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The 5 Elements - Characteristics

The most human of the elements. It is the element of spring; the creative urge to achieve - which can turn to anger when frustrated. It is associated with the capacity to look forward, plan and make decisions.
Wood energy is rising, expanding, and is the force of growth and flexibility.
This element represents all the activities of the body that are self regulating and/or function without conscious thought; i.e. digestion, respiration, heart beat and basic metabolism.
The liver (which converts food into fuel which is then supplied to the muscles, tendons and ligaments) is associated to the Wood element.

The element of heat, summer and enthusiasm; nature at its peak of growth, and warmth in human relationships. Its motion is upward.
Fire is the symbolic of combustion and this represents the functions of the body that have reached that fleeting moment of maximum activity; indicating that decline is then inevitable.
The element is associated with the heart and related to the tongue.

The element of harvest time, abundance, nourishment, fertility, and the mother to child relationship. This element is also regarded as central to balance and the place where energy becomes downward in movement. It is the symbol of stability and being properly anchored.
Earth is associated to the spleen and related to the sense of taste.

Includes the Western idea of the air element. It is the force of gravity, the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the heavenly bodies and the powers of electrical conductivity and magnetism. Metal has structure, but it can also accept a new form when molten.
Metal energy is consolidating and with inward movement, like a flower closing its petals.
The symbol of metal is one of a cutting and reforming action, but it is also regarded as a solidifying process.
The element is associated with the lungs and related to the nose.

The source of life on this planet. Likewise it is the fluids (the main component of the body) which nourish and maintain the health of every cell. Water corresponds to the vital fluids, i.e. blood, lymph, mucus, semen and fat.
The kidney is especially linked to this element. Its motion is downward.
Water has the capacity to flow, infinitely yielding yet infinitely powerful, ever changing and often dangerous with the capacity also to nourish and cleanse.
Water is the ultimate yin; quiet, cold; representing the resting time of winter. It has a waiting, silent, still quality that can be described as "stored potential". It has flexibility (think of water filling up any shape of vessel), yet it has great power (think of the devastation caused by floods).
In human psychology the element governs the balance between fear or being exploited and the desire to dominate.

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DO TAI CHI SYLLABUS
Introduction
Session 1 - Module 1
| 'Attention' to 'Preparation' and 'Opening the Grand Terminus' |
Session 1 - Module 2
| The Yin Yang | Diaphragmatic Breathing | Tai Chi Breath |
Session 2 - Module 1
| 'Circle Breath' and
'The Three Gates' |
Session 2 - Module 2
| 'Silken Thread' and
'Bubbling Spring' |
Session 3 - Module 1
| 1st Cervical or 'Atlas' Vertebrae |
Session 3 - Module 2
| Head Nodding Exercises |
Session 4 - Module 1
| Embracing the Tree | Internal and External | Opening Wide | Slide Down Tree/Conclude | Kung Fu |