Introduction
With fasting we refer to many forms of self-restraint from aliments:
there are fasting where one focuses on excluding certain types of food and fasting when one focuses on decreasing the frequency or the amount intaken.
Fasting is present in every major religion and spiritual tradition and is considered a tool for purification, to prepare for a period of deeper meditation, to prepare for some ritual ceremony or period of prayer, or simply as a practice of faith and willpower.

Physical benefits:
Nowadays many are rediscovering the power of fasting as a tool to detoxify and heal the body.
In our modern culture, we consume too much food and most of the time of poor quality, grown with chemical processes, without respect of natural times, and the situation is even worse with regard to the industry of meat and dairy.
With fasting, we give a break to our overly stressed digestive system and in this space, the body can reset and heal itself: the body will start to consume at first what it doesn’t need and start eliminating all the accumulated toxins and the stagnation from the body.

Emotional benefits:

At the emotional level with fasting we can also have a very strong purging and transformative effect: consider the emotional factor of our over/eating: when we feel stressed, depressed, when we want to run away from that silent and empty hole we feel inside, when we want to cover up some emotion we relay on addictions: we take our phone, we go out, we find any way possible to distract ourself.
Potentially anything can become an addiction when it is used as a form to escape ourselves and what is happening inside of us.
With food it is difficult to imagine how emotionally dependent we all are until we experience fasting.
Food is filling, with it, we literally fill up the whole of sadness, unworthiness and unsatisfaction in our life.
When we restrain from food we will often experience strong emotional outbursts normally during fasting when one’s emotions are fine and stable he or she will normally fell surprisingly not hungry but when some negative emotion arises one will feel a strong and sometimes quite disturbing urge for food.
This shows that in that situation if we wouldn’t have restrained ourself, we would have used food as an emotional cover-up.
When we fast and we discard this possibility we are forced to face ourself and our suffering and in this process, healing can happen: we can come to understand, accept our pain and finally understand the lessons behind our pain and grow.
This process is deeply transformative and can happen even at a quite unconscious level. we can come to access stagnant emotions that are very deep and difficult to access even with a regular and solid practice of meditation.

Mental and Spiritual benefits:

While fasting we become lighter, the body has to spend less energy on digesting, which is one of the most energy-consuming tasks in our body.
in this state, we can feel more rested, more calm, more energic and our mind will become more clear and ordered. Our thinking starts to clear up and to set on more coherent lines.
we can feel like a great deal of weight has been removed from our shoulders and we can look around more freely, with more freshness.
In this state our meditation will be greatly enhanced and it will be much easier to enter in stillness, to perform energy work, to connect with outer sources and to do work of introspection of any kind.
This is the main reason why so many spiritual traditions include fasting as it naturally enhances our spirituality.
With a more advanced practice of fasting, it is possible to clearly observe how it removes karmic weight from us: we can feel we can move forward in our life more easily, we have less heaviness and obstructions, we have less self-sabotage and we are more clear about what we want and how to get there.
After this brief and still reductive explanation of the benefits of fasting we will proceed with explaining different types and modalities.

