Expanding Life

by Tibi Moravcik

 

Your body, mind and spirit are influenced by Condensing and Expanding powers.
Usually, we don’t even notice how these powers affect our lives.
When you become aware of these powers, it’s opening you to a new dimension of being…

 

This aspect comprised two opposite qualities:

 

Expand – become or make larger or more extensive
open, relax, lightness, fire, movement, flow, supple, youthful, yang…

 

.

Condense – make something denser or more concentrated
close, stress-tension, pressure, gravity, stillness, resist, rigid, old, yin…

 

 

 

Today, most people are too condensed, tensed and closed.
To reach balance, we need to be more open to life like a sunflower is opening to the Sun…
Open your body to let the vital energy flow freely.
Open your mind, enjoy the present and be in flow.
Open your hearts to Love.

By using expanding and condensing power, you can partly replace your commonly used muscular power to move more efficiently, be lighter, and be stronger and quicker.

Expanding the strength of your tensegrity, you will decompress your spine and joints.
Developing expanding power is the best way to cope with the opposite power – stress.

 

Expansion and condensing happen everywhere and all the time.
It affects all of us, whether we are aware of it or not.
But let me assure you that awareness of this aspect in any part of being will open new dimensions of understanding and freedom for you.

 

Expand and condense body

 

We can consciously expand and condense the whole body. However, the easiest and consciously most expanding and condensing part is the fascia.
A fascia is a sheet of connective tissue beneath the skin that attaches, stabilises, and encloses muscles and internal organs.

 

Directions of Expanding

Quality makes our soft tissue (especially fasciae) larger or more extensive.
Direction to expand:
1) From the ground to the sky.
2) From the centre to the periphery or away from the body. It could be from the core, ming men, knee, etc., towards fingers and toes, or further. Knowingly, it can also expand our organs like the lungs, the bladder, etc.
3) 90° from the bone to the skin surface or further.

Directions of  Condensing

Quality makes our soft tissue (especially fasciae)  denser or more concentrated.
Direction to condense:
1) To the ground.
2) From the body’s periphery (or space around) to the centre. It could be from fingers and toes towards the core, dan tian, etc. It can also condense our organs like the lungs, the bladder, etc.
3) 90° from the skin surface, hairs (or space around) to the bone.

 

 

Expanding and Stretching

 

There is a difference between stretching and expanding.
The direction of expanding is a line; it doesn’t need flexion. We are expanding from the inside by attention – a mental activity with a physical effect on the myofascial complex. Or we can expand it through external forces (Pravilo, hanging on bar, inversion/traction table, etc.).
Stretching is based on mechanical flexion (bending an arm, leg or bag). Flexion stretched muscles, tendons and fascias used by a skeleton. Muscles, tendons and fascias are passive and don’t demand your attention.
We can synergise stretching and expanding to make it more efficient.

 

How do we add the power of the fasciae?

 

Fasciae exhibit different qualities depending on your emotional state.
In a state of fear, the fasciae condense.
When you are happy, the fasciae often expand.

We can control the fascia actively by becoming aware of its quality.
We can add expanding fascia tissue from the other side of the arm to the regular muscle contraction.
We can add a third power source: the condensing fasciae to the muscle contractions and the expanding fasciae.

  • Muscles contraction
  • Fascia expanding
  • Fascia condensing

You can combine the muscle and fasciae powers into One unitedefficient movement.
Using less muscle power, you become more efficient and create less undesirable tension.
The liquid quality of the body allows us to accumulate and store kinetic energy.

The power of the expanding and condensing fasciae is the secret of ‘the superhuman power’ that  Systema and Chi Kung masters demonstrate.

 

Power of Tensegrity

 

In essence, two mechanical systems can maintain weight:
1. compression – bracing – bracing maintains your posture primarily via the bones, joints and discs.
2. tension – hanging – hanging maintains your posture via our fasciae, tendons and muscles – tensegrity.

 

Tensegrity is based on two powers:

  1. Expanding
  2. Inner Fire

Tensegrity helps to hold your body weight.
In addition, functional tensegrity allows for less pressure on your discs, vertebrae & joints.

 

Thus, movements are easier and smoother by decreasing the chance of injuries. In addition, it makes you feel lighter.

Expanding higher reduces pressure on discs and joints. We can fly..!

 

 

Tensegrity

 

Supple or rigid body construction

There are two ways how to build up strong body construction…

The first one is building up by shrinking and tensing up. This construction is rigid. It could be firm like stone, but it also can be brittle, like a mud house.

 

The second one is building up by expanding. Then, our bodies are supple, elastic and light like a bouncing castle.

It is valid not just for the body but also for the mind.

 

“Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard.
Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry.
Thus, whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death.
Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.
The hard and stiff will be broken.
The soft and supple will  prevail.” 

Lao Tzu

 

Pravilo – a device to expand

Next to mind control, one of the best methods to develop the power of tensegrity is Pravilo…

Read more about Pravilo… 

 

The Chinese way to Expand & Condense

 

Yin lineAbsorbing to Dan Tien and condensing to the bone.
Yang lineExpanding out from Ming Men—that means it’s projecting from Ming Men going out to the fingernail and toenail and coming back from fingertips to the dan tien—must be separated by the bone.’

Expand & Condense – the Chinese way

 

Inner Fire

We are relaxed but do not passively hang on the skeleton like jellyfish or melting ice cream!
We understand how the gravitational force pulls our physical bodies down, but which force pulls us up???

