Benefits of Cheng Hsin Body-Being and Effortless Power
The Cheng Hsin Body-Being training aligns the body with gravity and retrains the nervous system so that movement is graceful, powerful and easy. Training to be completely relaxed, centered, grounded, calm and whole and total allows for the use of intrinsic strength and creates being physically adept for various reasons:
Using intrinsic strength
Intrinsic means inherent or already so. Everything needs “binding strength” to hold it together. Intrinsic strength is the inherent binding quality of a substance. When it comes to the human body, a common perception is to look at the body as built around a fixed skeleton. However, it would be more true to think of the body as a bag of fluid and tissue with some bones inserted here and there. Our body has an elastic nature; it has compressibility; it has intrinsic strength.
It is simple to understand that using our whole bodies will produce more power than using only parts of the body. However, the Cheng Hsin training is to have our whole bodies be compressed so that the power is effortless. Consider how a sofa supports us when we sit on it; the sofa supports us without effort. The sofa gets squeezed a little and the ground supports our weight through the sofa. This compressive force is effortless but only possible when the supporting body is aligned to channel the compression into the ground. Like the sofa, in Cheng Hsin we are seeking an effortless power. i.e. it takes no extra effort to move objects or people than to move our own bodies through empty space. Staying relaxed and able to produce power is possible if we can use the ground for power. Our instinct is to brace against and push away from the ground using an expansive “effort power”. Effortless power occurs when we are compressed into the ground. Our bodies have intrinsic strength, so anytime we have an object compressing us into the ground, there will be a natural, effortless “push back” towards the object that is compressing us.
We are not seeking effortless power because it has “magical super power”. By being compressed into the ground we can utilise the ground for power. There is no better support than the planet! By using intrinsic strength, we can align with the 5 principles and have the advantages listed below. The points listed could all be seen as “powers”.
Just stand for a while and close your eyes. Feel the micro-movements which the body makes to keep us on our feet. We are constantly adjusting to stay around the balance point. What we generally take for granted as being balanced isn’t true balance. We are normally in a state of “managing off-balance”. When we are off-balance, we are ignoring something. Feeling our whole bodies is essential for true balance. In Cheng Hsin we train to be “freely balanced”. This is being always in balance, whether moving dynamically or being still; whether we are in contact with another person or object or just by ourselves. True balance is being at rest.
Our balance is in jeopardy:
- Any time we lean or push against another. Since we are no longer putting all our weight into our feet but are placing some of our weight into another object.
- When we throw ourselves off balance! That is when we source the power of our movement from any place other than ground e.g. bracing muscles and using strength to move parts of ourselves which unbalances the whole.
By relaxing and aligning with gravity we let the body drop into our feet, the place we need to fall so that we stay up! We can utilise the body’s intrinsic strength and allow ourselves to be compressed into the ground for power. By always being pushed into our feet, we always remain balanced.
Moving a relaxed body from the center is faster than our habitual way of moving. Relaxed muscles move faster than tense muscles. We also slow down muscle movement by tensing opposing groups of muscles. It takes training to learn how to move fast. We tend to have all manners of pre-movement adjustments and twitches which we must discover before we can stop doing these movements.
By relaxing we can also increase our range of movement. Relaxing our joints creates freer movement. Our ball and socket joints have the ability to move like well-oiled ball bearings. Mobility is also a function of being conscious of the space around us. We only move into spaces that we are conscious of. Having 3-dimensional spatial-awareness increases our possibilities of movement and hence increases mobility.
Using muscular strength and having adrenaline flushed through the system tires us out. Staying calm and relaxed increases our ability to perform at a high level for longer. Using the ground for power also increases our “staying power”.
In pressure situations, it is natural for us to narrow our attention. However, in Cheng Hsin, we train in a direction which challenges our instincts: The more we find ourselves in a pressure situation, the more we need to expand our awareness. By becoming more conscious of what is happening, we can be more adept and skilful at handling the situation. By remaining relaxed and calm, we can perceive more and therefore be more sensitive and adapt to changing situations. Centering and grounding helps us stay present under pressure.