Tiger Rising: Rising Tough and Stretching Soft, Mutual Rooting of Yin-Yang
The forms of life movement are picturesque and colorful. So, how to promote the healthy movements of life is the eternal topic of people. Of course, Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi is no exception. Nowadays, practitioners can appreciate this set of exercise not only from the aspect of fitness and fashion, but also from the aspect of culture, philosophy, etc. Thus, plain methods include general principles, in which it includes "rising tough and stretching soft" and "mutual rooting of yin-yang".
Tiger Rising is the first movement in the Tiger Exercise of Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi. In the movement types of combination of hardness and softness, and "rising tough and stretching soft", it shows the natural law that the rhythms of human life are working together with the world, which is also the motor process of mutual rooting of yin-yang that often referred in the traditional culture. From the point of view of the philosophy of mutual rooting of yin-yang, I would like to talk about "rising tough and stretching soft" in the movement forms, processes, and the role of the routine Tiger Rising, as well as its cultural matrix, to share with the readers.
From the point of view of the traditional concepts, mutual rooting of yin-yang refers to the both sides of yin and yang that is in opposition to each other in all mutual things or phenomena, with interdependent and mutually fundamental relationship. Either yin or yang can not exist individually without the other, and the existence of the other party is the relatively premise and condition of its own existence. If yang is up and yin is down, there is no up without down, and there is no yang without the existence of yin. So, yin and yang are inter-dependent. The interdependence of yin and yang is called "mutual rooting". The interoperability of yin and yang means that there are still Intergeneration and mutual promotion relations between yin and yang. For instance, qi is in charge of the dynamic corresponding to yang, blood is in charge of the static corresponding to yin. Qi can generate blood and promote the circulation of blood, and blood can carry and cultivate qi. Therefore, qi is the commander of blood, while the blood is the mother of qi. "Su Wen· Yin Yang Ying Xiang Da Lun" said, " Yin is in charge of yang in the inside of the body, yang preside over yin in the outside of the body", which is the high-level overview of the relationship of mutual rooting of yin-yang. If the interaction of yin and yang is destructed for some reason, it would lead to the state that "yin and yang can not exist alone". On the human body, if the interaction between body and function is abnormal, the endless functions of the body are also destructed, and even die from the "yin-yang dissociation".
Judging from the primary and secondary relationship, the problem required to study deeply is that it must be distinguished from the primary and secondary position in the relationship of mutual rooting of yin-yang. There are always distinctions between the major contradiction and the secondary contradiction. Once the main contradiction is solved, the minor conflicts will also be solved. The technical essentials of the Tiger Rising can show obvious masculine features in the lifting, and feminine features in the falling. It is appropriate to illustrate the action with "rising tough and stretching soft". In other words, it mainly leads by rising tough, and stretching soft is secondary in the practice of Tiger Rising. The movement forms of "rising tough and stretching soft" aims to promote yang qi and facilitate yin qi, to achieve the generation of yin and yang, and then balance the vital signs. In fact, the truth has the same purpose with "rising tough and stretching soft", which means that seizing the crucial points can promote other aspects. Thus, "rising tough" referred in the paper means that the primary movement forms in the process of mutual transformation of yin and yang is to generate yang qi in the exercise; while the idiom means that the key points play the leading role. Although they referred to different images, but the truths of which all show that seizing the crucial points can promote other aspects. As Zheng Xuan in the Han Dynasty said, "If the fishing net is lifted, thousands of meshes can be seen. If one chapter is understood, thousands of papers can be explained. “In the Tiger Rising, there are three movements have clearly demonstrated the movement forms led by "rising tough and stretching soft". It is the fusion point of "rising tough and stretching soft". Regulating the body, mind and breath in the Tiger Rising have achieved a state of equilibrium, the conversion of yin and yang will also enter a new cycle.
