Taiji practice develops a quiet mental focus and awareness, a strong yet supple body, a quick agility in both mind and body. It develops tuner health which, in turn, seeps to the outer body.
Done regularly, this simple exercise is highly effective in helping to coordinate the mind and body. The internal focus also starts developing body awareness.
I will argue, however, that the novel's portrayal of Avey's emotional and physical rebirth, while raising important questions about the cultural identity of African and Caribbean Americans, is disconcerting in terms of the suggestion that it is possible to return to an unmediated state of being, to a tabula rasa of mind and body. The idea, suggested in the novel, that Avey's memories of Africa are an essential part of her being, while her American identity is a socially constructed one, is problematic.
It suggests a slippage between clear distinctions of mind and body. Christian's essay addresses the issue of the mind body dualism in relation to the cultural rituals in which Avey participates, but also redefines the separation of mind and body as a process not of denial, or of concern with hierarchy, but of survival.
Yet in response to the dilemma of preventing the initial distancing from heritage, the novel posits a clear distinction between mind and body. These shifting perspectives indicate an anxiety in the novel between situating the body as a site of cultural assertion and acknowledging the potential reductiveness of this situation.
To live up to the Upanishadic ideal, the mind and body must function at a higher standard than what we ordinarily call "good health."
If you want to know the condition of your body in the future, look at your mind now." Thousands of years before neurotransmitters were discovered, Ayurveda understood the relationship between mind and body.
Ayurvedic texts proclaim that over time, correct meditation refines and cultures the mind and body, establishing inner freedom from the binding influence of negativity.