Types of fasting

1.Restaining from types of foods

In this phase, we are not going to discuss the amount of time a certain restrain is being carried on: some can be for a limited time of days or weeks, some can become a life choice.
In my opinion, the most basic level of elimination of certain foods is the adoption of a vegetarian or vegan diet.
This practice can have already a very profound transforming effect in our lifes. When I first became vegetarian i didn’t really notice so much the profound effects it had on me, when I then became a vegan and I could feel more clearly the benefits of eliminating certain types of food, looking back on my past I could see that actually the vegetarian diet played not little role in my development.
We can say that every step forward in the elimination gives exponentially stronger and more profound effects.
After the elimination of meat and dairy, we have the elimination of many other types of foods for example wheat, salt, sugar, spices, onion, garlic, processed foods, any type of grain and many other types of food types. this category is difficult to discuss here as it is vast and has many variations. I will just say that spicy food ( including chilly, garlic, ginger, onion) is not very compatible with meditation practices as they stimulate the inner fire and the flow of qi and blood they oppose stillness. Also, i can say that any type of wheat, especially white refined wheat is quite heavy to digest especially as many of us do with very regular consumption of it.
Also in this category, we can put fasting on soups, which I consider a very good and effective way to fast especially if the soups are quite plane as this allows many nutrients from the vegetables to be absorbed but still be very light.
Another category in the restrain of certain food types are all types of mono diets.
This basically means to restrain oneself to only one aliment ( as for example coconuts, apple, banans, carrot juice) or to one dish ( for example the red rice). This is also a very powerfull type of fasting that the digestive system can get used to that aliment and rest for a while in the lack of variety. also this type of fasting is good because it bring naturally to the gradual reduction of quantites of intake also because the desire of food is gradually lessened.
the next big level of restrain is to avoid cooked food, this is the level of the raw diet.
personally i cannot say much about the raw food diet as i didnt explore it a lot and i often found it difficoult to digest many types of raw vegetables: this may be due to my natural constitution or on my lack of experience and knowledge with this type of diet: i do very much enjoy eating salads and some types of raw vegetables which i found confortable for my digestive system. Nevertheless i am sure that this type of diet has many benefits and i have witnessed many people experience very good results with it.
After this is the level of fruit: this level has a special place in my heart and i become more and more fond of it the more i explore it. Fruit is light, nutrient, full of good water and extreily energizing. When on a fruit diet one can feel at the same time very light and very active, the natural shugar in fruit gives a state of excitement, of inspiration, a sense of strenght and empowerment. If i want to maintain this diet for longer periods of time i have to practice a quite considerable ammount of meditation in order to be able to administrate the enormous ammount of energy i have in my body. When a proper meditation practice is enstablished one can enjoy the benefits of having a lot of energy, accomplishing many tasks, performing physically at a surprising level, feeling more rested and with less need of sleep and at the same time grow spiritually in an accelerated and joyfull way. With this diet it is important to take care of our teeth with frequent brushing expecially at the beginning for the high ammount of sugar and also it is important to not mix messily big quantities of differnt fruits in your stomach ( which may lead to gas and diarrea), with experience you can find out what mixes of fruit work best for you. Also it is said that fruit is the most karmick free type of solid food as it doesnt imply any type of killing ( as opposed to vegetables) and the plant offers the fruits spontaniously. I think in a sense fruit is to vegetables what dairy is to meat. vegetables are the body of the plant and fruit are its offsprings. With the prolongued consumption of fruit one becomes more and more accostumed and in able to enjoy more and more the flavour of fruit, it doesnt tyre you, instead it becomes more and more delicious and even extatic experience to eat delicious and fresh fruits. Also this diet suits better warm climates, it can be contraindicated for some types of people who are more cold in nature ( from a chinese medicine point of view). Also in this category we include dry fruits as nuts. (artificially dried fruits as for example dried bananas are not ideal in my opinion as they contain a lot of sugar and much less water can be more aggressive on the theeth).
Fruit was the last of the solid foods, now we enter in the cathegories of liquid foods:
the first level of these are smoothies. With smoothie we intend blended fruit or vegetables.This modality allows the creation of very delicious cobinations and in my opinion their good taste is one of the main benefits. In truth one common misconception about fasting is that is a type of self torture to restrain from the good taste of many foods. Actually it is quite the opposite, all my life i have enjoyed food a lot (which is also due to my italian education) and with fasting i came to enjoy it even more, to become more aware of its taste and the elimination of certain foods for certain periods of time really allows you to appreciate the amazing qualieties of other and more simple and basic aliments. I personally dont know if by blending we improve the qualities of digestion of the foods. Defenetly one negative aspect is that excluding chewing one also produces less saliva and therefore ingests less and the saliva, as we will see forward has great benefits for our digestion. In a way certaintly blending is like a form of deconstructing the food before it is ingested and this makes the work easier for our digestive system. It is also important to note that it is best to consume a smoothie or a juice in the first ten minutes after it is prepared otherwise it wil start oxidation process and also loose some nutritional quality.
Next level is juicing. While juicing we eliminate great part of the vegetable or fruit and we squeeze out of it the most nutritional an rich part of it. This is a very efficient way to fast as it is even more light and carries very condensed nutrient value. For this diet it is very important to buy 100 percent juices with no additives. The ideal thing would be to buy a juicing machine so that you can be sure which fruit and veg you use and also you will be able to consume it while freshly made.
Coming to the end of our list we have water fasting which baically means to consume only water. This is one of the purest form of fasting and water is the most essential of aliments, it is the base of life on our planet, it is a pure and highly elevated spirit. On a water fast one can experience very high level of purity, stillness, peace and oness with the universe, one can learn to understand the power of this incredible element and to apreciate its healing qualities, in this way one can develop real and deep love for water, which is ever present, supporting natural force in our life and in the life of our earth. The more we learn to love water the more we are able to get nourished form it.
The very last type of fasting in this cathegory is dry fasting, which means the total abstinence from any type of solid or liquid source of nutrition. This is the most radical form of fasting and the most strong. Its purification and healing power is the deepest, its defies our understanding and transforms us at deep and essential levels. Functioning for a while with absolutely no nutrition one experience a great freedom and a great level of union with the cosmos.

