Energy and energy development has many names: Chi, Kundalini, Orgone, etc. Without getting into the esoterics of each I’m just going to call it Energy Streams. Because that’s what it feels like in the body once activated.
There are 3 main ways to develop and magnify this energy: seated meditation, standing postures, and movement sequences.
Seated meditation is the base, and there are many traditions that teach different methods for attaining certain states, but we are just going to focus on methods to activate and increase the energy stream.
Standing postures, mainly referred to as Standing Chi Gong is a powerful method for magnifying the Energy Stream. Like a glowing lightbulb, you can increase the amplification of the energy stream.
Movement Sequences can also be used to develop and amplify the Energy Stream. Many traditional methods exist such as Tai Chi, the Whirling of the Whirling Dervishes, and the Quaking and Shaking of the Quakers and Shakers.
I will get into the specifics in future posts, but at the base of all of these is breath. Deep breathing is a good base to start from. Belly breathing through to the diaphragm is essential to developing a strong energy stream.
Breathing is one of the few autonomic processes of the body where we can also have conscious control. Most spiritual traditions start with breath as their base – such as following the breath as it enters the nostrils and fills the lungs – is a basic type of meditation exercise to calm both the mind and body.
Everyone should start here, with breath and relaxation. Most people can’t start the process of feeling the energy streams until they have relaxed their body and released tension. Through breath you can relax not just the muscles of the body, but even the fascia, all the way down to the marrow of the bones and the interconnective tissues of the organs.
Once the body systems are relaxed and relieved of tension, then the sensation of the energy stream can be felt and then developed.
A Basic Exercise
Breath in to a count of 6, hold for 2, exhale for 6, pause for 2.
If you can’t manage 6 seconds, reduce this to the count that you are comfortable with. At no time should you feel tension.
The goal is to increase the amount of time for the inhale, the pause and the exhale: 10-15 seconds is a good goal for length of inhalation and exhalation. 4-6 seconds for the hold and the pause.
Those are just guidelines. At the heart is breathing in relaxation, and exhaling stress out of the body. The method and count is just the “how” to get to the state of “alert relaxation”.
This can be done either lying down, or in a seated position, or even standing. In any case, you want to make sure you spine is straight. The reason you want a straight spine is that the trunk is the path where the energy stream flows. Too much of a “bend” or “collapse” of the spine will create kinks or blocks in the energy stream.
How will this help in rock climbing?
This is just the first step in a thousand step journey, but basically this get one in touch with how much tension we hold in the body – and how to shed it. The energy stream is easier to feel and amplify once the body systems are completely relaxed.
There is a state sometimes called “flow” or “state” where the climber just seems to be in tune with the climb, moving as if by magic from hold to hold in complete synchronicity with the rock. Most climbers kind of reach this state by accident, by simply climbing over and over they reach this state spontaneously.
Yet, there is a way to achieve this state more consistently. And we start with breath and relaxation.
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