Craig Mallett

neigong 2

nei gong


Discover a process of alignment, release, opening, deep relaxation, and internal awareness through a simple daily practice inspired by the Daoist internal arts

Turning Inwards

In the modern world we are so focused outwardly – what it looks like, the appearance, what the other thinks of it. Rarely do we turn our attention inwardly. There is a pandemic of a different kind happening, one of an increasing rate of decay of relationship with ourselves. How many people now cannot stand to spend time alone with themselves without television, music, phones or some external source of distraction? We try to cover it up, to pretend it’s not there, to escape it in thousands of different ways, but in the end it’s always waiting there patiently for our attention.

What if instead of escaping, we turned our attention back towards ourselves and started working on our relationships with what is there. Typically the closer we get to ourselves, the more we will find the imperfections, the problems, the inconsistencies. The good news is, with practice we can resolve many of these problems, and learn to accept those that are there to stay – after all being human does not mean perfection. 

Instead of being a victim of your internal landscape, it is possible to enter into a process of opening to your problems and letting them run their organic course until they naturally self-release. Through practice of this process, you can learn to confront and digest your problems, and live a life where you’re happy to be yourself, and be with yourself, without distraction. 

It is possible for anyone willing to put in a little effort to reconnect with the forgotten parts of themselves, to open to this inner landscape in extraordinary detail, to connect to and release the hidden tensions and weak links so we become unified and strong, and to forge a relationship with ourselves that will continue to grow into old age.

Craig Mallett


I have been studying the body and internal landscapes since 2003 through many perspectives, primarily the internal arts of China. I specialize in using exercises from Daoist and Chinese internal arts to help people awaken their inner landscape by restoring the ongoing process of relationship to the hidden parts and confronting and resolving tensions and weak links.


Building on the Knowledge of Those Before Us

Many people have walked these paths before, and it would be unwise to disregard the experience of those who came before us. Although not popular or very well known in the west, methods of this variety have been used for thousands of years in the east with great success, with many of the past masters having positions as advisors to government or other important roles in society. I did not come up with the things I teach, but I have learnt from many different teachers and always sought an underlying commonality in it all despite each teacher and tradition having its own unique vision.

As a result of this, rather than looking at a system of exercises, I became focused on the essence of the process that the given exercises create in a person. The exercises and techniques are not the process themselves, but the repetition of the technique acts as a catalyst to ignite and deepen the process within us. If we focus on the quality of the process itself and practice until it is embodied in our unconscious, we can eventually do away with the exercises and allow the process to continue to grow in our daily activities. It is for this reason that I stick to apparently simple methods – lying, standing, shifting weight or walking, with basic motions of the arms and legs. If exercises are too ritualized and disconnected from our daily lives, it becomes difficult to bridge the moments of practice with the moments of mundane activity.

To train the internal aspects, you must first develop the external frame:


External Training

Opening the Structure to Increase Awareness
The overarching idea that I work with is about opening up the structure (primarily the body but this applies elsewhere as well) and spreading things out so we can see what’s going on inside. It’s the same idea as clearing some space in a messy room before you can take inventory of what’s there and start removing the unnecessary elements. An open structure will reveal what’s going on, and will give space for a freedom of movement and circulation in the system.
Deep Release & Relaxation

Once we open up, we begin to see that there are many areas of pathological tension that can start to release, and doing so will lead us towards a deeply relaxed system. At this stage it is counter productive to engage in heavy resistance training such as weight lifting which will encourage the system to close tightly. Relaxation in this approach is directly linked to the possibility of feeling what is going on inside the body, starting from our fundamental position and direction of travel in space, knowing the entire surface of the skin, then slowly going deeper revealing the relationship to the muscles, tendons, bones and even organs. By extension it also allows the possibility of true coordination – the ability to direct the entire body consciously as a single integrated whole. 

Strengthening and Connecting the Weak Links

As we begin to relax deeply, many aspects of the body that have fallen into atrophy from disuse will be revealed. These weak links will be confronted, and slowly strengthened and reunited with the rest of the system’s ongoing process of release. As this happens we go towards a more united strength, and a more robust body that distributes and uses force effectively, thereby allowing us to relax even more. This way of strengthening the body is a much slower approach but also is much longer lasting and continues to improve into old age rather than relying on the vigor of our youth.


As the process of releasing through our open structure deepens, we start to find we can ‘drain’ pressures (physical, emotional and mental) through our structure to the ground. This transmission of pressure to the ground feels something like an avalanche of weight that falls down and in, along the way revealing weak links, hidden tensions and so on. By consciously listening to these tensions, we can connect them to the process of releasing and eventually they will organically join the stream. The more parts of ourselves we have connected to the releasing process, the more aligned and grounded we will become. Grounding means that pressures and forces (either from gravity which is always present, from our internal battle with ourselves, or from an external source such as another person or object) are able to pass cleanly through us, not getting stuck in our body at points of pathological tension and therefore giving us many more possibilities of interacting with these forces.


Internal Training

Cultivating the Internal Movement

After enough repetition of a given physical movement, it will become assimilated by the unconscious, meaning we can do the motion properly and accurately without paying attention. This frees us to be able to focus our intention on the internal processes of opening and release, bringing the movement into harmony with the process. We can also learn to lead this process in different dynamics; specific intent can create an internal movement that brings incredible levels of vitality and transformation, and the possibility of resolving deeper blockages than the external training alone is capable of.

Studying Intention

As the internal and external movements begin to harmonize, we can go to an ever more subtle level of understanding by studying the intention directly. Here we see the movement of the mind, the desire to do the movement that arrives subtly before the motion itself. As we cultivate and understand how to effectively use our intention, we find huge possibilities for potential in our lives, potential that is wasted without a strong intention.

These methods work for everyone

Whether you are young or old, athletic or sedentary, these methods will put you in a better relationship with yourself. Contact me now to get started, or head on over to the community area and join in the conversations!