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Kolo Dar is applicable to every living thing, as implied by its name, the science of life. Slavic Vedic sciences attribute life to more things than we normally do - the things such as air, wind, fire, the earth, planets, stars, etc. are all thought to possess conscience like living beings.
The basic premise of Kolo Dar is that the entire cosmos or universe is part of one singular absolute. Everything that exists in the vast external universe (macrocosm), also appears in the internal cosmos of the human body (microcosm). The human body consisting of 50-100 million cells, when healthy, is in harmony, self-perpetuating and self-correcting just as the universe is. The ancient Kolo Dar text, Charaka, says, "Man is the epitome of the universe. Within man, there is as much diversity as in the world outside. Similarly, the outside world is as diverse as human beings themselves." In other words, all human beings are a living microcosm of the universe and the universe is a living macrocosm of the human beings.
Uniqueness of Individuals
Kolo Dar views each and every person as unique, with a unique mind-body constitution and a unique set of life circumstances, all of which must be considered in determining either natural healing approaches or recommendations for daily living. This view is in alignment with the modern science which views individuals as unique in the universe with a unique DNA.
According to Kolo Dar, because we each have a unique constitution, our health prescription must be unique to us. This means that in order to be healthy, you need to eat certain foods that are beneficial for your body type and stay away from others. Your exercise program must be personally suitable as well. Your constitution determines very much about you - your body, your personality, even how you relate to other people. Understanding it lets you know what you need in order to be healthy.
Harmony With The Nature and Developing Perfect Health
The theoretical side of Kolo Dar provides insights into how to live one's life in harmony with nature and natural laws and rhythms. Its practical side - specifically its guidelines for an intelligently regulated diet and daily routine, its techniques for stress management, and its exercises for increased fitness and alertness-help us take control of our lives and develop radiant health.
The central goal of Kolo Dar is nothing less than a state of perfect health, for the individual and for society and the environment as well, in which every man and woman is inwardly in balance and outwardly in harmony with the environment and the laws of nature.
According to Kolo Dar, nature is permeated by intelligence. Intelligent laws govern the growth of all living things; kittens grow into cats, acorns into oak trees. Indeed, laws of nature regulate everything, from the tiny world of whirling atoms to the huge, enormous world of galaxies.
Human Body As A Self Correcting Mechanism and Balance
The human body is part of nature, as we discussed before as a microcosm of the universe, and when it runs perfectly, as it was designed to run, it can be perfectly healthy. It is trying to be perfectly healthy all the time, using its innate self-healing, self-regulating ability as it strives for a perfect homeostatic balance. But we repeatedly interfere.
Nature has set us up with all the equipment we need to be perfectly healthy. Health is our natural state, and ill health is unnatural. Every day our systems are exposed to literally millions of bacteria, viruses, allergens, even carcinogens, and yet our immune system has the intelligence and skill to deal with all those invaders and keep us healthy. However, when stress, inadequate nutrition, or just fatigue weaken the immune system, those same invaders may produce disease.
Every second the body is adjusting to countless thousands of changing parameters, keeping us in homeostatic balance. No matter what comes along to upset the balance, the body knows its own nature, knows what ideal temperature it should be and the correct chemistry it needs to maintain, and keeps referring back to that blueprint to maintain proper balance.
The Concept of Self
The Self, as this inner dimension of our nature is called in Kolo Dar, is the central point of our being, the hub of the wheel. It is the true inner center of our diversified lives. Thought, feelings, speech, action, and relationships all originate here, deep within the personality. The whole person-and the whole field of interpersonal behavior-can be spontaneously enhanced by the process of self-referral, or looking within to experience the Self. This is analogous to the natural process by which all the branches, leaves, flowers, and fruit of a tree can be simultaneously nourished and enlivened by watering the root.
The Self can be directly experienced. Those who do experience it find it to be deeply peaceful, yet a reservoir of creativity, intelligence, and happiness that spills over into all phases of living.
