Springtime in the Mountains 易筋經
(Some creative writing from a few years back)
The young man stepped out of the masters hut and could smell the sap on the leaves as they opened, each of the trees reaching and stretching after a long sleep. He pulled down his cap to cover the back of his neck, “Muffle in the Spring” read the classic texts, keeping the head covered and particularly the base of the skull (Feng Fu- the Wind Mansion) in the springtime keeps away colds and flu and so he pulled his cap and warmed his neck with his hands.
Master was already long gone up the trail as was his custom for morning practice and the young man began a slow jog to follow him. “Walk 100 paces after every meal and you will live 100 years.” Another classic and so he slowly jogged each morning after his morning meal to meet with the master and follow him in silence through the training. Springtime training mimics the earth around us and as the trees stretch and reach towards so do we. It is time to train the muscles and tendons through dynamic power stretching exercises and so each morning the master would lead him through the 22 postures that took his breath away.
As he rounded the corner by the creek he could see the master standing and preparing for the first of the postures “Press the Earth”. He took his place behind and beside him as was proper and began to breathe in deeply. As he reached the apex of his breath the master tightened every part of his dense sinewy body and pressed his palms towards the earth. Each hand spiralling inwards towards his body, his feet grinding into the dirt like a mortar and pestle grinding herbs. “Tighten first the limbs and then the torso” the master told him “then release the torso before the limbs. This is important, not to be trifled with.” He could hear the masters words ringing in his ears from the day before as he breathed out a forced breath through his mouth and then gently inhaled through his nose to repeat the posture.
22 postures later the master turned and smiled at the young man and seated himself on his favorite stone by the path. The iron teapot was lifted from the small fire at this side and tea was poured for them both. “Remember that drinking tea is as much a part of training as the movements themselves. Feel its warmth in the cup, smell its aroma and earthiness and when you drink it feel it travel downwards to your stomach. This is the proper way to cultivate, this is a much more difficult practice than many realize.”
Enjoy the world awakening to spring and enjoy your practice.