2.Limiting quantities and frequency

After those distinctions we can speak about the secon type of distinction that is limiting the quantities and the frequency.
It is difficult to cathegorize the limitation to quantity of food as it is a very relative topic. If one is used to eat three plates of pasta per meal then even eating just two plates would be a form of restraint. This type of restriction can go as far as having one berry or one grain of rice as a meal. Reducing food quantities can be very beneficial and depending on the radicality of the restriction it can have all the benefits than the fastings that we listed above. Even a mild restriction from food can be very benefitial for our rest, energy levels and vitality.It is easy to notice how eating to 100 percent creates tierdness and heaviness especially for the first couple of hours after food. One of the most common longevity tips from the chinese culture is to eat only until you are seventy percent full.
More easy to speak about is the limitation in the frequency. This is the topic of intermittent fasting.
Our normal nutrition is of three meals a day, most people also make many snaks in between, some people even get nervous when havent eaten for more than one hour. In this way our digestive system is virtually always at work. The only bigger window of time it has to get some rest is between dinner and breakfast.
In intermittent fasting one reduces the frequency of eating tipically to one or two times a day.
Also some intermittent fasting methods imply haveing a limited window of time for eating during the day ( for example from eleven to three o clock or from when you wake up to midday).
Those type of fasting are very beneficial and easy to integrate in everyday life.
If the body has a certain minimum ammount of hours of rest in a day it can enter in a deeper resting and regenerating state and the whole body can feel more energyzed.
This can increase the quality and decrease the quantity of sleep and give more strenght and vitality during the day. this also increases considerably our overall productivity, and state of awareness. Like with any type of fasting you can feel more awake.
Also one of the good sides of this type of fasting is that you can continue eating what you like what you like while still enjoying the benefits of fasting.
How to fast efficiently
introduction
The last topic that we are going to treat is how to facilite and support a fasting so that it gives us the maximum ammount of benefits.
For this it is important to understand the nature of nutristion.
Our nutrition comes from different sources: from food, from air, and from energy.
To make an example of what it means that we nourish of energy we can observe that when someone is falling in love, or when there is an inspiring and stimulating project or turn in life, that person will tend to eat less than nornally and sometimes even forget about eating but still would feel very energized, waking up with no effort, running around carrying out tasks more easily, generally feeling in a wave of inspiration and energy where everything seems more beautiful and what before was considered impossible or not even considered become possible and at hand.
This type of inspiration is manifestation of energetical nourishment, this can be practiced and enhanced beyond our immagination.
We all feel that we have a immense potential laying deep inside ourself, improving our way of nourishment is the way to access it.
In this sense everything we do is nourishment, watching movies, working, our romantic life, our friendships, the way we breathe, and ultimately our thoughts are our nourishment, and as the famous saying states: we are what we eat.

Overcoming the obstacles

While fasting we will encounter many types of obstacles and difficulties.
A succesful fast relies on our ability to nourish from positive energy, our habit of eating so much hides an inability to connect with what feels trully good, inspiring and nourishing to us.
As we said food can become the mean for us to fill up the whole of sadness, unworthyness and unsatysfatction in our life.
When we restrain from eating we will be brought forward our inabily to nourish on energy and the limiting toughts and beliefs about ourself that limit us will come to the light.
In this case we can become more sensible to emotions and our buttons will be more easily pushed.
In this scenario we can come to face very strong emotional discharges of fear, anger, frustration, sadness and so on.
In this situation it is foundamental to maintain an objective mind and understand that this discharges represent a great chance for growth.
Take the time to allow these feelings to manifest, to observe them, to sit with them.
Eventually you will consciously or unconciously come to some realization that will make you understand the limiting belief that is behind that suffering and that you dont need to carry that belief if you dont want.
In this way you will be able to remove obstacles in your personality and access greater portion of you true natural potential.
Another tipe of difficulty manifests at a phisical level.
In a very similar way the disconfort that manifests in our body represents places where we hold blockages that limit our potential of expression.
Also in these cases it is important to remain calm and observe the physical pain.
Observing the physical pain we can observe which type of emotional reactions in stimulates in us and once we do that we can treat this condition as the previous one, observing, accepting, integrating, moving forward with gratitude and love.
When these disconforts manifests it is important to have an honest eye and to not take challenges that are too great for ourself. If something manifests that we feel we have not the capacity to overcome it is important to take a step back and interrupt the fast or maybe just make it more light or simply distract a for a while with a nice movie, a read, some activity or some sleep.
It is important to make steps at a sustainable rythm, otherwise we may even more injure our self and nourish even more our deep traumas and limitations.
Facing difficulties in the process of fasting ( and not) is training our ability to heal ourself with the power of our mind, cultivating love and acceptation, practicing the skill of listening inside and following the line of what trully resonates as more fulfilling of the innate qualities of our original nature.