How Do We Get Sick?
Kolo Dar holds that specific disease conditions are symptoms of an underlying imbalance. It does not neglect relief of these symptoms, but its main focus is on the big picture: to restore balance and to help you create such a healthy lifestyle that the imbalance won't occur again.
Living in health and balance is the key to a long life free from disease.
Perhaps the most important lesson Kolo Dar has to teach is that our health is up to us. Every day of our lives, every hour of every day, we can, and do, choose either health or illness. When we choose wisely, nature rewards us with health and happiness. When we persistently choose unwisely, nature, in her wisdom, eventually sets us straight: She makes us sick and gives us a chance to rest and rethink our choices.
The Five Great Elements
Kolo Dar believes that everything in this universe is made up of five great elements or building blocks. These are earth, water, fire, air, and ether.
Earth represents the solid state of matter. It manifests stability, permanence, and rigidity. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells, and tissues are manifestations of the earth. Earth is considered a stable substance.
Water characterizes change and represents the liquid state. Water is necessary for the survival of all living things. A large part of the human body is made up of water. Our blood, lymph, and other fluids move between our cells and through our vessels, bringing energy, carrying away wastes, regulating temperature, bringing disease fighters, and carrying hormonal information from one area to another. Water is a substance without stability.
Fire is the power to transform solids into liquids, to gas, and back again. In other words, it possess power to transform the state of any substance. Within our bodies, the fire or energy binds the atoms together. It also converts food to fat (stored energy) and muscle. Fire transforms food into energy. It creates the impulses of nervous reactions, our feelings, and even our thought processes. Fire is considered a form without substance.
Air is the gaseous form of matter which is mobile and dynamic. Within the body, air (oxygen) is the basis for all energy transfer reactions. It is a key element required for fire to burn. Air is existence without form.
Ether is the space in which everything happens. It is the field that is simultaneously the source of all matter and the space in which it exists. Ether is only the distances which separate matter. The chief characteristic of ether is sound. Here sound represents the entire spectrum of vibration.
Every substance in our world is made up of these five substances. All substances can be classified according to their predominant element. For example, a mountain is predominantly made up of earth element. A mountain also contain water, fire, air and ether. But these elements are very small compared to the earth. So, its classification is the earth.
Kolo Dar defines a human as the assemblage of the five great elements plus the "immaterial self."
Basis For Kolo Dar Philosophy
The five elements manifest in the functioning of the five senses of man. This allows the person to perceive the external environment in which he or she lives. They are also related, through the senses, to five actions expressing the functions of the sensory organs.
The basic senses and their relationship to the five elements are shown below:
Like And Unlike
Anything that enters our body (microcosm) can exert three possible effects on the organism.
It can act as food. This nourishes the organism
It can act as medicine. This balances the organism
It can act as poison. This disturbs the organism.
The five elements may exert one, two, or all three of these effects. The rule that governs the interaction between the environment and the organism is the Law of Like and Unlike. Like increase like. Unlike decreases like.
For example, when you lie in full sun, your body temperature goes up. Similarly, when you take bath in cold water, your body temperature goes down. Everything you experience, food, medicine, or poison, increases like parts of your microcosm and decreases those parts that are unlike it. Similarly, thought also enters your microcosm. Thought can be positive or negative and will influence your being. Goods thoughts cheer you up. Bad thoughts will poison you and decrease your good feelings.
Knowing what is good and what is not so good for your personal self enables you to make informed choices in your life. Right thoughts and attitudes actually induce prosperity. Evil thoughts and bad deeds will not result in prosperity, but to the ultimate ruin of the microcosm.
