Nourishing Life

Cultivating the Art of Change

The Art of Nourishing Life

optimise health

awaken vitality

develop longevity

seal for Yang Sheng - Nourishing Life academy

THE ART OF NOURISHING LIFE

Yang Sheng academy

principles and practices of Yang Sheng

Cultivate health, vitality and clarity of mind

principles and practices of Yang Sheng

Build relationship with the natural world

principles and practices of Yang Sheng

Create firm ground for energetic and spiritual development

What is The Art of Nourishing Life?

Based on the teachings of classical Chinese medicine and our practice of Daoist wisdom traditions we have put together a map and set of navigational tools to guide you in an embodied exploration of the nature of life and nourishment. Our in depth training programme covers Chinese medical nutrition, yang sheng lifestyle principles, self-healing techniques, classical Chinese medical theory and Daoist cosmology. It is designed both for interested people new to the field as well as seasoned practitioners of the internal and medical arts. Our courses are intended to help you explore how you relate to nourishment in all its forms. We will provide you with the understanding and tools to discover and implement a way of engaging with life which is optimally nourishing for you in the context of your specific lifestyle, stage of life and state of health. 

The primary principle of The Art of Nourishing Life is individualisation of lifestyle to your specific constitution and life path. The process rests upon cultivating a capacity to listen to and trust the natural intelligence of life and how it expresses itself in our bodies, minds and relationships. Through participation in The Art of Nourishing Life programme  you will develop and refine your innate body wisdom. We will introduce you to time tested ways to support positive and lasting change and deepen your sense of aliveness and connection to spirit.

How the programme is structured

The Art of Nourishing Life offers yang sheng fa training in a modular format. It is an integrated study programme that is intended to be accessible to a modern audience whilst remaining true to the depth and integrity of the classical teachings it presents. The material is very detailed and rigorous and participants should be prepared to engage in a substantial amount of theoretical study alongside committing to a daily practice and an ongoing process of self inquiry. No previous knowledge of Chinese medicine or Classical Chinese philosophy or cosmology is assumed. The programme will lead you progressively through the foundations of  Yang Sheng theory and practice. Each module builds on the preceding ones and systematically develops the basic themes to elucidate their application in the various arenas of life expression: diet; movement and stillness; work and  relationship. Lessons include video lectures, written material and exercises, and learning is supported by the teachers with regular live Q&A's. There will also be the option of in person weekend events throughout the year and periodic longer retreats focusing on specific areas of the syllabus.

The Art of Nourishing Life programme

Theoretical Foundations

Origins and Orientations course - Yang Sheng online training programme

Origins and Orientations

Introducing The Art of Nourishing Life

Explore the concept of yang sheng; what it is, where it comes from, its historical development and relationship to the Daoist arts and classical Chinese medicine. This module serves as a general orientation to the methodologies of yang sheng fa and our unique approach to the work.

Macrocosm course- Yang Sheng online training programme

The Macrocosm

The philosophical roots of Yang Sheng

Learn the foundations of Daoist philosophy and cosmology as an integrative framework for understanding life and existence.

The Microcosm

The classical Chinese medical perspective on health and disease

Gain an understanding of classical Chinese medicine and explore the dynamics of the human body-mind and how it manifests in health and disease. 

Mapping the Qi Body course - Yang Sheng online training programme

Mapping the Qi Body

Foundations of energetic anatomy

Explore the major aspects of our energetic anatomy according to the classical Chinese understanding. 

Practical Applications

Nourishing Life through Food - Yang Sheng online course on Chinese Food Energetics

Nourishing Life through Food

An in-depth exploration of Chinese food energetics

Explore the nature of food and nourishment from an energetic perspective. Discover how our relationship with food can help support healing, awaken vitality and create harmony in self, family, community and ecology.

Nourishing Life through Movement and Stillness course - Yang Sheng online training programme

Nourishing Life through Movement and Stillness

The foundations of Daoist bodywork and self cultivation practice

Learn a variety of movement principles and self healing techniques including a complete stretching routine, mobility exercises, self-massage techniques, basic qigong forms and simple breathing and relaxation exercises. 