Nourishing on light

Nourishing on light is the true ultimate goal of the practice of fasting. In our meditations, in every moment of our waking life, we pursue true and genuine nourishment for our whole being. Energy practices play a great role in this type of work. Becoming more aware of different types and qualities of energy, opening up to listen to the teachings of the universal forces of nature we open the ground for being nourished by the highes and purest sources.
The more we can connect with high and true sources of nourishment the more we can fast, the more we can fast the more we become relaxed and open to connect with even greater energies.
This brings in an upright spiral that brings us in a very concrete comunion with the universe and with our higher self.
Following our inner nature, appreciating the nourishing energy of a friendly smile, of the mountains, of care between two people, of a sincere and inspired project that will benefit others, of the limitless sky and the bright stars.
Fasting is a form to cultivate deep rooted happiness.

Practical tools and advices

A fasting can be carried out in a more soft or hard way. If it is more soft we will experience more the well being and the benefits of the fasting, if its more hard we will exprience more of the deep purging and purification.
It is important to be concious of our rythm and as we said before, this has to be sustainable to be fruitful.
A very important element to have a successfull fast is to procede gradually.
In a first point of view if you never experienced fasting it is good that you start with very light methods, your body is very used to consume food regularly three times a day and changing this too violently will create too big of a schock. Every fast you will notice how your body reacts better and goes more easily through the process ( unless obviously some strong external factor).
The second and even more important aspect of this gradual approach is that a fast needs preparation time.
This means not to jump straight into the fast but to start gradually eating less for some time before.
The preparation time can vary but i advice never to make it less than a day of transition.
Not only we need to prepare before but equally as important is to transit slowy out of a fast.
In the transition day one can use a more light form of fast than the one you intend to use.
For example if you want to do intermittent fast of one meal a day for 3 days you can transit by having two meals a day or one meal plus one lighter or fruit meal.
If you want to do a dry fast this is the one that needs more prepraration, in this case you can take a few days slowly going down to less meals and lighter foods, then liquid only and then dry. Repeat the same on the way out.
Actually a very fruitfull way to make a fasting is to make it very gradual: in this way you will be able to make a longer and deeper fast and your body will be able to follow more smoothly.

Also it is important to note that fasting is different for everyone and its difficulties can vary dramatically from one person to the other.
Fasting is a yin type of practice so that it supports peace and tranquillity.
Individuals who are naturally more calm will have generally less difficulty in fasting.
On the other side people for whom fasting is more difficult are the ones for whom fasting is most beneficial.
Also usually people with slower metabolism, elder people and females tend to fast more easily than people with faster metabolism, younger people and males.
So dont get frustrated if you are fating with an older lady and she is totally smashing it while you are haveing such a hard time since very early stages.
It is an unique and personal process and comparing with other can be unfruitful, it is important to concentrate on our work, on overcoming our obstacles and in our goals.

Also if you are in the period of your menstrual cycle you should take it much more easy with fasting as the period is already depleating a lot of blood and nutrients.
Actually some wemen find that some light for of fasting really helps to have a smooth cycle and even to heal some related issue.
if you are going to attemt this type of practice i suggest you to make further research first.
For example i know that in this case is good to consume foods that nourish the blood and are rich of minerals and iron as for example spinach and bitroot.

In the end there are countless possibilities and methods for fasting: some fast for a day a week, some fast occasionaly, some adopt a vegan diet or a routine of alternate fasting for a time or chronically.
I encourage you to experiment with yourself with different foods and different methods, make research on the topic if it attracts your interest, be patient and careful and explore the limitless possibilities of your body.

RENEWAL spring equinox retreat Sintra (Po)

Do you want to start this spring with a new wave of strength and inspiration to invest in your life projects?

We invite you to a retreat dedicated to cultivating the qualities you need to express more of your own inner calling, to become able to create with dedication, consistency, and inspiration.

We will use the power of rose essences which will guide us to face the limitations that prevent us from manifesting our potential and to connect with genuine inspiration.

In addition to the essences, we will use the practice of Qi Gong to empower ourselves to take sovereignty of our own vibrational frequency, the practitioners will also learn methods that they can bring home as a tool to sustain them in this process.

The retreat will be hosted in a wonderful center in the nature of the magical  Sintra (Portugal) from the 18 to the 22 of  March.

To see pictures of the location check their  webpage https://quintatenchi.org/gallery/

SCHEDULE:

06:30-08:00 Qi Gong practice
08:00-10:00 Breakfast and rest
10:00-12:30  Rose Essences Session
12:30-16:00 Lunch and rest
16:00-18:30 Qi Gong class
18:30-21:00 Dinner and rest
21:00-22:00 Sitting Meditation Practice

FOOD:

Not less important than the practice is the alimentation that we offer: three delicious vegan and probiotic meals will be served every day. These meals will be studied especially to provide an appropriate nourishment for the practitioners and to maintain the body and mind healthy.