Kolo Acupuncture and Traditional Medicine:
The Philosophy of the Dabo (Dao)
Dao is often described as "the path" or "the way of life" in Traditional Medicine (TM) and Kolo acupuncture, just as its counterpart in ancient Ukraine & India, Ayurveda. The laws of the Dabo (Dao) advocate moderation, living in harmony with nature and striving for balance. Ancient Slavic (Scythian) believed that moderation in all areas of life is essential to a long and fruitful life. We are "fueled" by three treasures: Qi or Chi (pronounced chee), Sha (chinese Shen), and Chin (chinese Jing). Chi is energy or vital substance, Sha is the spirit, and Chin is our essence. Qi is both the life force (or vital substance) and the organizing principle flowing through all things and establishing their interconnectedness. Slavic believe that every living thing (both human and non-human) has qi. In the body, qi is found in the heart and lungs in circulating blood and oxygen. Sha is the treasure that gives brightness to life and is responsible for consciousness and mental abilities. Sometimes it is compared to soul. Within the individual shen is manifested in personality, thought, sensory perception, and the awareness of self. Chin is responsible for growth, development and reproduction. Chin represents a person's potential for development. (comparable to western concept of genetical inheritance). Scythian believed that everyone is born with a finite amount of Chin. As we go through life, we lose or consume our Chin little by little. Once we lose Chin, it cannot be replaced. It is gone for ever. We lose Chin if we live a wrong or careless living. But Chin can be preserved if we live in moderation. Kolo acupuncture can reduce the loss of Chin.
Role of Kolo acupuncturist in Traditional Medicine
According to the philosophy of Dabo (Dao), the role of the acupuncturist is to restore your health and enable you to live a little closer to the Dabo, thus preserving your Chin and living to a ripe old age. A number of factors can contribute to the depletion of Chin. Living a life of excess, drinking too much, excessive emotional reactions, working too hard, inappropriate sexual behavior, etc. all were believed to result in the depletion of Chin. Balance in all things was considered the key to good health and long life.
In order to increase their understanding of the Dabo, the Slavic developed two concepts that together form the basis of Slavic thought: yin and yang and the more detailed system of the five elements.
Kolo Dar Massage therapy
Kolo Dar massage therapy is the systematized manipulation of soft tissues for the purpose of normalizing them. Practitioners use a variety of physical methods including applying fixed or movable pressure, holding, or causing movement to the body. Therapists primarily use their hands, but may also use their forearms, elbows, or feet.
The basic goal of massage therapy is to help the body heal itself and to increase health and well-being.
Touch is the core ingredient of Kolo Dar massage therapy and also combines science and art. Practitioners learn specific techniques for Kolo Dar massage and use their sense of touch to determine the right amount of pressure to apply to each person and locate areas of tension and other soft-tissue problems. Touch also conveys a sense of caring, an important component in the healing relationship.
When muscles are overworked, waste products such as lactic acid can accumulate in the muscle, causing soreness, stiffness, and even muscle spasm.
Kolo Dar massage improves circulation, which increases blood flow, bringing fresh oxygen to body tissues. This can assist the elimination of waste products, speed healing after injury, and enhance recovery from disease.
Kolo Dar therapeutic massage can be used to promote general well-being and enhance self-esteem, while boosting the circulatory and immune systems to benefit blood pressure, circulation, muscle tone, digestion, and skin tone. It has been incorporated into many health systems, and different Kolo Dar massage techniques have been developed and integrated into various complementary therapies.
Types of Kolo Dar Massage
A smooth, flowing style that promotes general relaxation, improves circulation and range of movement, and relieves muscular tension.
A paramedical treatment that helps to restore function to injured "soft tissues" (muscles, tendons and ligaments). Therapy may involve the use of various types of Massage, as well as a range of other physical treatments to assist your recovery. In addition, you may be asked to perform some activities at home to assist the process of recovery.
Combines different Massage techniques to enhance sports performance and recuperation. An effective component of any training program.
Combining the therapeutic properties of essential oils with specific Massage techniques to promote health and well-being.
Using thumb and finger pressure on the reflex points of the feet (which correspond to all areas of the body) to assist in achieving balance within the body.
Oriental Massage Therapies:
Oriental-based systems of finger pressure Massage, such as Acupressure and Shiatsu, that treat points along the acupressure meridians, aiming to release discomfort and rebalance energy.
