Balancing Yin and Yang through yoga
FREEING THE MIND
The upper cinnabar field , the energy-centre between the eyebrows, is the place of the true self, the inner guide - our access to the intuitive mind and to universal wisdom. The third eye is known in many cultures as the eye of knowledge and vision, which is able to see past, present and future.
In the Chinese alchemical body map, it is the place where Lao zi sites in meditation; the place beyond the division of Yin and Yang, beyond duality - the place of the impartial observer, the true alchemist. It is above the influence of the five elements, which create movement and transformation which in the physical and energy bodies.
In the Indian tradition, it is the Ajna chakra ('ajna' means 'to know and to command'). Its trigger point is between the eyebrows, but its root is deep within the brain at the pineal gland. In the Indian system, this is also seen as the place above duality and the place above the interactions of the five elements. Here the Idea and Pingalanadis, the lunar and solar channels, merge and dissolve into each other. It is the centre of consciousness, which relates to the causal body which is above the distinction of gender. It exists outside time and space. It is also above karma.
Situated at the centre between the eyebrows is the knot of Rudra, sometimes called the know of shiva. This is the last knot, which creates a blockage between the brow centre represents complete union with divine consciousness.
Working with the upper dan tian brings mental clarity. It allows us to rise above the demands of the body and the emotions and to see with detachment. Once we access this part of our mind, it can act as our guide, our contact with intuitive wisdom/
When working with the Brow centre, physical exercise does not seem to be appropriate, although it is important to ensure that the energy channels flowing through the neck and shoulders are free of obstruction. The following sequence of exercises ensures free-flow of energy into the head, the brain and the sensory orifices. Sit comfortably with the spine straight, or stand in the basic qi gong position.
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1.Shoulders: With the hands hanging loosely at the side, pull the shoulders up towards the ears, the shoulders up towards the ears, then let them go, releasing any tension keep the shoulders straight, not hunching forward, or stretching back, repeat five times. Bring the hands to the shoulders and rotate the arms, bringing the elbows together, then stretching away in as large a circle as possible. Repeat the opposite way.
2.Shoulder message : With the right elbow loosely supported in the palm of the left hand, make a first with the right hand and gently tap the top and back of the left shoulder. Release the first and tap the shoulders with the palm. Make sure that the elbow is well supported and the hand completely relaxed. Repeat for the opposite side.
3.Neck stretches: with the hands relaxed in the lap, breathe quietly. Take a breath in and exhaling bring the chin down to the chest, This should be a slow controlled movement, coordinated with the breath. Breathe in and return to the upright position. Breathe out as you allow the head to fall backwards. These movements should always be slow and controlled, allowing the weight of the head to stretch the muscles. Repeat for ten full breaths five complete movements.
4. Relax and take a few breaths. Breathe in and as you exhale, allow the head to fall slowly to the side bringing the ear towards the shoulder. Do not force. Breathe in as you bring the head back to the central position. Repeat on the other side. A very gentle movement is sufficient to stimulate the meridians and to relax the muscles. Repeat for ten full breaths, five complete movements.
5.Relax again at the centre. Take a deep breath in. Keeping the head vertical, slowly rotate the head around to look over your right shoulder as you exhale. Keep the eyes open wide and look around as far as you can to the back. Make sure that the top of your head remains in the centre, the neck stretches upwards as if being pulled by a rope from the top of the head the chin is pulled slightly in as you breathe in, slowly bring the head back to the centre. Breathe out and move slowly to the left/ Repeat for ten breaths, five complete movements
6.Ears: Rub the hands together, until they are warm and place them over ears. With the thumb and index finger pull the ear lobes then gently squeeze around the rim of the ear. With the hands still loosely over the earl, allow the thumbs to rest in the hollow behind the ears at the base of the skull. Keeping the shoulders relaxed, gently push the thumbs upwards. Relax and repeat breathing out as you stretch the neck.
7.Eyes: sitting in a relaxed position with the spine straight rub the hands together vigorously until they are hot. Place the hands over the eyes, the centre of the palm over the centre of the eyeball. Remain still for two to three minutes with the eyes closed. Repeat three times. With the thumb and forefinger, pinch along the eyebrows from the centre outwards.
8.HeadL: Shake the hands with the wrist loose. Keeping that same loose action , lift the hands above the head, and pat the head with the fingertips, beginning at the centre front and working slowly to the nape of the neck; gradually separate the hands and repeat, moving about an inch further from the centre line each time/
9. With the same loose wrist movement , tap the base of the skull with the fingertips.
10.Qi Sweeping: Place the palms of the hands over the eyes, then stroke the hands backwards, around the head, down the back of the neck across the shoulders and down the front of the body in one long sweeping movement as if you are brushing the body down. Repeat three times and remain sitting quietly for a few movements.
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