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Yes, I have to admit, I read all of Frank Herbert's Dune novels when I was young and I always absolutely loved them! :) When I started this blog I had to somehow think of the prana-bindu training of the arcane order of the Bene Gesserit. In a moment of utter nerdiness I looked up the words in a Chinese version of the novel and saw they are being translated as 神经肌肉, nerve and muscle (sinews, fascia) training. Somehow I thought that is quite befitting and describes well what we do in Chen Taijiquan.

A lot of the training in the beginning happens around the restructuring of the body. And the muscles, tissues, fascia and so on will all have to adapt. The biomechanical work is very difficult to do and will be quite demanding and excruciating. And even in the beginning stages we start to connect certain neurological elements to our practice, like eye focus, listening to the back and so on. At later stages this material becomes a bit more exciting and it can be connected to the "energetic" work we can do with certain points in our bodies, the breathing methods and so on.    

When we are lifting the head up, the 百会 baihui will become the heighest point of our body, the chin is slightly retracted, at the same time our body is sinking. The 风府 fengfu point will not get "squeezed" but rather stretched out, so that we gain some space between our cervical vertebrae and facilitate nerve functionality. Though we could go more into depth I think these beginner's points will suffice to delineate the general concept. The kinesthetic feeling can be a bit like someone is pulling up your ears. This will also help to bring some awareness to the back of the body. Looking to the front and listening to the back have a correspondence to the actual body work being performed and they have an effect on one's body structure in return. I performed a great feat of art below to illustrate this process. As the external "muscle work" is always linked to the internal "neuro" work, I really like the prana-bindu training reference to Dune, one of my favorite novels in my adolescence.  

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