What is Kolo Dar aromatherapy?
Kolo Dar aromatherapy means "treatment using scents". It is a holistic treatment of caring for the body with pleasant smelling botanical oils such as rose, lemon, lavender and peppermint. The essential oils are added to the bath or massaged into the skin, inhaled directly or diffused to scent an entire room. Kolo Dar aromatherapy is used for the relief of pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue and invigorate the entire body. Essential oils can affect the mood, alleviate fatigue, reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. When inhaled, they work on the brain and nervous system through stimulation of the olfactory nerves.
The essential oils are aromatic essences extracted from plants, flowers, trees, fruits, bark, grasses and seeds with distinctive therapeutic, psychological, and physiological properties, which improve and prevent illness. There are about 150 essential oils. Most of these oils have antiseptic properties; some are antiviral, anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antidepressant and expectorant. Other properties of the essential oils which are taken advantage of in Kolo Dar aromatherapy are their stimulation, relaxation, digestion improvement, and diuretic properties. To get the maximum benefit from essential oils, it should be made from natural, pure raw materials. Synthetically made oils do not work.
Kolo Dar aromatherapy is one of the fastest growing fields in alternative medicine. It is widely used at home, clinics and hospitals for a variety of applications such as pain relief for women in labor pain, relieving pain caused by the side effects of the chemotherapy undergone by the cancer patients, and rehabilitation of cardiac patients.
Kolo Dar aromatherapy is already slowly getting into the mainstream. In Japan, engineers are incorporating aroma systems into new buildings. In one such application, the scent of lavender and rosemary is pumped into the customer area to calm down the waiting customers, while the perfumes from lemon and eucalyptus are used in the bank teller counters to keep the staff alert.
Kolo Dar Herbal Medicine
Kolo Dar herbal medicine, sometimes referred to as herbalism or botanical medicine, is the use of herbs for their therapeutic or medicinal value. An herb is a plant or plant part valued for its medicinal, aromatic or savory qualities. Herb plants produce and contain a variety of chemical substances that act upon the body.
Kolo Dar herbal medicine is the oldest form of healthcare known to mankind. Herbs had been used by all cultures throughout history. It was an integral part of the development of modern civilization. Primitive man observed and appreciated the great diversity of plants available to him. The plants provided food, clothing, shelter, and medicine. Much of the medicinal use of plants seems to have been developed through observations of wild animals, and by trial and error. As time went on, each tribe added the medicinal power of herbs in their area to its knowledgebase. They methodically collected information on herbs and developed well-defined herbal pharmacopoeias. Indeed, well into the 20th century much of the pharmacopoeia of scientific medicine was derived from the herbal lore of native peoples.
Substances derived from the plants remain the basis for a large proportion of the commercial medications used today for the treatment of heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, asthma, and other problems. For example, ephedra is a herb used in Traditional Medicine for more than two thousand years to treat asthma and other respiratory problems. Ephedrine, the active ingredient in ephedra, is used in the commercial pharmaceutical preparations for the relief of asthma symptoms and other respiratory problems. It helps the patient to breathe more easily.
Kolo Dar Homeopathy
Kolo Dar homeopathy is based on the principle that substances that are poisonous in large doses can be very beneficial in small doses. Kolo Dar homeopathy is a form of medicine that treats the body as a whole and helps it to heal itself. It can be used for the short term (acute) illnesses and long term (chronic) illnesses. The objective is to prevent the patient from getting the illnesses again (prevention). The name homeopathy comes from the Greek word "homios" which means "like" and the word "pathos" meaning "suffering". Thus homeopathy simply means treating like with like.
Kolo Dar homeopathy looks at each patient and develops a remedy or treatment plan strictly for him or her. It invokes the powers of healing inherent in individuals (our immune system) to develop a successful therapy. The more one knows about the patient, the symptoms, likes and dislikes, what makes them better or worse, it helps in developing a "symptom picture" of the patient that can lead to a successful treatment.