All changes in the nature are attributed to the ebb and flow of yin and yang by the ancient sages, i.e. the development of changes of all things in the world are dominated by yin and yang. Based on the whole concept that all things are generated by qi of yin and yang, it establishes the view of the unity of heaven and man and going with the flow, provides a way of thinking, and also clears the indispensable effects of qi of the heaven and earth.
From the point of view of the methods and technology, the technical essentials and exercises factors of the Tiger Rising are naturally and logically integrated in the movement course of the ebb and flow of yin and yang. And "rising tough and stretching soft" is the main form of this movement, and it can be analyzed from the following several aspects:
First part: "rising tough and stretching soft" in the hand shape transitions. Under normal circumstances, the methods and actions are carried out under the guidance of ideas. Hand shapes changes in the Tiger Rising is also dominated by the ideas of "rising tough and stretching soft", and the whole process is completed in three steps. In the practice, the fingers are fully unfolded, to reach the state of promoting yang qi, which is the first step. Then the first and second joints of fingers all bent into tigers, to reach the balanced state of promoting yin qi, which is the second step. Until arm pronation, bent little finger first, followed by the remaining four fingers flexion fist, forming a fist hardness and softness of yin and yang coordinated action, which is the third step. These three steps change clearly and successively, which is also the complete embodiment of “rising tough and stretching soft" in the hand shape transitions.
Second part: "rising tough and stretching soft" in the up and down movements. The main feature of the routine Tiger Rising is that the vertical motion of the arms and the flexing of the spine. This feature has fully demonstrated the fitness philosophy of "rising tough and stretching soft". For example, the masculine and feminine harmony are embodied in the movement of both hands lifting and pressing in front of body, and the moving line remains substantially at the same vertical line. Changes of actions are as the following. The fists from the bottom up to the front of the shoulder, loose the fists into palms, palms up to the top of head, fully expand the fingers; then fists fall to the front of shoulders, loose the fist into palms, press to the front of the abdomen, with fingers fully unfolded. These changes are also the hand shapes changes in the three nodes that are often mentioned, namely the up (head top), medium (the front of shoulder), down (the front of the belly) in the practice. Repeatedly practicing this action, Qi and blood of the body shows the state of the combination of hardness and softness and "rising tough and stretching soft".
Third part: "rising tough and stretching soft" in the body co-movement. The routine Tiger Rising is a series of movements, exercising from head to toe, from inside to outside, as well as from limbs to the various parts. The circulation of qi movement, the blood flow, and the ebb and flow of yin and yang have been effectively achieved in this routine. The hands movements in this routine not only guide the sight moving up and down, but also guide the up and down of the head. When both hands moves to the top of head, the chest and abdomen will fully stretch, while both hands pressing to the lower abdomen, shrink the chest and stretch the back. The motion statuses of these actions are to maintain the upright of the body, keep the somatosensory of tightening and relax of the chest and abdomen muscles. Objectively speaking, the practical effect of being upright, tightening and relaxing is the process of "rising tough and stretching soft". The emphasis here is that the routine Tiger Rising seems simple, but essentially its role in Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi is extremely important. One of its importances is that Tiger Rising can generate yang qi and achieve the coordination of "rising tough and stretching soft".
Fourth part: just move the attendant emotional soft sheets. "Rising tough and stretching soft" in the routine Tiger Rising shows the strength in the practice, and several key timings for the timely conversion of ideas and strength are as follows: the movement course from the bottom up to the front of the shoulder, lifting both hands to the top of head, lowering the fists to the front of shoulder from the top of head, lowering the palms to the front of the abdomen. In the process, pay particular attention that the ideas should be transformed at the guide of hands, with the mind following with the shape. The circulating in the process, the sense of "rising tough and stretching soft" would transport through the body.
