The Rising Yang of Spring
In a previous Article, Year-End Yin, we outlined how to practice at the end of the year when the Yin energy was rising, and now that we are coming into Spring, (in the Northern Hemisphere), we find ourselves on the opposite end of the energy scale, with the Yang energy now rising. This month we will explore ways to take advantage of this time of year.
Always remember that what is going on in nature is a good guide as to how your practice should be focused. The temperatures are rising which means on a physical level you will be more loose and flexible. Forms that open up your stance, such as Snake creeps down can help you take advantage of this change. Try to do forms like this that help you to really open up your joints, meridians and energy field.
This is also a good time to start work on expanding your energy field outward. In the winter you did a lot of internal work, so now you want to focus more outside and on expanding. You practice with the eyes closed to work on the internal, and with the eyes open to work on the external, so work more with the eyes open, remembering to keep a relaxed gaze so that you are looking into infinity. Really expand your energy outward as far as you can imagine, but not so far that you lose it.
Another area to focus on is doing your forms in a faster manner in order to drive the energy more as you practice. You practice slowly most of the time in order to pay close attention to the details and flow of the form, but time to time you want to practice at a faster speed to concentrate on driving the energy. This helps to not only strengthen your energy, but also to help you work on a more focused, direct flow, such as you would use in Martial Arts or Healing applications. Just make sure that you do not over-do this kind of practice, but rather, train this way from time to time.
As often as you can, try and practice outdoors. Real contact with the Earth, and having the infinite sky above you allows you to develop a strong connection with the Earth below, which helps with rooting, and gives you the ability to go out into infinity in all directions. With the sky above you, it is much easier to open up and expand out. The Earth, sky connection is a very important part of your energy development, so being outside really helps develop this. Without walls and a ceiling, you are free of the restraints that they can put around you, and forced to think in a more infinite manner as you go out.
These are just a few examples to help you get started. Remember to always go by your true feeling and let that guide you as you do your daily practice. It is better to let the feeling guide you, than to fall into a "practice routine", which can become too rigid and in fact, be contrary to what would benefit your practice on any given day. The energy flow should always be the most important part of whatever you are practicing, and as always, remember that quality is foremost over quantity in your practice.