Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tao of Love And Sex: Nine Exercises of Sexual Tao (Part III)

The two traditional Taoist exercises that follow were pop-ularized in China by the internal schools and Bian Zhi-zhong, following the tradition of the Taoists of the Hua Shan mountains.

  • One of the most important points in this exercise is the position of the spinal column: it must be perfectly straight but not rigid. Your back must be strong and suppie; any stiffness will impede the flow of qi, thus dimin-ishing the effects of the exercise and preventing energy from circulating as it should.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed, neither raised nor hunched over. This is not always easy to achieve, especially while you are learning the movements. The common tendency is to tense the shoulders, to raise them toward the neck and tuck the head into the shoulders.
  • Hold your head straight, with your chin slightly tucked ; and your neck supple. The point on the top of the head
    between your two ears, on the line going from the nose to the nape of the neck, should be kept pointed, toward the sky. Be careful not to lean your head forward or backward.
  • Look straight ahead, neither to the right nor to the left (except as indicated for certain poses, in which, for example, you will need to follow the movements of your hands).
  • Your hands should remain supple and elastic. When you close your fists, do so without exerting physical force. Don't clench them. If energy is circulating as it should, you will nonetheless feel as though there is great strength in your hands or your fingers, and an outside observer looking at your fists might imagine that they are being deliberately clenched with great force. This sign indicates that the energy is circulating.
  • Your legs should remain supple as well. Do not tense them.
  • The mobility and flexibility of your waist are very important. The waist is an axis, and from this axis the pelvis will move.
  • Be persevering in your practice. Only through repetition will you obtain noticeable results.
  • Learn to control your gaze: the eyes are the mirror of the mind; if you can master your eyes, you can master your mind.
  • Practice this meditation at the same time every day in a quiet room kept at a pleasant temperature. It can also be practiced out of doors, in a place sheltered from wind, cold, sun, and damp.
  • Let your breathing happen freely, and if you begin to feel short of breath, don't hesitate to breathe through your mouth, even if this goes against practices you may already be familiar with from other disciplines such as yoga.
  • Don't let your mind stray or gravitate toward your every-dap cares and worries. Remain wakeful and attentive, for this is also part of the exercise.
  • Perform this movement without unnecessary effort, or mental tension. Of course, this is difficult to accomplish at first, but with daily practice you will master it.

This valuable exercise was still being practiced at the be-ginning of the century by the Taoist monks of the Hua mountains. It is practiced today in Taiwan and China. A most powerful exercise, it is capable of restoring lost vital-ity, it is also called "fortifying and nourishing the kidneys and breath."

As you know by now, the word "kidney" should be understood here in a broad sense, that is, as vitality, longevity, sexual force, and reproduction. For the ancient Taoists all these notions resided in this simple word.

The following exercise and the one preceding it should fee practiced regularly, twice a day for at least three minutes. This exercise stimulates the circulation of qi and blood, of yin and yang; increases vitality through the influx of fresh, pure qi expels stagnant, used qi; stimulates the five viscera, particularly the kidneys, and the sexual organs (when practiced with the exercise that comes after it); and normalizes body weight.

With its simple three-part movement, this exercise should be practiced in a natural and supple way; you should never force your breathing. Here is how it is traditionally done.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart from each other. Relax the muscles in your arms, letting your hands rest alongside your thighs. Keep your knees slightly bent. Look straight ahead of you, focusing into infinity. Keep your eyes half open, your gaze tranquil. Empty your mind of all its cares and thoughts.

Inhale as you lift your heels gently off the floor, without losing your balance.
Visualize the fresh air penetrating everywhere inside you, stimulating every cell of your body.
Gradually shift your weight onto the balls and toes of your feet, without forcing your breathing or making noise as you breathe. Then exhale while lowering your heels gently to the floor, ending with a slight bend in the knees. Do
this on a single exhalation, letting your back curve outward just a bit and your stomach cave in slightly.
As the air leaves your lungs, visualize it carrying all your toxins away with it. Perform this first part sixteen times in succession, slowly, but breathing completely.