PRICE

The full price of the retreat is of 350 euros and it includes all the practice and classes (4 sessions per day), delicious vegan food and accommodation.

Early bird tickets will be available until the 14th February at the discounted price of 280 euros.

There will also be available two discounted helper tickets, to apply for those contact us and we will inform you of the selection procedure.

 

If you want to know more about our retreats check out the documentary about our retreat in Sahara desert in new year 2019!

Fasting Retreat Barcelona May 2020

We invite you to participate in a retreat dedicated to Fasting in the beatiful natural area of Arbucies, in the outside of Barcelona, form the 23rd to the 31st of May.

In this event we will practice a form of progressive fasting. This means that we will eat gradually less each day of the retreat and then slowly start to eat again more and more as the reatreat gets close to its end. We will propose a specific schedule studied to optimize the benefits of the fast and to make it as smooth and easy as possible. Nevertheless everyones body is different and consequently the ability to fast will be different. For this reason we will accompany the participants and invite them to listen to their bodies and decide for themselves how itense their fast will be. This fast will have the specific purpose to purify the body and to bring the practitioners in a mental state where they will more easily enter stillness and perceive deeper levels of reality and of their self.

The fasting of fasting will be combined with the practice of Qi Gong. This ancient form of energy practice combines breathing, movements and visualizations to connect with the forces of nature.

Fasting makes energy practice easier and energy practice makes fasting easier. Those two practices support each other in an upright spiral and bring the practitioner to experience deeper levels of peace and wholsomeness.

The retreat will include theroy classes on fasting, energy work and spiritual practice, and practice sessions of qi gong and meditation.

 

 

 

Pracising the Yin

Practicing the Yin is a pocess of letting go and of love.
In this process we deconstruct our ego and our attechments, we open to the great forces of the universe and their flow.
The yin is nourishing, is resting, is healing, is caring. Cultivating these qualities is a liberating process that allows one to be at peace and bliss in the present moment.
The bliss of this type is not related to the acheivement of goals nor the overcoming of obstacles, it is trully free and uncoditional, like the love of a mother.
The unconditional love doesnt need to be earned but is ever present limitless love that embraces all existence.
In proportion to how much we can let go, we can find fulfilment and joy in the present moment by realizing the limitless value of that what is always already here.
By relaxing we open ourself to the inspiration, the beauty that naturally overflows without effort because it simply wishes to do so.
The opening to love is opposed by fear as our separate self wishes to preserve itself and the barriers it put up in defence.
As we look deeply we come to understand our limitations and fears and by accepting we can look on to ourself with compassion.
As we allow ourself to open, the stiff case we are in slowly dissolves as this process brings us to realize the interconnection and the true non separate nature of all beings.
We come to identify the other as self, to see the beauty of life maniesting through us and in all things and to open to the limitless creative forces of the universe.
In general the practice of yin is a practice of retourning: to the present, to our origin, to who we trully are.
By returning to who we altraedy are the more superficial levels of the illusion dissipates and deeper levels of truth are manifested: in this way the wisdom in the yin path is not pursued but its revealed.
It is also a process of deconstructing, of undoing, of stepping back.
Silece is where we come from, it is what we more originally are and where we must retourn to find healing.

Also this path, as the path of cultivating the yang, has its owns traps.
If stepping back back becomes an habit we may end up unable to act with firm intention.
If accepting becomes and habit we may end up avoiding any decision and just following whatever comes.
If following the flow becomes an habit we may end up moving endlessly, constantly changing direction, never being able to build or conclude anything.
The yang path is the path to grasp the wheel of life and turn it counterclockwise, in the yin path we follow what is natural.
Following what is natural can be interpretated at many different levels depending what we mean by natural.
Undoubtlessly on one level our nature always brings us towards the most easy and comfortable solution.
There is parts of us who are very appealed by very unconstructive habits and attitudes as indulging lazily in food, unproductive entertainment, unhealthy behaviours etcetera.
The concept of following our nature implies the work on sincerily listening to the aspirations and desires of our true self, otherwise this philosophy of following the flow just becomes an excuse to do whatever we please with no constraint.
This obviously is not a productive point of view for any type of development.
Another type of manifestation of an unbalanced yin practice is the acheivement of a superficial peace that is fragile in front of any difficulty or situation of contrast coming from the outside world.
This practitioners will be more confortable and self confident in their inside world but in the outside world they will feel that they struggle to express their qualities and often they fear to encounter situations that expose their weaknesses. These subjects will appear peaceful but shy, undecisive, easily agreeing with everyone to avoid conflicts.
It is interesting to observe though that shy people, when their yang is strenghtened for example by taking on a physical practice, often burst out surprising quantities of stagnant fire which shows a lot of sensible pride and brings out a lot of resentment for all they have been standing without opposition.
This shows that shyness is just another face of pride.
The ego of this apparently peaceful people has not disappeared, it has just hidden deeper in and started accumulating its resentment.
In general the results of an unbalanced yin practice manifest in unempowerment and this creates a stagnant yang energy. It is like an eccessive and unbalanced practice of one polarity suppresses the opposite polarity.
When we practice only one polarity the qualities we build will be more shallow and less deeply rooted.
To rebalance a excessive yin practice it is very efficinet to take on more active practice: those practices can be for example active phisical exercise, active work in the outside world, take on a more strict discipline or facing shyness by stepping out in front of other people.
In those case as we said we may see a lot of stagnating emotions emerge and this process can be very unconfortable for the practitioner.
At first she will have difficulty to put energy and succed in the yang excercise.
Then when this resistence will be broken the stagnating emotions will start to come out.
This process can take a time to become more mild.
The person will experience a new rush of empowerment but on the other side she will feel difficulty accessing the same stillness, the inspiration and the depth she had built with her previous practice.
This is normal and not to be feared as practice always goes in cycle.
Eventually she will be able to reaccess all the dept that she practiced but in a new, more empowered way that will allow her to express more fully its potential.

