Neigong training translates to inner work. This has long been a very secretive part of the real fighting art of Tai Chi taught only to trusted disciple. It is a highly efficient system of training to build an ideal body for Tai Chi martial artists, whilst simultaneously developing technique, power and also a calm and relaxed mind, capable of achieving creative flow states during combat.
THE YIN EXERCISES
There are 12 Yin exercises which are practiced every other day. These include Power building standing meditation postures, exercises which strengthen and develop our breathing patterns and apparatus as well as other exercises which develop the strength and flexibility of useful movement patterns and generally healthy body traits. The organs of the body receive a massage effect and become healthier and function more effectively. People with stress, anxiety, insomnia or nervous tension often report a lot of benefit from practicing the soft and gentle exercises of the Yin set of neigong.
THE YANG EXERCISES
These exercises are advanced methods of dynamic tension and body awareness training. They build high levels of practical and dynamic strength, develop explosive power in martial useful ways and further develop the overall conditioning of the body. The strength obtained from these exercises is highly useful in the application of Tai Chi pushing hands and self defence techniques. The Yang exercises are done on alternate days, so one day you can practice the softer Yin exercise and the next you can work on the Yang ones.
OLD MAN MAKING THE MEDICINE
The Taoists who developed the Neigong internal strength exercises sought to develop the awareness and concentration capacity of the mind and to help practitioners achieve high levels of wellbeing and a sense of peaceful ease. At the end of a Neigong session a practitioner will either stand or sit (in lotus or semi lotus) in order to practice two breathing exercises and then a sitting meditation exercise. This is known as ‘making the medicine’, which is a term used to achieving deep states of relaxation etc.