October 4th – 25th & 1 year free access to all the learning resources
by Ilaria Faccioli
Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine Tenerife
Training the Body with Tsijong: Five Movements to Loosen the Joints Is the new baby born from the collaboration between Yantra Yoga and Tibetan Medicine Department of Atiyoga Foundation. I am personally very happy about this collaboration for two main reasons.
The first one is more general and connected to the fact that Yantra Yoga and Tibetan Medicine seem to me a perfect marriage that can bring a lot of benefit to many people, practitioners and non practitioners of every age and condition, all over the globe.
As we know, Tibetan Medicine is an ancient healing system that is not specifically connected to Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s transmission. Nevertheless, Rinpoche was one of the first to bring this knowledge to the West and all over the years he has been promoting this diffusion by pointing out its importance in many open conferences and by the founding of The Shang Shung School of Tibetan Medicine in 1997.
There now exists numerous schools of Tibetan Medicine in numerous countries, along with various online curricula, fully-trained and qualified practitioners offering their services to communities around the world.
It is probably obvious and evident that medicine is by its very nature knowledge and practical application that aims to alleviate suffering of any person who is afflicted with physical and mental illness. This is valid for any medical tradition, be it ancient or modern.
As for Yantra Yoga, it is certainly connected with the transmission of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and I am probably not mistaken in saying that for many of us practitioners of the Dzogchen Community, it is now part of our practice routine, perhaps not always daily but probably weekly. And we know that Yantra Yoga is a complete path of realization. Nevertheless, the profound knowledge of Yantra Yoga can’t be separated from Tibetan Medicine since it has its roots in it.
In Tibetan Medicine there is a very detailed anatomy of the energy which is very much connected with the practice of Yantra Yoga. Yantra Yoga is especially related to the function of the breathing and how this influences the level of the energy and the aspects of the elements.
So even if Yantra Yoga is a teaching based on a very serious spiritual path, it can be of great benefit for many people who are not necessarily connected to the transmission, since it can support them in preserving health as a result of balancing the aspect of the elements through movement and especially through breathing. The interaction with Tibetan Medicine is showing what the practice of Yantra Yoga can do from the point of view of medicine and how very important and useful it is.
In pandemic and post-pandemic times in which our health, especially our mental health, is undoubtedly in check, the emphasis on breathing is now on the agenda. Even facebook or instagram keeps telling us that If we want to feel good and have a better psychophysical balance, we need to breathe better or maybe we even have to re-learn how to breathe properly.
Well we have good news!
The first good news is that we hardly have to try to convince anyone of the benefits of good breathing, especially when it is integrated into movement. The benefits of Yantra Yoga are more easily understood and within the reach of anyone who wants to devote themselves to its practice with a certain constancy and discipline.
And the second good news is that Tibetan Medicine provides a clear and detailed map of what happens, not only at the level of the physical body but also at the level of the energy body when we practice Yantra Yoga.
So here we go…
The second reason why I am so delighted about this marriage is that it shows within the Atiyoga Foundation the potential to cooperate for the benefit of others. From my point of view, the Community should be about collaboration on how to apply the teachings in daily life, with and for people who are not necessarily members of the Dzogchen Community or did not have the fortune of receiving Rinpoche’s transmission.
The first seed of this fruitful collaboration was “Breathe to Wellness” created in 2021 from an idea by Fabio Andrico. This course was the first course organized in collaboration between the Yantra Yoga and the Tibetan Medicine departments of ATIF. The course had a large audience; 126 participants from all over the world -members and non members of the DC. “Breathe to Wellness” was held as an interactive platform where the students could follow all the content of the course week by week. Each week there was a live class that was also recorded, alternating a Q&A session with Fabio Andrico and Dr. Phuntsog and a practice session, led by Nataly Nitsche, sometimes together with Maxim Leshchenko.
Participants showed great interest in knowing the details of the practice, but they also had lots of questions regarding their health. Dr. Phuntsog gave great advice, healing tea recipes and self treatments, but mainly persistently advising people to follow Yantra Yoga precisely, insisting on what a real and profound medicine it is.
The healing art of Tibetan Yoga and Medicine comes together in this second program dedicated to the Tsigjong series with Laura Evangelisti and Menpa Phuntsog Wangmo with a very similar format as the previous one. This new course is called: “Training the body with Tsigjong: Five movements to loosen the joints.
30 instructional videos,
4 live sessions (practice and Q&A) with Laura and Dr Phuntsog,
1 year to access all the resources.
After the successful outcome of Breathe to Wellness, it was decided to create a sequence of courses for the preliminaries of Yantra Yoga and so the names should be connected under the defined structure of the Yantra Yoga sequence. Therefore, we decided to call these courses ¨Tibetan Medicine and Yantra Yoga courses”.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Laura Evangelisti and Dr. Phuntsog Wangmo for their tireless dedication in sharing their precious knowledge, pure and clear as it was transmitted to them.
It has been an honor and a joy to collaborate with my beloved sisters Nataly Nitsche, Leticia Recepter, Karina Trofimova, Haimavati Nakai and Nastya Domanova. Thanks to all of them for sharing their capacity, their creativity and their dedication. As was done in the previous course, this course is the product of many hours of work to create the structure and the material, to prepare the videos, organize the diffusion, write the texts and many more things. We hope all these efforts reach far for the benefit of all sentient beings. So please help us spread the word, and share with the people that might be interested in such a precious course like this, or maybe in real need for them.
As mentioned before, it is a public course, with no requirements needed, and a perfect way to start a Yantra Yoga journey since we will be learning the first preliminary series.
More information about the course: https://tenerifeonline.tibetanmedicineschool.org/courses/YY-TM-tsigjong