Practising the Yang

Practising the Yang is a process of empowerment, of expansion, of enthusiasm, determination and discipline.

The Yang wishes to be efficient and to reach goals and so it optimizes its energies, it makes plans and acheives satisfaction for accomplishing them but never stops going forward.
For this reason we say that the yang is directional, it moves in a straight line from where he is to where he wishes to be and has a clear idea about the steps that are needed to arrive there.
This type of energy is also about the overcoming of obstacles, the excitement of challeging oneself to discover more our limitless possibilities and potential.
The Yang doesnt passively accept the situation but with its own hands it grasps the wheel of life and starts turning it in the direction it whishes.
In this phase one explores him/herself as the creator.
A person with this type of energy is able to make things happend and emits a bright and magnetic force, for this reason people tend to gather around her. Consequentially she is able to channel the creative force of others as well and naturally assumes a leading energy enabeling the potential of the group energy to express more fully.
The yang is strong, radiant and reliable. It is inspired and excited.
In the inner world this manifest in the tendency to expand and explore bright and elevated frequencies of consciousness, always drawn to go beyond in a state of spiritual excitement and bliss.

It also manifests in the strenght to overcome obstructions in the path with determination and courage.
The difficulties in this process may be forces that make it more difficult for us to express our potential and these can be of all sorts or types.
From lack of inspiration, of self discipline to limitations from our surroundings there are many factors who contribute in our unempowerment for this reason it is important to individuate them and find ways to neutralyze or transform the limiting energy.
Of all the limiting factors without a doubt the most central is our own limiting thoughts and beliefs.
The ability on unability to grasp our life ultimately is to reconduce to our mental posture and ideas, the quality of our experiece is to reconduce to our own perception of it, all that we can acheive ultimately depends on what are our thoughts.
Of course, toghether with the mental work, it is foundamental to work on dropping unempowering and unproductive habits such as indulging in lazyness, dispersiveness, unhealthy food, in social media, in masturbation, in toxic relations, and cultivate more healthy and productive habits as sports, meditation, healthy eating, learning stimulating and empowering informations, setting clear goals and directions, managing our time, cultivating our passions and our self.
In this way one can enter in a spiral that brings more and more satisfaction which then brings more strenght and motivation to overcome our limitations which then bring even more results.
Nowadays there are many who speak about these topics in a very modern way and this is being received very well making this type of energy more accessible to everyone, with a type of philosophy that resonates with modern minds and that can bring a lot of inspiration, empowerment to people and can eventually give us more power to take the situation in our hands and make positive changes that this world needs.
Nevertheless cultivating the yang is a double edged sword and we need to be careful not to hurt ourself or others when we develop a strong yang energy.
One thing that may happend is that we become addicted to surpassing ourself and can never be at peace, attaining one result one is already thinking about the next one, one becomes so addicted that a moment without work is agony and that the pursuit of new goals is keeping him/her in a state of constant stress. Also we have to consider that to overcome the obstacles one often is very self critic and gives himself a lot of preassure, in this way this can convert in a type of violence against oneself that if it is not sustainable will then drain the person as she burns all her enthusiasm and energy, becomes less and less able to surpass herself and even more be hard and violent against herself.
This is like the dark side of an addiction.
Also as the objectives becomes the only thing that matters everything else looses importance and one becomes narrow minded, unable to listen, and come to neglect other imoprtant aspects of life.
Also when one fire become preponderant one has always the attitude to face all the challanges with full power and finally win, this can lead to seeing threats and challenges where there are not and to be unable to admit one s own fauls and mistakes, in this case this will result in the impossibility to have any friendship or any relation that is not of subordination of the other person (takeing the role of the leader or the teacher).
Developing a strong warrior energy can easily hurt other people whith words or actions or not really consider them humanly as individuals.
In ones pursiut of the goals he comes to see even people as simply a factor that can help or oppose their purpose, the importance of the goal overcome the importance of any other value and virtue.
If building a powerful yang it is advisable to dedicate time to practices that counterbalance it, yin practices as sitting meditation, active ( but soft) meditation practices as qi gong, yoga and tai chi, fasting, emotional work,  and so on.

