The Four Dragons
Clearing the Meridians and Awakening the Spine in Nei Gong
Author: Damo Mitchell
Paperback, 256 pages
Within the context of a larger discussion of Dao Yin, Damo Mitchell teaches and explains the Dragon Dao Yin exercises, a set of four short sequences designed to work with the subtle energies of the spine and lead pathogenic energies out of the body.
More 'Yang' in nature than Qi Gong, Dao Yin focuses on outwards movements and strong internal cleansing. The book highlights this important distinction and covers the theory, history and development of Dao Yin exercises, as well as the relationship between Chinese medical theory and Dao Yin training. One chapter is devoted to problems related to stagnation and the flow of Qi, and explains the different causes and forms of stagnation. Later chapters look at breathing patterns and the extension of Yi, opening the joints, and rotating the bones and spine. Damo Mitchell also discusses stillness as the source of movement, the philosophical significance of the Dragon and the pearl, and the means of hardwiring Dao Yin exercises into the energetic body. Central to the discussion is the concept of the spine, and how to wake it up.
For the first time in the English language, the Dragon exercises – Awakening, Swimming, Soaring and Drunken – are described in detail, with photographs and step-by-step instructions on each of the exercises as individual therapeutic exercises and as a form.