MARTIAL ARTS AND YOGA

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MARTIAL ARTS AND YOGA

Martial Arts and Yoga are dynamic tools that reveal the underlying psychology of the practitioner. Wisdom develops quickly when people learn the meaning behind the movements, whether they are experienced or newbies at martial arts or yoga. Not just the physical component, this system also involves the spiritual component. While this is by no means complete, and if I’ve left out something, there was no slight intended.

At first glance, Martial Arts and Yoga seem like opposing forces and philosophies, but these two health maintenance systems have more in common than meets the eye.  Consider the similarities between Tai Chi and Hatha Yoga. Within the warm up, you notice very similar movement, philosophy, and principles.

In yoga systems, the practitioners do asanas or body postures and breathing exercises while seated, especially in a lotus position. Martial arts consists of more standing, walking and physical activity. This activates the lower energy system or the lower chakras, which are important for practicality, physical strength and good health.

The difference between the yogis of India and the martial artists of China, Korea, Okinawa or the Philippines is the fact that these practitioners are always standing. They are always moving, including dynamic movement, which is a meditation in itself. T’ai chi is an example of this type of martial arts. It brings more balance of spiritual powers with material powers. It grounds ideas faster by activating the centres of energy responsible for manifestation, including the base of the spine and navel chakras.

Martial Arts and Yoga include sitting postures, standing meditations and more advanced hand positions or mudras to circulate energy through the whole system and the energy bodies. Alchemized energy results from the mixture of divine light with the inner fires or kundalini. The circulation of power and energy – especially the alchemized circulation – flows more efficiently when practicing a standing posture because it involves the lower centres, including the legs.

What makes Martial Arts and Yoga dynamic are the systematic, sequenced designs of bio-mechanical movements synchronized with breathing techniques that maximize circulation and energies the whole body system. The result is tremendously powerful than normal martial arts or yoga alone. It’s like combining the best Japanese martial arts style with the best of Tibetan, Nepalese and Indian yoga systems – all in one package.

Martial Arts and Yoga is divided into seven levels that integrate the development of greater physical acumen along with the development of life skills, higher virtues and values. Each level can be mastered in 3-6 months, depending on how disciplined the practitioner is.

Benefits – Practitioners report that doing physical exercises and breathing practices daily, they are able to beat their fatigue and stress faster, including jet lag. They sleep better and their concentration improves. Many find practicing Martial Arts and Yoga twice weekly becomes a highlight of life rather than simply an exercise regime.

Traditional martial arts practitioners specialize in hard or soft style. The gentle hearted may not be interested in martial arts designed to enhance fighting skills or self-defense. They often enjoy softer practices like T’ai chi for developing will-power and life skills through resilience, speed and adaptability. Hard styles like those found in Japan, Okinawa and Korea are also very popular.

Martial Arts and Yoga integrates hard fighting styles with softer techniques for a more complete system so its practitioners benefit from the best of both the styles.

One of the contributions especially of hard styles is development of will-power and constant focus. Children and adults with attention issues find their ability to focus improves after practicing martial arts. For adults who face ever increasing workloads, martial arts upgrades their energy and stamina as well as their focus so it is easier to meet complex challenges and deadlines.

Martial Arts-Yoga is a powerful tool and hence precautions are important. People with back pain, herniated discs, joint replacements, heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancer or other serious conditions should consult their health care providers before starting.

Pregnant women should not practice these techniques, especially in the third trimester because the energy boost could over-stimulate the baby and over-awaken the mother at the same time. However, after the baby is born, the increase in energy and vitality that result from Martial Arts and Yoga may be helpful in dealing with postpartum issues. It not only increases stamina, but makes it easier to lose weight and slim down after pregnancy, helping the new mothers regain their previous shape faster and increase their self-esteem. There is also more energy to proactively manage their families, to cope with their babies and take steps for their families.

For those who find it’s hard to maintain a practical approach to life after practicing yoga, this multi-faceted practice becomes a dynamic meditation that increases awareness on physical, mental and spiritual levels while aligning the will, heart and creative intelligence.

Whether you are in business, managing a family or pursuing education, Martial Arts and Yoga enables you to align your spirit and purpose to make a world of difference, both materially and spiritually.

Tai Chi is an Asian martial art practiced for many reasons including defense training, its health benefits such as balance and core strengthening. The chi in Tai Chi means qi or ki, “life energy.” The concept of Tai Chi appears in Taoist philosophy, where it represents the fusion of Ying and Yang into a single ultimate.

In Dahn Yoga, you can learn basic form of Tai Chi through DahnMuDo.   Dahn yoga is a Korean physical exercise system. In Korean, dahn means “primal, vital energy,” and hak means “study of a particular theory or philosophy.” This form of yoga has been thought of as “a blend of yoga, tai chi, and martial arts exercises.”

DahnMuDo is a comprehensive system of movement that is derived from the ancient tradition of Korean healing and martial arts forms. It includes principles and practices for the enhancement of life energy and for the development of the ability to use energy. It can be literally translated as “the art of being limitless.” The word dahn means “energy”; mu means “limitless”; and do means “the way.” Thus, it is a discipline designed to develop power and to uncover endless creative energy.

In this non-combative, healing martial art, you learn how to use your body to enhance your mental and spiritual strength while gaining a sense of personal integrity. The ultimate goal of DahnMuDo is to develop a complete human being who has full mastership of body, mind, and spirit.

While many DahnMuDo forms can be physically challenging, it is gentle enough to be practiced by anyone of any age. The speed, strength, intensity, and height of particular moves might be different for each individual practitioner, but the forms are deliberately designed to benefit every person, regardless of their physical or mental state.

Traditionally, the discipline of yoga has been used to help people meditate. Dahn Yoga meditation helps the practitioner develop healthy balance of relaxation in body and mind. As practitioners develop greater body awareness and ability to relax, their level of concentration deepens. Dahn Yoga meditation accelerates this process by shifting the focus away from busy thoughts to the physical sensations of the body.

When you focus your awareness as you move your body, you can clear your mind and connect with a deeper part of yourself—the part that gives you the power to make the changes you want. Dahn Yoga meditation addresses the connection of the mind and the body by way of the natural energy, Ki, or Qi (Chi).

Qigong is a powerful system of healing and energy medicine from Asia. It is the art and science of using breathing techniques, gentle movement, and meditation to cleanse, strengthen, and circulate the life energy, qi.

Qi is the animating power that flows through all living things. Gong is translated as cultivation or work, and definitions include practice, skill, mastery, and achievement. The two words are combined to describe systems to cultivate and balance life energy.

 Kathy Kiefer

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