Check to see that your knees are still bent, and then relax, Breathe naturally as you shake your entire body with a series of harmonious vibrations to a rapid rhythm (three vibrations a second, if possible). Do this for about a min- ute, while breathing freely.
You might be a bit surprised at first, and you should not
force the movement; little by little, as you relax more and more, you will begin to feel the vibrations shake your body (as this happens, try to keep your shoulders, jaws, and pelvis relaxed).
Men will feel their testicles swinging to a rapid rhythm, and women will feel their breasts jump and their vagina relax.
If you find it difficult to get the vibration going, try shaking your body from top to bottom and from front to back slightly. With practice, the vibration will come naturally.

Gently bend your right knee and rotate your right shoulder forward and downward toward the middle of the body (see figure on next page.), and then upward and outward in a smooth, harmonious circle. Now do the same with y< ! left shoulder as you bend your left knee. This movement will soon become natural. Do not force the movement of your shoulders. Breathe naturally as you perform this exercise sixteen times. Little by little, you will feel the yin-yang movement of your waist, as one side opens outward and the other closes inward. You will also feel a definite effect on the stomach.

This exercise is unique in that it fortifies the sexual organs in both men and women. It is said that the courtesans of the last emperors of China, anxious to reap the benefits of This exercise, would make the journey to the Hua mountains just to learn it. With its tonic effect on the male and female sexual organs, this exercise acts directly on the kidneys the adrenal glands, the sexual glands, and the pelvis and on many acupuncture points and channels as well, this exercise is said to strengthen kidney functioning, relieve lumbago, firm and lift the vagina, and stimulate blood flow in the testicles (which can prevent varicoceles and genital inflammations). Practiced on a regular basis, this exercise can also help prevent nocturnal emissions and involuntary seminal emissions in young men. And like the previous exercise, it increases the tone of the breasts in young women.

Take the same position as in the previous exercise, with your back straight but relaxed.

Raise your left hand slowly, keeping your palm upward m front of the body, until your hand reaches the height of your chest. At the same time, describe an arc with the right foot and set it down to the right, as indicated in the figure on the next page. Then raise your right hand to the level of your lower ribs, as you bring your left hand in front of your face, holding it as though it were a mirror (keep your left elbow bent, as in the figure). At the same time, pivot your left foot on the toe, moving your heel in an outward direction; then squeeze your buttocks as hard as you can, pressing them together so that you can feel your genital organs. Repeat these movements from the other side.

Do this exercise eight times on each side. Be sure to perform the movements slowly, keeping your breathing relaxed and unforced throughout. (Women should never perform this exercise during their periods or during pregnancy.)

This ancient exercise stimulates what the Taoists call the cinnabar field, the energy point in the middle of the abdomen, which connects a person's vital reserves (linked to the kidneys and jing, or vital and sexual essence) with his or her qi, or readily available force.

Traces of this exercise can be found in a seventeenth-century Taoist compilation that speaks of the exercises of the immortals. The "immortals" were Taoist sages and hermits who, having realized their energy potential, attained a high degree of spiritual accomplishment. The daoyin exercise is simply called "holding your feet."
Sit down on the floor with your legs tensed and grasp the soles of your feet, with your hands reaching around the outside of the foot to the sole.

Remain in this position as you take nine deep breaths, keeping your awareness focused on the abdomen. Don't force your breathing; you can keep your eyes halfway closed to help you concentrate.

This acupressure massage of the energy points is good for both sexes; it can help both men and women prolong the sex act and increase their orgasmic pleasure. This massage uses the same pressure-and-release method described in the section on the female aphrodisiac acupressure point: press the points with the thumb until you Begin to feel discomfort, then release without lifting your thumb from the skin; repeat this cycle of pressure and release for about two minutes on each of the three energy gates, in the following order.

First point.
The first point is located two centimeters below the navel You can feel it by pressing gently with the index finger on the skin; you will feel a slight depression there.

Second point.
The second point (there are actually two of them) is located three centimeters below the navel, four centimeters to either side of the midline.

Third point.
The third point is located at the base of the nail of the second toe, toward the outside of the toe.
These three massages should be repeated once a day for three weeks.

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