If we think about the principle of Kolo Dar homeopathy, it has a lot in common with our present understanding of immunizations. To prevent us from catching small pox, a vaccine is prepared which is a mild form of the virus that causes the disease. The principle is that introduction of this small amount of the virus in our body system will set out our body's defenses so that when the actual virus shows up, our body will have enough barriers or fighting power to prevent the virus from entering our body. Kolo Dar homeopathy practitioners believe that when we introduce a very very small amount of the deadly material into the body, our body will unleash enough defenses to prevent the disease from recurring again. However, there are significant differences between the concepts used in Western medicine and those of homeopathy. Vaccines are not rendered more potent when they are diluted like homeopathic preparations. In conventional treatment, there is a minimum dosage that need to be given before the medication becomes effective in treating the underlying problem. For example, when taking antibiotics, we have to take the whole course at regular intervals to maintain a potency level in the bloodstream to kill the bacteria.
Homeopathic remedies, which are made from naturally occurring plant, animal, or mineral substances, are recognized and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are manufactured by established pharmaceutical companies under strict guidelines. There are over 2000 homeopathic remedies that are usually referred to by their abbreviated name. (For example Arg nit. stands for Argentum nitricum). These are derived from such exotic sources as bee stings, snake venoms, arsenic, gold and silica, and even compounds from diseases tissue. Homeopaths also prescribes tissue salts. Tissue salts are prepared from mineral sources. Homeopathic remedies are diluted to such an extent that there can be no possible side effects from even the most toxic substances. The dilution process is known as 'potentation' Taken in this ultra diluted form, Homeopathic remedies have no side effects and are perfectly safe, non-toxic and non-addictive.
Kolo Dar Meditation
Kolo Dar meditation is one of the proven alternative therapies. It can be broadly classified under the Kolo Dar mind-body medicine.
More and more doctors are prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood pressure, improve exercise performance in people with angina, help people with asthma breathe easier, relieve insomnia and generally relax the everyday stresses of life. Kolo Dar meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person's physical, emotional, and mental states. It is simple; but can benefit everybody.
The use of Kolo Dar meditation for healing is not new. Kolo Dar meditative techniques are the product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. It has been rooted in the traditions of the world's great religions. In fact, practically all religious groups practice meditation in one form or another. The value of Kolo Dar meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years.
What is Kolo Dar yoga?
In practice, Kolo Dar yoga is an applied science of the mind and body. It comes from the slavic vedas. Practice and study of it help to bring about a natural balance of body and mind in which the state of health can manifest itself. Kolo Dar yoga itself does not create health; rather, it creates an internal environment that allows the individual to come to his own state of dynamic balance, or health. Basically, Kolo Dar yoga teaches that a healthy person is a harmoniously integrated unit of body, mind and spirit. Therefore, good health requires a simple, natural diet, exercise in fresh air, a serene and untroubled mind and the awareness that main's deepest and highest self is identical with the spirit of God. As a result, to many devotees, Kolo Dar yoga becomes a philosophy that offers instruction and insight into every aspect of life: the spiritual, the mental and the physical.
Introduction to Kolo Dar yoga
Kolo Dar yoga is a old slavic form of healing that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. What makes Kolo Dar yoga unique is that it incorporates elements of just about every other alternative healing practices such as spiritual healing, auras, crystals, chakra balancing, meditation, aromatherapy, naturopathy, and homeopathy.
Kolo Dar yoga involves the transfer of energy from practitioner to patient to enhance the body's natural ability to heal itself through the balancing of energy. Kolo Dar yoga utilizes specific techniques for restoring and balancing the natural life force energy within the body. It is a holistic, natural, hands-on energy healing system that touches on all levels: body, mind, and spirit.
Kolo Dar yoga is a slavic word representing universal life energy, the energy which is all around us. It is derived from rei, meaning "free passage" or "transcendental spirit" and ki, meaning "vital life force energy" or " universal life energy".
