"Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
SunDo Taoist practice emphasizes breathing to engage the whole body, especially the lower abdomenal area or navel chakra. A practitioner begins by lying down to learn breath technique and then advances to maintain various SunDo postures while breathing remains deeply rooted in the belly.
Eventually, as the breath becomes stronger, one can guide Qi energy along the meridian pathways of the body to move stagnant energy, enliven the body and clear the mind.
Practice begins with a series of stretching exercises that loosen and relax the body, and concludes with a series of cool-down stretching exercises that circulate energy and promote healthy functioning of the internal organs.
Lower abdomenal breathing performed in a slower rhythm activates the parasympathetic nervous system which enduces a more relaxed state of mind. This type of breathing meditation over time may also change how a person thinks, feels, reasons and reacts. Physical health may improve along with a greater sense of creativity, self-awareness and joy!
A SunDo member in Montpelier writes about the transformative effect of Taoist practice on emotional health:
"We are bringing ritual into our lives. That ritual is fairly static: warm-up, meditation-breathing, warm-downs. Repeated movements: inhale, twist left, exhale - the same motion on the day you felt lousy as on the day you felt great. And that's the beauty of ritual. The ritual changes little, but you changed - perhaps a lot. Your emotional state is put aside while you go ahead and do the posture anyway. The practice transcends you, and you transcend your emotional state, if only temporarily.
Conflicts arise - allow them. And they go - let them."
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SunDo has been passed down from teacher to student for thousands of years.
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