It’s
Vital energy. Spirit. Light. In Vedic culture, it is called Puruṣha. This energy is known as Yang energy, Chi (Qi) or Ki, Kundalini… In Slavic culture, it is called  Zhiva*.
Because we understand fire, we can easily visualise the quality of fire; therefore, we will call this quality Inner Fire.
This Inner Fire gives life to every animal; it pulls all plants to the sky.

 

Inner Fire pulls us up, similar to how fire lifts a hot air balloon…

 

 

So, we acted upon two main forces:
Gravity pulls us down, and Inner Fire pulls us up.

 

The Fire is lifting us, and we wave with our bodies as the wind waves a flag…

 

A relaxed, flowing body posture directly affects your emotions. You will believe in yourself- your feelings, see your life more positively, etc.

We don’t need to exert special effort; we just relax and let the Inner Fire create our postures.
We can feel how the Inner Fire lifts our bodies if we are sensitive.
A better position increases Inner Fire, pulling you up more…
Letting the Inner Fire lift you up creates a virtuous circle.

We desire to flow up the same way that fish swim… We don’t just swim horizontally, but vertically up to the sky…

 

Inner Fire flows better through a relaxed, straight body.

We tend to passively hang down on the skeleton; we do not use the Inner Fire to lift us!
A collapsed position causes deformation of our posture and is often a cause of backache. In a collapsed position, the flow of the Inner Fire is restricted – we have less vital energy – Inner Fire, we trust ourselves less, we are ‘down’.

 

In hanging position, via a screwed body, we are like a fireplace with a blocked chimney. A good chimney creates a draft to pull the fire upwards. Therefore, we must keep a nice, straight, relaxed position. The Inner Fire flows nicely and easily via the nice, straight body.
Also, undesirable tension restricts not just our movements; it restricts the flow of Inner Fire. Tension makes our ‘chimney’ narrower.

Read more about Inner Fire…

Inner Fire

 

Balance

 

The Inner Fire helps you automatically flow to your optimum balance without active movement.

 

 

Where does the concept of Inner Fire come from?

I learned the concept of vital Inner Fire from the Cossack masters. Old Slavic culture and philosophy are preserved in the Cossack tradition.
Traditional Slavic culture (before the spread of Christianity) comes from Vedic culture.
The aspect in Slavic culture is called ‘Zhiva’* and is called ‘Purusha’ in Sanskrit; in English, we would call it Inner Fire or Light, Spirit.

In Vedic culture, life is created by Purusha and Prakrti.
Purusha is the energy of Inner Fire, Light or Spirit which lifts matter (Prakṛti). This is how Fire and Matter together create Life

The Path of the Cossack is the path of the Light… Cossacks let the Inner Fire uplift them and make them lighter. Therefore, Cossacks have a different quality of body; subsequently, Cossacks flow and move so lightly…

We are lucky that today, the Cossack culture is open to us, and we can follow Cossacks on the path of Light and be pulled by Zhiva to the sky…

In martial arts, dance, etc., we can see which works with Inner Fire and which works on a solid mechanical basis… 

*ZHIVA (Živa/Жива), DIVA, SIVA – zhee-vah | dee-vah | see-vah) from Slavic “zhiv” = alive; “zhivot” = life. Goddess of life, birth, spring, fertility and love. She embodies the universal vital powers and brings live-giving forces.

 

Veda – synergised wisdom

Flow

Our posture can be created as stiff and solid as a tree. It is not a good idea to be rigid like wood. It’s much healthier to have a liquid quality in the body and mind, to be relaxed, soft, and flowing like water.

 

 

 

Liquid Power

The Emotional Effect

Focused & Peripheral Vision

Vision is probably the closest physical aspect linked with our mind.
It follows that perhaps vision is a helpful tool to switch between focused and expanded awareness.

 

A focused vision leads to focused awareness.

 

Peripheral vision leads to expanded awareness.

With focused (tunnel) vision, you can see sharp details of a minor point. Your view is narrower. Your attention flows to the point.
With (expanded) peripheral vision, everything is slightly blurred, but your view is much wider. Your attention expands – you can work with more perceptions/impulses.

Focused vision is good when you need to focus on one thing (e.g. one arm, one ball or one body). The problem arises when you try, with a focused vision, to keep track of more than one object, e.g. 3 limbs, 8 balls or a crowd of people. Peripheral vision is much more suitable for multitasking. You have much better spatial awareness in the expanded vision mode.

 

Focused and Expanded awareness

Our awareness and attention are not straightforward;  we cannot simply deposit them into a dual system. To explain it, we simplify them in a spectrum between focused and expanded awareness, from which we gush forth focused and expanded attention.

Nowadays, when we use ‘attention’, we usually mean ‘focused attention’…
Focused awareness – logical thinking is an excellent tool for tactics, plans, and strategy, but it is not the best for initial reactions. In focused awareness, we perceive the world more linearly,  in fragments.
Focused awareness is analysing the past and planning for the future.

In expanded awareness, we are not thinking; we just flow now. Therefore, we are more sensitive; we process information quicker from our senses (we feel more and see kinetic energy and rhythm, and we have better spatial awareness) and, therefore, can be more effective at multitasking. Our reactions are quicker, more natural – and more instinctive. We are opening up our intuition.
Expanded awareness is excellent for creative activities, e.g., dancing, playing, making love, combat, and sports.
In expanded awareness, we perceive the world holistically as one unit.

 

 

Focused & Expanded Awareness

Read more about related aspects…

Expand to strengthen your tensegrity!

Accept or Resist

Aspects of movement

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