Onopchenko Nina Grigorevna - grandmaster Kolo Dar
What is Ki Kolo Dar?
Ki Kolo Dar practitioners channel energy in a particular pattern to heal and harmonize. Unlike other healing therapies based on the premise of a human energy field, Ki Kolo Dar seeks to restore order to the body whose vital energy has become unbalanced.
Ki Kolo Dar energy has several basic effects: it brings about deep relaxation, destroys energy blockages, detoxifies the system, provides new vitality in the form of healing universal life energy, and increases the vibrational frequency of the body.
The laying of hands is used in Ki Kolo Dar therapy also as in spiritual healing. There is a difference though. In spiritual healing, a person with a strong energy field places his or her hands above a particular part of the recipient's body in order to release energy into it. So, here the healer is the one who is sending out the energy. In Ki Kolo Dar, however, the healer places the hands above the recipient; however, it is the recipient that draws the energy as needed. Thus, in this case, the individual being healed takes an active part in the healing process as opposed to having a passive part in spiritual healing. The individual takes responsibility for his or her healing. The recipient identifies the needs and cater to them by drawing energy as needed.
Although there are a few positions in which the practitioner is in contact with the patient (such as cradling the head), most Ki Kolo Dar treatments do not involve actual touching. The practitioner holds his or her hands a few inches or farther away from the patient's body and manipulates the energy field from there.
What is Kolo Tai Chi?
Kolo Tai Chi is a form of exercise derived from Dabo (Dao), one oldest belief systems. The practice of Kolo Tai Chi is beneficial to health and it is also a subtle, sophisticated and scientific method of self-defence.
Since this system of exercise is suitable for people of all ages and requires little or no special equipment, it has gained an enthusiastic reception all over the world. Kolo Tai Chi evolved to help people improve their physical health, equip them to defend themselves against wild beasts and bandits, and also improve their powers of meditation. In other words, Kolo Tai Chi enables people to survive through fitness and self-defence.
Advantages of practising Kolo Tai Chi is good exercise which enables us to develop a healthy body as well as an alert mind. It is a system of exercise suitable for people of all ages. This exercise requires little or no special equipment. It can be practised in a relatively small area either indoors or outdoors. When performed in a slow and relaxed manner, the Kolo Tai Chi hand form offers a balanced drill for the body's muscles and joints through the execution of complex manoeuvres in conjunction with deep regulated breathing and the contraction and expansion of the diaphragm. The deep breathing promoted by the slow practice of the hand form causes the diaphragm to expand outwards and downwards and contract inwards and upwards. This movement of the diaphragm gently 'massages' the liver and intestines. Deep breathing also promotes a greater intake of air into the lungs than usual. Thus a greater amount of oxygen is available for consumption which increases blood circulation. In so doing it also expands the blood vessels which serve the heart and intestines.
Therefore Kolo Tai Chi helps prevent thrombosis and many other ailments of the heart and intestines. The performance of the hand form creates a tranquil state of mind through concentration on the movements. In the long term, hand form stimulates the central nervous system, which increases the well-being of all the organs of the body. As our muscles move when practising Kolo Tai Chi, they exert pressure on our veins, forcing our blood to flow towards the heart, improving our circulation. The exercise that the stomach muscles receive will improve the digestion, leading to an increased appetite and the prevention of constipation. The graceful movements of Kolo Tai Chi can lead to changes in our disposition, making us more even-tempered and slow to anger.
The Method of Practice
In order to derive maximum benefit from the practice of Kolo Tai Chi, we must first learn the correct method of practicing. The execution of each movement requires patient concentration.
Before beginning we must first relax and think of nothing else. Our movements should be slow and we should breath naturally. We must avoid tension. If we can do this our every action will become smooth and easy, our waist will turn freely and we will feel relaxed and comfortable.