Nourishing Life through Relationship course - Yang Sheng online training programme

Nourishing Life through relationship

The nine health palaces

 Engage in a contemplative exploration of the  fundamental relationships which make up the fabric of our lives and identities. Using the model of the nine health palaces we will explore the different aspects of how our life manifests and expresses itself in the world and the many opportunities this presents for giving and receiving nourishment.

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The Yang Sheng tradition

Timeless Wisdom

The Yang Sheng tradition has evolved over the course of the past two and a half millennia, remaining as relevant today as when it was first established. Its principles and practices developed at the interface between Chinese medicine, qigong and alchemy. They offer a time tested framework for cultivating health, vitality and longevity as a foundation for spiritual cultivation. 

Honouring the Sacred

In Daoism the entire cosmos is seen as a living expression of consciousness. Life is understood as a sacred process, spontaneously arising from spirit and imbued with a deep intelligence. Each one of us carries a seed of this intelligence in the core of our being. In its essence the art of Yang Sheng consists in learning to listen to and align ourselves with this innate wisdom. In this way we honour our deepest source, and water the seed of consciousness so it can grow into a deeply rooted tree able to bear nutritious fruit. 

Integrating Nature, Culture and Spirit

Daoist philosophy and cosmology offers a truly holistic understanding of nature, humanity and spirit.  Being rooted in the integration of microcosm and macrocosm it provides an ideal framework for weaving the threads of consciousness and deep ecological awareness into the tapestry of our uniquely human expressions of life and health. Our fundamental ethos at Nourishing Life is to encourage a simple, direct and deeply relational engagement with our food, bodies and communities as integral expressions of a living earth. 

Living with the Seasons between Heaven and Earth

According to Daoist cosmology the universe consists of a spectrum of vibratory frequencies manifesting as various densities of form. Life is described as existing in the space between Heaven and Earth, arising out of the resonant hum of yin and yang as it embodies itself in the cyclical rhythm of the seasons. Every aspect of our existence, from the densest material realities of the body to the most refined phenomena of consciousness, is governed by the ebb and flow of cyclical change. The art of nourishing life is to develop a dynamic lifestyle that works with-and not against-the seasonal changes, the wax and wane of day and night, of sun and moon, and the natural course of our own lifetime. The reward is optimum health of body and mind in accordance with our constitution. 

Guarding our Essence, Nourishing our Destiny

According to Chinese medicine our constitutional strength and vitality is determined by our jing or ‘essence’, the ancestral code that generates and governs the course of our lifetime.  Beginning with conception the rapid unfolding of embryonic, foetal and childhood development towards sexual maturity is seen as the blossoming of jing, and the far slower process of aging towards a natural death reflects the inevitable decline of jing. Every activity ‘consumes’ jing. The state of our health thus depends on the skilfulness of our actions. Either we can deplete our jing quickly, weakening our constitution and shortening our lives, or we can nourish and conserve what we have and use it wisely to maintain health, prolong life and feed the spirit. 

Our jing is intimately related to the outward manifestation and expression of our inner nature, what in Daoism is called ming or destiny. The manifestation of a person’s ming is the realisation of the potential inherent in their jing. In the Daoist view destiny is something which must be cultivated. How smoothly we move along our life path, how healthy and long lived we are, and how fully we express our essential nature, depends fundamentally on the quality of our jing.  Thus nourishing life is, on a practical level, very concerned with the conservation and consolidation of jing.  

The Art of Reciprocity

The Art of Nourishing Life is in essence the art of reciprocal living.  It offers a means to develop and deepen our sense of connection and gratitude in daily life; to nourish ourselves in deep relationship with others and with something larger, and more intelligent, than ourselves.

Yang Sheng Fa and Yang Sheng Gong

As with all Daoist arts, nourishing life can be divided into fa and gongFa means technique or method whilst gong translates as an inherent quality developed through the correct and consistent repetition of a practice over time. Gong is therefore the result of learning and applying fa. Gong implies work and skill. Nourishing life is an art, and like any art its mastery requires the creative and intelligent application of effort and technique over an extended period of time. The methods of nourishing life are simple and easy to learn but their effectiveness lies in their synergistic interactions when adopted together as a regular part of your daily routine. 

Any questions?

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