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Supple Leopards Part 3

Welcome to part 3 of whether or not we can be supple leopards! And, yes I know that's not a picture of a leopard above. (Pretty sure it's a lynx). But, I like this picture, and just looking at it I can feel the liveliness and vitality of the young lynx moving through the grass.

Recently, a friend of mine got two kittens. He described how he just loved watching the two young cats move. It was fascinating, but perhaps more importantly for our discussion, he noticed how after he spent time with the kittens he felt like he moved more like a cat.

I think this is one of the keys to truly cultivating suppleness in our bodies: moving like animals that actually do. Let's just take house cats for instance, cats regularly jump four or five times their height and also land effortlessly from even greater heights. And, how do they accomplish these feats? By doing lots of heavy weight lifting? By doing lots of cat push-ups? By running around a track? No, they do it mostly by staying relaxed, resting a lot, and doing some light and simple stretching through out the day.

These are the kinds of lessons that can be unlocked by exploring animal movements. And this practice goes back hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Pictured above is the Daoyin Tu an ancient diagram from China that is over 2000 years old. It's a collection of therapeutic exercises for various health conditions, and the majority of the exercise are movements based off of animals.

These are exactly the kinds of exercises and movements that we will be exploring in Way of the Animals, and I believe they are the key to finding true suppleness and leading a vital, healthy life.

Here's a video demonstrating what I'm talking about:

One of the things you might notice in the video is that instead of isolated, separate body movement, the whole body moves as one unit. This is another key I've found in animal movement training, and is a key to the internal power of internal martial arts such as Bagua, Tai Chi, and Xing Yi.

Looking forward to sharing about this and more, starting next week in my class!


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