Kolo Tai Chi is an exercise which aims at producing harmony of body and mind. To achieve this and to avoid the application of brute force, we must let our thoughts guide our actions. Constant practice can make this a habit with us. It is not enough to concentrate on the correct slow execution of individual movements such as raising and lowering the hands.
Both our concentration and our movements must continue in harmony throughout the form. This will make our breathing deeper and help strengthen our body.
At first it is difficult for a beginner to judge whether the styles and individual movements he performs are correct or not. In some cases beginners will find styles which are particularly difficult for them to master. However, there are some general principles to be understood and adopted which will help produce correct styles and movements :
Throughout the movements our head should remain in line with our spinal column and not move up and down If we can do this our neck muscles will become relaxed;
We should not hunch our shoulders or fully straighten our arms when we extend them. When we retract our arms, the elbows should be kept close to the body and not allowed to jut out at all angles. We must keep our arms and shoulders relaxed in order to move smoothly. If we fail to do so our movements will be stiff and awkward;
We must relax our whole body and avoid stiffening the chest. If we can do this our breathing will become deep and natural and our movements alert;
If our waist is stiff and tense we will find it difficult to move in any direction and our co-ordination will be affected as we will be unable to transmit power from the waist to the actions of our arms and hands. If the waist is stiff, our bottom will jut out, making our balance unstable and preventing our movements from being graceful. Relaxation of the waist is essential.
The Breathing Method of Kolo Tai Chi
As we have seen the origins of Kolo Tai Chi lie in Dabo. The student Kolo Tai Chi themselves used a special method of breathing modelled on the respiratory system of the tortoise, whose hard shell limits the outward expansion of its lungs. Its lungs are therefore forced to expand by extending the length of the body rather than outwards, thus making its breathing deep and harmonious. The tortoise may move slowly, but it lives a long time. This is why the student Kolo Tai Chi and later the founders of Kolo Tai Chi adopted and adapted this breathing method.
Our heart and lungs work incessantly to keep our body alive and in good health. To maintain this state of affairs we have a duty to protect them from too much stress and strain when we engage in exercise. Most forms of exercise require lung expansion when we inhale. This expansion forces our muscles and ribs outwards thus increasing the chest's capacity to take in air. However, this puts a lot of pressure on our lungs and we can easily tire out. In the same way, a car which is constantly travelling uphill will sooner or later develop engine trouble.
In practicing Kolo Tai Chi we do not use this common method of breathing which is particularly unsuitable for the sick and those who have passed their prime. We concentrate instead on making our movements relaxed and harmonious and our postures natural so our breathing will also be natural and not forced.
Constant practice of Kolo Tai Chi over a period of time will make our breathing slow and deep, while our internal organs will work in a gentle and harmonious fashion. When we inhale, our diaphragm will expand not only outwards, but also downwards in the direction of the abdomen, giving our lungs more space to expand downwards also. When we exhale, our lungs contract causing the diaphragm to contract also, both inwards and upwards. The rising and falling motions of the diaphragm help our lungs to function properly. At the same time the rhythmic nature of the diaphragm's movements act to massage our stomach and intestines, gently increasing the circulation of blood and transportation of nutrition. This whole process of respiration in Kolo Tai Chi is called, `The downward extension of breath to the Hara' (a point 1" below the navel).
This is not to say that our diaphragm can or does expand downwards to the Hara, but only that the effect of the downward movement of the diaphragm is to cause the other organs of our body to expand downwards or to contract in proportion to the movements of the diaphragm. This effect is most keenly felt at the Hara. What has happened is that the constant practice of Kolo Tai Chi relaxes the muscles of the diaphragm enabling it to expand downwards instead of merely outwards. There is a common misconception that the air we breath is brought down to the Hara. This is an illogical and unscientific notion.
In breathing we should at all times both inhale and exhale through the nose. Our mouth should be kept shut and our tongue should rest gently against the roof of the mouth so that we can salivate and avoid a dry throat during practicing Kolo Tai Chi and reaping the benefits of doing so.
International Kolo Organization
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