This week is our final week of examples for the series on finding the right mind-body teacher. You can find the previous installments in the series at the links above. Next week we will round out the series with a single post summarizing all of the qualities that a mind body teacher should have and collecting links to each other installment.
Now, on to the examples for internal techniques and knowledge a mind-body teacher should have.
"A truly great mind-body practitioner is equally trained in both the external arts and the internal arts." This means knowing how the ancient martial training that forms the basis for all of Tai Chi is not just about combat, but about mastering the body and it's many aspects. Each piece of eastern health philosophy is about maximizing the functions of the body, which makes one a better martial artists, but also makes one healthier and improves their quality of life. The control of your body, and of the energy in your body, can be used by wise teachers to heal you.
"A great mind-body teacher will know how important it is to work with your energetic system." In eastern philosophy, the energetic system is the foundation for the body's healing and life force. Knowing how to teach the regulation and utilization of the energetic system is of key importance in any and all mind-body schools of thought.
"In addition to knowing the energetic system, a mind-body teacher should lead you in evoking the spirit and harmonizing the three forces; heaven human and earth." Each mind-body technique you practice is more than a body movement. They are meant to include all five building blocks of our being. One of those building blocks is the spirit, and evoking the spirit is often forgotten when we are searching for the health benefits of mind-body exercises. This is often the final piece of any technique that you may learn, but you can also choose to focus on evoking the spirit as the main part of a technique, such as when walking like a warrior.
"A qualified teacher will have experience working with different challenging health issues." Science has only recently begun doing research into the positive impacts that a mind-body regimen can have for chronic and even some life-threatening health issues. If your mind-body teacher waited for the science to be out before they taught you something, you would be waiting a long time. Instead, a teacher should know, deeply, how each technique they have in their repertoire can help someone with a health condition, whether it is for cancer, chronic pain such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or something else.
Next week we consolidate all of these posts into one useful guide!
Happy stretching, deep breathing, empty your mind, strengthen your energetic system, and evoke your spirit!