In general the ability that one shoud pursue to counterbalance a strong yang are patience, detachment, simplicity, humbleness and so on.

Actually this particular condition of excessive yang often develops in individuals who are in leading positions. A leader who’s yang is balanced would feel to the people around him like she is not a heavy presence, she doesn’t try to defend her authority, she is humble and open to different opinions.

Like it is said in the Dao de Jing:

when the sage is above the people they don`t feel his wheight, when he is in front the don`t feel in his shadow.

or also:

When the wise reigns the country when her work is done the people think that they did everything by themselves.
Strong phisical practices have the advantage of tiering the body and bring relaxation but this alone will not be sufficient to bring stable stillness and calm without the support of meditation.
These practices actually, even if they give momentarily relaxation, still contribute in strenthening the yang.
Neverhteless a balanced and healthy phisical practice will help to build a balanced and upright yang.

If one is in a yang phase he will have to be carefull not to push too much the practiceor this will lead to injury ( this is actually a common sign of uncontrolled and excessive yang).
So to get the best benefits it is important to observe the build up of excessive yang before it manifests in negative syntoms.
When you are in an upright spiral of excitement and productivity you can observe the first signs when you are becoming less able to relax your thoughts or to sit in stillness.
In this case simply implement more yin practice, bring yourself more to calm and detached states and mind yourself from the thought patterns of excessive yang.
In this way you will be able to continue in your upright spiral at a sustainable rhytm.
Just like in the phisical practice if you have a routine that is very effective but in the long run will not be sustaiable and will injure your body then that is not a good routine.
So as we said healhty yin nourishes a healthy yang. By implementing the yin into the yang your yang will change qualitatively and become more stable, its qualities will become more concrete and true, more mature and wise.

I believe that cultivating a healthy yang energy is very needed especially in this times.

The sicknesses of modern society are under many aspects a manifestation of sick yang (control, greed, competition, egoism), the system of values that governs economy ( and our life in general) of the survival of the fittest, competition of all against all also manifests this condition.

For this reason i believe that a lot of spirituality in the last decades was more yin oriented, to counterbalance the fierce pressure of society.

I believe now the time has come to us to take back in our hands the yang energy and redefine it,  in new, more healthy and balanced, clean and upright ways.

Side Split New Year Kung Fu challenge

Hello everyone! this new year we thought to propose you to challenge ourselves and to get going with our side split once and for all!
As some of you may know this is a skill that I have been training for already quite some time but in the end, I never managed to keep constant in this training and when I did I always pushed myself with very slow results.
Especially during my time in China, there have been periods where I worked brutally on my splits and I even had myself been pushed into a full split several times (which led to injuries and had me stop my practice or a while).
This winter I realized that in my training method there was a lot of space for improvement and that I could achieve much better results with much less efforts with more intelligent methods of training.
So I did some homework: I did a lot of research on the web and talked to practitioners from different disciplines on how they build flexibility.
In this way, I understood that my approach on stretching was very limited and that I didn’t need to push my splits to the limit every day (which always led quickly to soreness or injury and to interrupt once again my practice). A lot of the resistance we face in stretching is the natural contraction of our muscles and tendons to prevent injury if we continuously push our body it will perceive a high risk of injury and more and more it will tense to protect itself. Proper stretching is like building a relationship of trust with your own body: practicing with correct method and patience will have a beneficial effect on your body, in this way your it will have nothing really to protect from and it will “trust you” and relax allowing you to enter deeper in the stretch.
An other thing that I learned is that proper flexibility requires strength. This is also known as active mobility as opposed to flexibility. Flexibility is the ability to reach a certain position with the use of an external force, active mobility is the ability to move freely in that range of motion using the strength of the body. To improve our active mobility we practice to use strength in our end range of motion: for example, we can try to actively and slowly lift our leg as high as we can. This exercise will eventually build not only a greater range of motion but also all the muscular structure needed to properly support and move in that range. If this structure is missing we may lose strength and explosive power or even worse we may try to gain a greater range by “cheating” with readjustment in our position that may give space to injury.
I started implying these principles in my practice and I started to see great results and also I started to heal injuries that I was carrying with myself for many years of kung fu practice.
For this reason, I decided to create a video with the best side splits routine I could create now (that requires about 40 minutes two times per week) and invite you to join me in two months of home training towards the full split!
Obviously, you don`t have to follow this method to join us in the challenge and you can choose the method that most fits you.
This training applies to all levels of practitioners; the full split is not the real purpose of this practice but just an end goal to motivate ourselves.
The real aim of this challenge is to improve our kung fu (or whatever discipline you practice) by increasing our mobility in a healthy way and to learn more about our body!
Doing this together in a group will help us to keep motivated and persevere in our practice, besides the video, I will create also a whatsapp group where we can share the results of our practice and ask each other’s questions, I will be posting articles and videos about splits and flexibility every week.
The adventure starts on the 1rst of January, are you in?

