In honour of International Women’s Day today, we have the 14th move of Liuhebafa – Green Dragon Stretches Claws. This move references and stimulates the liver (green dragon), but also the spring-like awakening of female generative energy.
The Green Dragon is the first of the five coloured dragons inhabiting the Liuhebafa main form. Whenever you encounter five of anything in Taoist practice, you know you are dealing with Five Element Theory – a key component of Chinese alchemy, medicine, and philosophy for many centuries. The five colours (green, white, red, black, yellow) equate with the five “solid” organs (liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, spleen), the five directions (east, west, south, north, centre), the five elements (wood, metal, fire, water, earth), the five seasons (spring, summer, late summer, autumn, winter), and quite a few other sets of five.
In Liuhebafa, the green dragon stretching claws is the spring-like awakening of female generative energy in preparation for later trysting with white tiger to unify the self (i.e., to re-unite the multitude of yin/yang divisions that mark our existence in the mundane realm (hard/soft, dark/light, inner/outer, etc.).
At a bodily level, the phrase refers to waking sluggish liver energy. And indeed the movement involves extending the right arm and leg in opposite directions, producing a considerable expansion along the right flank, stimulating the liver meridian.
May you be stretching claws,