Fifth part: "rising tough and stretching soft" in the integration of three regulations. Regulating the body, mind and breath are the basic principles in the practice of Health Qigong. "Rising tough and stretching soft" in the routine Tiger Rising aims to start qi movement, generate yang qi, to achieve the coordination of breathing, body and mind, which is called the harmonious regulation of body, breathing and mind. After all, Health Qigong aims to exercise the right ways of inhaling, leading qi and exhaling, to reach the effective operation of qi movement, and avoid the suffocation and other phenomena. As for the exercise of Tiger Rising, if the respiratory rate is deep and the movement speed is relatively fast, the exercisers should inhale with lifting both hands and exhale in the falling; If the respiratory rate is faster and the movement speed is relatively slow, the exercisers should inhale with both hands from the bottom up to the front of shoulders, exhale with both hands on the top of head, inhale with hands falling to the front of shoulders, and exhale with both hands pressing to the front of the abdomen. IN short, the breathing should not be in a mess, while the breathing must be consistent with the body movements and ideas. The cooperation of these three factors can achieve good fitness results in the exercise of Tiger Rising.
The above five links have analyzed the wisdom of "rising tough and stretching soft" embedded in the routine Tiger Rising from the aspects of methods and movements, technical essentials and motor process. Well, what beneficial traditional cultures do the routine of Tiger Rising undertake? Generally speaking, it is closely linked with the ancient traditional philosophy, the way of thinking that the unity of heaven and man, and the humanistic ideas that the tao way following nature, etc. Specifically, "rising tough and stretching soft" of the routine Tiger Rising makes the human body, mind and interest fully integrated into the changes of yin and yang in the nature, and the mind and breathing work together, leading in the outside and inside. The movements have pursued and achieved the ideal state that the synchronous operation of the body and the world.
From the point of view of the cultural heritage, "rising tough and stretching soft" expresses an expression of cultural heritage, which is always shown in the concrete form or the specific manifestations, and always presents in certain cultural matrix being. So the cultural matrix of the routine Tiger Rising can not be separated away with the world view of the ancient Chinese sage. All changes in the nature are attributed to the ebb and flow of yin and yang by the ancient sages, i.e. the development of changes of all things in the world are dominated by yin and yang. And the refinement of all things can be realized in the process of the interaction of yin and yang, "rising tough and stretching soft" and trading off and taking turns. It goes without saying that the fitness philosophy and culture matrix of the routine Tiger Rising are inextricably linked to the yin-yang theory of the sages. The method, technology and theory all persist the mark of maternal culture of yin-yang theory.
First of all, the routine of Tiger Rising is highly consistent with the operation law of the heaven and earth. Traditional culture believes that human life activities are derived from the consistency of qi of the heaven and earth, which emphasizes that the human life activities have the same or even similar attributes with the generation and transformation of the natural world. It provides an important way of thought to understand the Tiger Rising. The routine Tiger Rising undertakes the basic state of qi in the heaven and earth. Traditional culture believes that qi in the world is kept in the restless ascending and descending, and exchange. The heaven is on the top, so the descending is the basic direction of movement; the land is at the bottom, so the ascending is the basic direction of movement. Therefore, the endless movement of qi in the heaven and earth can keep the peace of all things in the world. The motion morphology of Tiger Rising has reached a high degree of consistency with the running shape of qi in the world. The communication process of bottom-up, top-down and ascending and descending are extremely effective to clear the triple burner and cultivate the physical and mental health. The routine of Tiger Rising undertakes the fundamental way of the variable movement of yin and yang. Traditional Culture states the relationship between yin and yang, and health and smooth, which further points out the both sides of all things represented by yin and yang should be kept in the restless communication status. Tiger Rising has the effect on the physical and mental health, because the rhythm of human life mingles with the ascending and descending movements of qi in the heaven and earth. The movements of Tiger Rising carry on the cultural matrix of "unity of heaven and man". Traditional culture believes that the ascending, descending, incoming and outgoing of the Qi movement are closely related to the birth, growth, and aging and storing." The ascending qi and descending qi in the heaven and earth has cultivated the human life. So, "rising tough and stretching soft" of the routine Tiger Rising should be embedded in the cultural matrix of "unity of heaven and man". Meanwhile, the movements of Tiger Rising also play a positive role in the body fluid metabolism.