 

Check out the new follow along workout video for side splits, pancake, low stances and kicks especially designed for martial artists!

Wudang Tai Chi- Italy Retreat 25 Apr-3 May

Here we come again with the third edition of our retreats in the wonderful natural area of lake maggiore!
This retreat consists in 7 days of full immersion in the ancient Daoist pratice of Tai Chi, Qi Gong and Meditation.

PURPOSE OF THE RETREAT

The purpose of this retreat is to work on activating our energy body and to open to the natural growing energy of spring.

In the practice of Tai Chi we learn to perceive our energy, to cultivate it and to move it trough our whole body in harmony.

With this work we aim to increase our ability to work harmoniously with the various forces we have at the various levels of our being and in this way be able to come to express more fully the potential of our nature.

The retreat will provide an essential understanding of Daoist practices and of how to apply them to your specific condition for the pursuit of an harmonious and empowered life.

TAI CHI and QI GONG

These methods were developed in ancient China in order to heal the physical, emotional and mental bodies and to awaken their latent potential.

In those times many sages investigated the mysteries of the universe and observed the harmonic principles that govern the natural world.
They realized that by unifying with these principles it was possible to lengthen life and access the great wisdom that governs the universe. For this purpose they developed methods such as Qi Gong and Tai Chi.

These practices were transmitted to us by our teacher in the temple of the Five Immortals in the mountains of Wudang, China.

The retreat is suitable for all levels of pratictioners, from who wishes to explore something new, to who has a background from other types of practices to who already is experienced in tai chi and qi gong.

DAY PROGRAM

06:30-08:00 Qi Gong practice
08:00-10:00 Breakfast and rest
10:00-12:30 Tai Chi Class
12:30-16:00 Lunch and rest
16:00-18:30 Tai Chi Class
18:30-21:00 Dinner and rest
21:00-22:00 Sitting Meditation Practice

LOCATION AND FOOD

The retreat will be hold in a beautiful household with park by lake Maggiore in Leggiuno(VA). There will be comfortable bedrooms or private double bedrooms on request. For personal hygiene participants will have at their disposal comfortable bathrooms with showers.

Not less important than the practice is the alimentation that we offer: three delicious vegan and probiotic meals will be served every day. These meals will be studied especially to provide an appropriate nourishment for the practitioners and to maintain the body and mind healthy.

PRICE

The full price of the retreat is of 500 euros for full and it includes all the practice and classes (4 sessions per day), delicious vegan food and accommodation.

For who doesn’t have the possibility to join for the whole retreat or wishes to take on the practice less intensively we offer the possibility to participate to single classes for 15 euros and for 10 euros per meal.

Check  out the full documentary on our reteat in Sahara in new year 2019!

Wudang Sword Eindhoven(NL), 14-17 Feb.

We invite you to one weekend workshop entirely dedicated to the practice of Wudang Tai Chi Sword.

The Workshop aims at building a strong foundation in this practice and in connecting with its powerfull essence.

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ABOUT THE METHOD

The Seven Stars Sword from the Wudang Mountains is one of the jewels of our transmission. It is an ancient method developed by the founding master Lu Dong Bin that unifies martial arts with Daoist ritual magic.

This ancient form imitates the movement of the stars and galaxies to unify with their great power and wisdom.

The sword embodies the energy of clarity and strenght, the power to cut between the true and the false, the focus and determination that allows one to walk on a straight and upright path.

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PROGRAM:

The classes will start Friday afternoon from 17:00 to 20:30

Saturday and Sunday the classes will go from 9:00 to 18:00 with a break in between for lunch.

The program also includes:

Qi Gong basic exercises
Kunng Fu Warm up and Stretching
Tai chi Sword Basics
A section of the Wudang Seven Stars Sword Form

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TEACHER:
Guilio from Wudang Tian Ma will be teaching the Wudang Sword Workshop

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PRICE:
The Price for the weekend workshop is 150,- it is a non-residential workshop.
Sign-up by contacting us or e-mail to: info@diep-active.nl

 

Check out the full documentary about our retreat in Sahara in new year 2019