand leg stance, one must remember the three types of stances.
1) High Horse Stance
2) Middle Horse Stance
3) Low Horse Stance
All the three stances should flow easily into one another in accordance with the situations. A Low Horse Stance is very stable but least mobile and High Horse Stance is very unstable but most mobile. To “yang” with an opponent one must use a Low Horse Stance to “yin” one must use a High Horse Stance. Rapid movement of the legs is proper for a High Horse Stance. To be uprooted is to take a new shape, but with High Horse Stance and movements of steps, one could easily recover one’s own stability rapidly. Remember to be uprooted is to transform into the Floating Form which would rapidly root on any chance coming part of the body. In other words, there is no right stance. All stances have their own usefulness. We merely choose the appropriate ones depending on the circumstances and our inner aim.
7 By rooting with the hands, relaxing all parts of the body including the hands but maintaining balance a person can achieve a good handstand.
8 In Yoga, Haida Yoga and Taiji exercises, the cracking sound denotes the process of breaking up stiffness and tensions especially at the joints. It implies progress, and when it disappears it means improvement.
9 A dis-ease necessarily accompanies blockage of the qi in the reins (nervous or neurological meridian system) and poor circulation of blood in the shaft (angiological system).
The aching areas are the targets for work. Real change and transformation come precisely through the overcoming of the weakness in these areas. Avoiding work on the aching areas in the Haida Yoga work defeats the purpose of transformation. Haida Yoga is meaningless if it does not aim to transform the human body.
10 On using ointment on patients who are ill due to yin-yang dis-equilibrium, one must remember that ointment is of two kinds (1) that which gives the sensation of cold and (2) that which gives the sensation of warm.
When qi, blood and heat do not circulate properly certain parts of the body become more yang than yin or vice-versa. Often, either the whole or the part of the body becomes very yang or very yin.
When a part of the body is warm or feels warm, then the ointment that gives the sensation of cold should be applied. Whereas if the part is cold and gives sensation of cold from within, the ointment that gives warm should be applied.
11 The meridian vessels of qi and the blood vessels expand when the body is warm while the awareness of hanbledzoin contracts, and vice-versa. It is essential to “air” the body constantly to cool and to expand awareness.
When the body is in a state of disharmony and yoga is your option for changing it, a right kind of yoga exercise is needed. A good book to refer to is the Light on Yoga by Iyengar. If the body is in harmony, then neglecting these exercises is “justifiable”.
12 It is essential to experience through each of the yoga postures. And experience how they affect you, how they change you as you form them and how you heal yourself as you work on them. So enter a posture, experience it and come out of it.
13 To be in the yoga postures and yet everything seems to be like normal, like in the natural Mensendieckian postures of standing, sitting and walking. Everything appears as it is. So, in these postures you are just normal.
14 Although one of the aims of yoga is to acquire all the postures correctly, it is never the final or ultimate aim. The ultimate aim of yoga is unity, perfection, good health and longevity.
15 Tremors in yoga exercises reflect an unsteady flow of prana due to uneven tensioning of muscles or a weak prana attempting to support a relatively overloaded system. Relaxation and tensing of the used muscles, deeper breathing minimizing muscle usage and relaxing unused muscle are the important factors to be looked into when tremors occur during the exercise. Normally a rest is essential to recover from this deprivation and restricted flow of prana.
16 The corpse pose removes the chaos from within and restores stillness in the inner world. The process is long.
17 When doing yoga exercises, one must be in static meditation. When doing Taiji exercises, one must be in dynamic meditation.
18 The qi known in Taiji is the something that is issued from the moving and instinctive centers. Relaxation allows the energy (qi) from a center to distribute or permeate the whole human body.
In practice when abundant energy has gathered in a certain center and has created tension in the body, we relax the body so that the tension vanishes and the energy blockage disappears.
The 5 types of energies (Gurdjieff) in our body are:
1. Sexual energy
2. Instinctive energy
3. Moving energy
4. Emotional energy
5. Intellectual energy
When a source becomes active, fully charge with the energy, we can use relaxation and breathing to distribute these energies throughout the whole body.
19 The gas that is in the abdominal cavity is like the atmosphere. Just like atmosphere is for organic being on earth, so the gas is for the organs in the abdomen. This gas is not identical to that of the outside air. It is a protective gas for the organs. The organs need to absorb the gas as part of its breathing process.
20 S.S. speaks of our hydro-yoga exercises whereby yoga exercises are done in mountain spring water or in spraying and quick flowing water. The result of the exercise is truly vivifying.
There is a Haida Yoga from Gurdjieff Teaching, an important and significant part of it is known as Gurdjieff's Movements or G-Movements which grows out from Haida Yoga and is both a symbolic, sacred sign language dance and an exercise! Gurdjieff's Sacred Dance is based on the understanding of a philosophy and theory of the enneagram or octaves, whereas Taiji Quan is based on the philosophy of Dao and Bagua or Hexagram, and Hatha Yoga is based on the OM or Yoga philosophy and the asanas or poses. Both Taiji Quan and Hatha Yoga Asanas have postures of animals from the biological octaves, whereas the Gurdjieff's Movements is dominated by abstract signs and symbols of a languaged-dance.
21 Handling the spirit:
The way of the spirit must flow in the way of the laws of the spirit. No environmental factor should be become the primary cause for the strange director of the spirit....... Flow passively like water which is guided by fate and intelligence. The spirit becomes manipulated as it attempts to understand man, nature, society and the universe. The spirit bathes the coarse bodies and gives life to them. And this spirit builds up your health.