Secondly, the routine Tiger Rising is identical with the life movement concept that leads by yang qi. The movement process of Tiger Rising fully demonstrates the masculine features. Practicing this routine is conductive to start the qi movement, strengthen the body and nourish the spirits. In fact, it is the cultural heritage of the Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi. In this regard, we may trace to the source briefly. The composition of the images of the heaven and earth, as well as yin and yang in the "Book of Changes" is a fully reciprocal relationship, but according to the interpretations of the hexagram-records of sixty-four hexagrams, the line-records and "Yi Zhuang", the relationship between yin and yang, and the heaven and earth are not entirely equal. It shows that the heaven is the body main, while the earth is the subordinate. "Yi Zhuan · Xi Ci Shang" said, " The sky above and the earth below, then the universe is formed", which shows the different positions of yin and yang, as well as the heaven and earth. "The heaven is the basis, and the earth generates all things, both of which work together.” “Yi (change)" is the basic performance of life activities, and yang qi presides over the change. It shows that yang takes charge of starting and change, and yin takes charge of the subordination. The changes of all things are derived from the changes of yang qi, including the amount of the increase or decrease, the effect and the way. Taking yang qi as the major idea, "Su Wen·Sheng Qi Tong Tian Lun" has more explicitly pointed out that the disorder of yang qi would injure the life; the life depends on the circulation of yang qi. Hereby, the routine Tiger Rising gives priority to start the qi movement, strengthen yang qi, rise tough and stretch soft, as well as promote yang qi. This view conforms to the methods and theories of the routine Tiger Rising, and it also connects with the Qi sensations, the somatosensory and psychological state. At the same time, it also further explains that as a contemporary sports culture, the culture matrix or cultural origins of Health Qigong is rather ancient.
Moreover, the fitness principles of Tiger Rising are more in line with the theory of traditional Chinese medicine. The movements in this routine have mainly strengthened and regulated the liver system, twelve muscle regions and twelve meridians. The theory of visceral outward manifestation of the Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that the liver is connected with tendons, reflecting its brilliance in the nails, and the liver is in charge of dredging and storing the blood. So, through the changes of the palm shapes (flat palm, tigers, fist) and the gaze of two eyes (liver orifices), the practice has conducted the effective regulation on the function of the liver system. The lifting and supporting of palms and arms, as well as the stretch of limbs have also exercised the twelve muscle regions. The twelve muscle regions refers to the system that qi of the twelve meridians gathers and disperses in the muscles and joints, so the tightness and stretching of the limbs has conducted the effective regulation of the blood and qi of the twelve meridians. Meanwhile, with the deep breath, the movements in this routine will strengthen the lung. The lung takes charge of qi and the breathing, dominating the dispersing of the Qi movements, promoting circulation of blood, as well as dredging and regulating water passage. In the daily life, people generally use the thoracic breathing, which is relatively shallow. Through the deep, thin, slow, relaxed, even, long thoracic and abdominal breathing, the exercises can strengthen the respiratory function of the lung. The deep breathing has increased the inhaled clean air, and the pectoral qi produced has also increased. Fall the palms like pulling the dual ring, shrink the chest and stretch the back, and sink Qi to the Dantian. Then palms up and inhale the clean air, pressing palms down and exhaling the foul air, the ascending and descending of qi movement can clear the triple burner and adjust the function of the triple burner. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that the triple burners are distributed in a large hollow organ of the abdominal cavity, which is also known as "Gu Fu (solitary house)". The triple burners are conductive to the circulation of the primordial qi, preside over all kinds of qi, and take charge of the qi movement and gasification functions of the body. The triple burners are the channels for the ascending, descending, incoming and outgoing of the Qi movement. The circulation of pectoral qi and primordial qi are running up and down through the triple burners.
In short, to understand the routine of Tiger Rising in the Health Qigong·Wu Qin Xi in the thinking mode of "rising tough and stretching soft" is reasonable and compliant, and it is also the cultural heritage. This way of thinking is bound to benefit the in-depth study and discussion of the Health Qigong.