body


Here we will talk about 2 specific forms – tsa lung and trulkhor. The tsa lung (channels and winds practice) and trulkhor (magic movements) both use the same subtle methods of connecting with the body the breath and the mind in a very deep way.

Tsa lung practises are much simpler than the trulkhor and yet very profound. They come from a text called the Ma Gyud, the Mother Tantra, and are easy to integrate as a set of practices in daily life. Each of the tsa lung work with one of the 5 kinds of breath that are both named and mentioned in the tibetan medical texts as well as the indian and ayurvedic texts. If we think of the lung as subtle breath, it is what guides the subtle circulation of the body, which guides the mind. As you balance the 5 kinds of breath you are balancing and therefore affecting your state of mind. The breath becomes the crucial link in terms of mind and body. And it helps us in that sense of connectedness. By using the body in this simple way the tsa lung practice is a beautiful method/technique/tool of having mind breath body.

One of the teachers who brought Bön buddhism to the west, Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche has been teaching tsa lung worldwide and written Awakening the Sacred Body (with DVD), where he explains the teachings in an open way to a wider audience.

And for those who feel that they still need more body activity, the trulkhor actually provides a greater energetic aspect. You still hold the breath while you are doing what is called the magical movements. But here the exhalation is more active/powerful. As you exhale, you release the breath both through the nose as well as mouth through sounds (of Ha and Phet). The intention is to cut through whatever stale breath and elaborations of the mind are there, and arrive back into a still mind, but without all that stuff that was there before. Unlike Indian-based yogas, the trulkhor movements involve continuous and often rigorous movements. Its more lively than the tsa lung and yet very meditative.

what are the differences to the famous hatha yoga from india?

In contrast to Indian styles of yoga, in which the practitioner aims to hold a pose with the body still and the breath flowing naturally, in trulkhor the practitioner holds the breath still while the body moves. In Indian yoga which is what the majority of people are more familiar with, the asanas are in the realm of the body, pranayam in the breath or energy, and meditation for the mind (pranayam being breath exercises or breath control exercises, and asana being postures of the body). In the west a lot of the yoga is really focused on the asanas, on the body and much less on the mind. But when we look back into the original texts like the Yoga Sutras, both the tibetan and the indian are actually body-breath-mind traditions, even though today we see a predominance of asana in indias based yogas. Generally people in the west tend to study tibetan meditation or another tradition for the mind, and to connect it they do body practises of Indian yogas, tai chi, and chi gong. In many of the tibetan practises there is not much of a connection to the body, and to a certain extent even a dismissal of the body i.e. they´re usually sitting meditation or visualisation practices; or mantra, which means maybe up to the throat chakra, whereas with the tsa lung trulkhor you have a total incorporation of the body. They´re easy to integrate into any lifestyle even though traditionally they´ve been secret practices, and to a certain extent even now the yogas from Tibet are kept quite secret. They are now coming to the west, at least through Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche and other great teachers, but he has certainly been one of the precursors in bringing that openness to the practice of Tibetan yogas.