Mysterious Girl Nourishing Methods is a specific Daoist Daoyin method especially for female practitioners. It encompasses both calisthenics and internal alchemical transformations. It is designed to maintain youth, enhance health, nourish the mind, body and spirit and help increase longevity. It is one of the very rare methods that were practiced by Madam Yu (alongside other arts such as Dayan Gong, Hunyun Da Fa and Taijiquan). This was in the past held only within the female community and taught to a select few. Through exercising this set of Qigong, you can renew the mentality and enhance the physical constitution. You will look fresh and refined, and your temperament will become more noble and elegant. The body will be more beautiful with delicacy and flexibility. The fascinating movements and postures look just like butterflies fluttering freely between heaven and earth.
Taoist Legends of Xuan Nǚ (玄女)
The Mysterious Woman of the Ninth Heaven (Jiu Tian Xuan Nu 九天玄女) is a powerful Taoist deity, who taught the Yellow Emperor and gave him esoteric texts on military arts that helped him win a cosmic battle. She also gave him texts on alchemy and immortality.She is also known as the Feng Shui Goddess who brought knowledge of feng shui to the Yellow Emperor. She is an important figure in feng shui theory and practitioners today frequently employ statues of the Mysterious Woman of the Ninth Heaven.This immortal is sometimes called the Goddess of the Nine Heavens – in Taoism there are nine layers of heaven and layers of the underworld. Xuan Nv was one of Xi Wang Mu's disciple (西王母之徒) that assist Xi Wang Mu in delivery important messages to humankind. Xuan Nv was also thought to be a disciple of Tai Yuan Sheng Mu 太元聖母 (which is a very old ancient Female Deity.)
The goddess – who probably originated as a bird-like deity – is not as elevated as the Jade Emperor or Very High Lord (Tai Shang Lao Jun 太上老君), but she appears in many legends and classical novels as a goddess of justice who helps heroes in danger. She is the benevolent goddess who has protected people and delivered babies since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). She is associated with the arts of warfare, martial arts, shamanism, alchemy, feng shui, sexual alchemy (Taoist sexual practices for longevity) and divination. Foretelling the future by observing changes in nature was very popular from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) to the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420).
The earliest depictions of the Mysterious Woman show a deity with a woman’s head and a bird’s body, perhaps indicating relationship with early worship of bird totems. Taoists depict her as a rosy-face woman usually brandishing a sword in her right hand. In he left hand she holds a Taoist double gourd, a symbol of immortality, healing and longevity. She rides a phoenix, using clouds as reins and wears garments made of nine colors of bird feathers.The Mysterious Woman is famous for assisting the Yellow Emperor, legendary ancestor of the Chinese people, to defeat the monster Chi You in a cosmic battle. Chi You created a three-day fog that darkened the sky and blinded soldiers, and the emperor was defeated in nine engagements.
The Yellow Emperor was not the only ruler who received help from the goddess. Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty, was also the beneficiary of her power. Since the capital and palace of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) were destroyed by the fire set by Xiang Yu, the king of Chu, Liu had to relocate the capital. He chose Bailuyuan in today’s Shaanxi Province, but a terrible earthquake turned the land into sea. The Mysterious Woman of Nine Heavens appeared and restored the original land by spreading a handful of earth. She told the emperor a giant whale was lying under the land. He then chose Chang’an for a capital, but a dragon beneath the land caused the ground to crack and rumble. The goddess again appeared and subdued the dragon so the new capital could be built. During the Spring and Autumn Period (776-467 BC), the Mysterious Woman of Nine Heavens also helped the Yue State by training an invincible army of 6,000 soldiers who defeated the Wu State.
The Mysterious Woman wearing colorful feathers arrived on a phoenix and declared herself to be the Goddess of Nine Heavens. She gave the emperor a talisman, a magical sword, seal, Chinese compass and other instruments, as well as texts on warfare. Thus armed, the emperor was victorious, united the Chinese people and became immortal. The legendary books and documents from the goddess were passed down through history. They were said to contain secrets of longevity and achieving immortality through alchemy and Taoist sexual practices.
Mysterious Woman Nourishing Health Cultivation Method (玄女养生功)
The Xuan Nv Yangsheng Gong had originated and become perpetuated amongst Taoists for hundreds of years and it was during the Song Dynasty that the initial practices were established. Generations have added to the methods through history and enhanced the internal alchemy elements of the original Tu-Na. The Xuan Nv Gong is specifically design for women and includes both external and internal alchemy, dance, specific exercises and martial arts methods within. The foundation practice of Xuan Nv Gong provide numerous physical benefits including regulating the circulatory, digestive, nervous and respiratory systems, activating the internal organs and creating a feeling of energy and tranquility. It also brings the mind, emotions and senses to a peaceful co-existence whilst preparing the practitioner for internal alchemy l (incl. meditation).
Since, Taoists perceive the human being as interconnected or integrated with the all aspects of existence, this means that if the body is ill or injured the mind is often becoming depressed or ill tempered, likewise if the mind is stressed then the body becomes tense. This is can be enhanced into many levels but essentially the emphasis is that all beings and matter are related so that a healthy mind requires or determines a healthy body and so forth. In practicing the Yu Nv Gong, the whole body and mind is continuously involved, ones awareness must be across even the most minute parts of the body simultaneously. This would lead to an alert, attentive and sharp being. Breathing is also a special feature with unique requirements at certain practices but in general deep calm meditative breathing that would support the regular flow of the energic and circulatory systems is a key point.
The keys to the Yu Nv Gong practice are found in the five rights. Right Technique, Right Sequence, Right Timing, Right Breath and Right Intention. Technique is the accuracy of the movements especially in transition but also in the alignment within a posture, Sequence considers the composition or order of the techniques practiced which can be re-sorted or differently arranged for specific outcomes. Timing considers the speed of movement and the length of holding specific postures which is at the foundation eight complete deep breath cycles as an example. Breathing refers to the calmness, depth and smoothness of breath which often when moving or exerting force becomes disarrayed. Intention is about the focused and clear mind, about being in the moment without distraction and allowing the intention to lead the qi or energy.