What is Ba Gua
Of all Internal Martial Arts (Tai Chi, Aikido, Hsing I and Ba Gua), Ba Gua is by far the least known worldwide. Ba Gua Zhang, often shortened as Ba Gua, is a unique Taoist martial art based on the ancient Chinese text I Ching. The circular fluid art of Ba Gua is focusing on longevity, building internal energy, healing and meditation. Ba Gua is a secret gem for those who want to learn and experience the cultivation of internal energy.
Ba Gua is as well a very effective self-defense tool, especially against multiple opponents (up to 8 in the same time).
Ways to Train
Basic training is done by walking in a circle, following different principles and rules all along. Ba Gua offers the practitioner ways to be fluent in decision making process.
It takes about 6 to 10 classes to learn the walking style and the correct posture of the body.
- The circle should be about 2m diameter. The smallest the circle the harder is to practice
- When you walk, your feet are always tangent to the circle
- Your upper body (from waist up) should turn towards the center with every step.
- Your back should be always straight
- The only move allowed with the back is the rotation from the waist
Turn after turn, the spine becomes more flexible. The spine is the highway of energy connecting the head (brain) with the rest of the body. When performed correctly, it has a strong immediate impact on your spine creating flexibility and aligning all the vertebras.
Eight Major Benefits of Ba Gua Practice
- Enhanced Energy Levels
I just don’t have enough words to express how much my energy grows when practicing. As we get used to feel more the energetical effect after practice, the self-healing process is also accelerated. Stamina levels are growing with daily practice.
2. Internal Organs Massage
When I am practicing Ba Gua is just as the same as going to the gym and instead of working out the biceps and triceps, I work my liver, kidneys and gallbladder. Literally, with Ba Gua, you can massage your organs by controlling the pressure on your internal fluids. With every turn and twist, you move the pressure from one place inside your body to another. This keeps increasing/decreasing the pressure on your organs, which has an amazing effect on the overall health. If you have a fatty liver, practicing Ba Gua daily for few months may save you from taking medicine for the same reason.
3. Increased Flexibility of Spine
I can’t stress enough how important is the spine condition in regards to the entire body, organs, glands, etc. The Spine plays a strong role energetically and physically. Many issues and illnesses are born out of a spine rigidity. Let’s remember that one of the major meridians is going exactly through the spine. When there are issues or blockages, all the other meridians will be affected.
4. Increased Awareness, finding Inner Balance
Ba Gua movements are focused on the center of the circle, creating a strong habit of attention to details. In the world of martial arts this is called: 360 degrees awareness of the environment. This helps expanding our overall awareness capabilities. Working both sides of your body repeatedly (and as a consequence the left and right sides of the brain) will unify both Yin and Yang sides of the mind, eventually leading to inner peace.
5. No more Headaches or Migraines
90% of the headaches are caused by an energy blockage between the spine and the head. The practice affects directly the spine, reducing or eliminating any possible obstacles created by a rigid spine. Sometimes, when spending a lot of time in the same position (at office, at work, sitting on a chair), the spine becomes physically stiff creating headaches.
6. Powerful Immune System
Ba Gua activates all the endocrine glands. Within the pelvis, Traditional Chinese Medicine considers this area- called the Kwa – as direct responsible with the well-functioning of the overall immune system. Ba Gua activates the Kwa area as a result of the specific movements.
7. Restore your Weight Levels
Ba Gua is not a cardiovascular exercise, allowing your body to exercise at intense levels without raising the blood pressure. Because of the specific moves which include: twisting, turning, stretching – most practitioners experience heavy sweating, which is an excellent detox with the additional effect of losing weight.
8. Tackling Caffeine Addiction
Performing a circle walking basic exercise takes about 5 to 10 minutes and it can replace well a cup of coffee if you are addicted to caffeine. The best time to practice is at sunrise as this is the moment where the Yang energy of the day takes over from Yin energy of the night. Nevertheless, it is great to practice whenever you have time as long as you incorporate the routine in your daily practice.
Ba Gua practice increases the energy levels so strong, that is better to avoid practice before sleeping time.
The big bang, the Inception of our Universe, the Oneness that we miss when experiencing extremes of YIN and YANG, the balance we are looking for, has its origins in a perfect point where YIN and YANG were not yet unfolded but coexisting in perfect harmony. When the Universe started to manifest, the duality of YIN and YANG started as a clear algorithm to experience life.
This in Chinese is called WUJI, which means unlimited. This is the start for all of us. The YIN cell – the ovule together with the spermatozoid -YANG, are together for a few seconds. This is our big bang and then life starts to unfold. Creation starts from nothing.
Look around and you will observe for yourself, without needing a PHD in philosophy or quantum physics. It is a universal truth valid at any scale, therefore it must be true also for the creation of the Universe. The origin of all things lays in emptiness, or better called nothingness. Life at microscopic level functions by splitting from one cell, to 2, and then each one into 4 and so on. O and 1 are the main characteristics of our home in this reality. Yang is 1 and YIN is zero.
A great way to display an image of the above small introduction would be the start of the Matrix movie: a screen full of zeros and ones that are interchanging nonstop. The diversity of our world is actually just a split of zeros and ones into zeros and ones again and again.
YIN and YANG do not represent forces. They are not things. They are the names for pure interaction. They represent polarity. The tension between positive and negative create movement in dynamic balance. Dark pushing into the light and light pushing into the dark, hard mixing with soft, fire with water. All there is to our world is about YIN and YANG. A true acceptance of this fact destroys fate, luck, and predestination. Life has no script, but only our every moment choice on how to live our life.
Modern Science explains that a particle starts existing in the moment it is observed. Until the moment of observation, the particle is located in the same time in infinite locations, as a wave.
Yang is represented as a straight line and Yin as an interrupted line. In this model, Yang is the attention or intention and Yin is the wave of probabilities. When we focus our attention (Yang) we observe the Yin, making it real. That is why, Yin and Yang cannot exist without each other, same as a particle cannot exists without an observer.
The History of Ba Gua
Legend goes back many years (2000 BC) when Emperor Fu Xi created I Ching – The book of Changes. There are speculations that Fu Xi is the same person with biblical Enoch. The truth is slowly revealed to those who are enough open minded. Contemporary writers and researchers Erich von Daniken, Graham Hancock and Zecharia Sitchin are true pioneers of decoding historical facts. Their amazing work disclosed a new interpretation of the ancient history.
Fu Xi tried to establish an algorithm to understand the changes, a philosophy for practical applications. Fu Xi was looking for the wisdom of understanding change. He noted YANG as a solid line (____) and YIN as an interrupted line (__ __). After this, he started to think how he can show the interactions between YIN and YANG:
|__ __ |
|Old YANG||Young YIN||Young YANG||Old YIN|
The four states hold the basic idea of a cycle. The biorhythms can be very well explained through the YIN YANG states and changes. They are present in nature, in our life, our work, our cells. Our life goes in alignment and then one day something happens and we fall in unbalance.
But Fu Xi didn’t stop here. The legend said that Fu Xi was meditating one day next to a river. Just as he finished his meditation and opened his eyes, he saw a dragon-horse which had a round pattern on his back. Inspired by his vision, Fu Xi came up with a new graphic representation of changes between YIN and YANG. He realized that 2 squared is 4 and 2 cubed is 8. He then came up with a set of 8 combinations of Trigrams which he called BA GUA. Ba means 8 and GUA means Trigrams. This is called today the Fu Xi Ba Gua, or Early Heaven Eight Trigram.
This was the algorithm of the eight fundamental principles to describe change: Heaven and Earth, Water and Fire, Thunder and Wind, Mountain and Lake.
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