How we move says so much

Sunday, June 9, 2019 How we move says so much about us. We identify so closely with how we move. Whether or not we are aware of it, our manner of moving is very often a matter of self-image. Posture and gait even develop from attitudes—how we see ourselves and how we wish others to see us. It’s a personality thing. We would not be the person we know if we moved differently. We’re not going to saunter like John Wayne, because we are not him. Our walk is us; our posture is us. The famous actor’s walk was made up, of course. Normally, we are not conscious of how we walk and stand. We learned Read More …

Tai chi and getting some energy back

It is said that we are born with a finite amount of energy and that is all we have to make it through life. As life progresses that supply of energy is depleted through living: events, act, thoughts, points of view. It takes energy to live. Less of our original life force becomes available to us as we age. It becomes stuck, tucked away, or wasted upon others. We can get much of it back, however. If you knew this were possible, would you consider doing what it would take to get it back?

Integrating new movement to internalize it

Taiji is about moving differently. To move in a new way requires a fresh perspective. Start with gaining clarity of a habituated movement pattern. Habitual patterns are most difficult to see because they become “transparent” or invisible to us over time. So train your mind’s ability to focus and concentrate on the move. The eventual discovery of a new way to move will come automatically as a result of the effort. Aim to internalize new movement so it becomes integrated into the whole as a beneficial contribution.

Article Forward: How practicing tai chi can help the heart

This article’s news is good reading, but I’m a little disheartened as tai chi teacher. But that’s okay. I still am forwarding it because it’s yet another documentation of people utilizing tai chi with measurable success to address challenges they have with their health. Composed by Alice Park for Time Health, it describes a tai chi program for heart-attack victims that demonstrated positive behavioral changes after practicing twice or three times a week for 12 and 24 weeks. Many of the practitioners were obese and had not exercised much in their lives. They were actually afraid to exercise after having cardiac arrest. So they tried tai chi and got good outcomes. I live in a health-oriented town. Read More …

Thoughts on Developing Your Home Tai Chi Practice Routine

I was recently asked about developing a routine for home practice. Most of us are probably used to being given a set of movements to do—one set for everyone. I take a different approach, suggesting that you choose a few moves from among the many that we do in class that appeal to you and remember them at home. While we share a lot in common, every person is different: different bodies, different circumstances, and different interests, needs and desires. So the routine you develop should be customized to you and not have to be a “one size fits all” approach. Still, you need a place to begin when you’re new to the system. That’s why Read More …

Dementia research findings and my pitch for tai chi

Researchers list nine activities that can help prevent as much as 33% of the world’s current estimate of 47 million cases of dementia (expected to triple by 2050), including Alzheimer’s. Tai chi is a physical activity and mentally stimulating exercise, two factors that recent research suggests can prevent dementia in millions. In a recently published article (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/one-third-of-dementia-cases-could-be-prevented-alzheimers-report/), researchers list nine activities that can help prevent as much as 33% of the world’s current estimate of 47 million cases of dementia (expected to triple by 2050), including Alzheimer’s. For healthy mental activities, researchers recommend people  stay in school at least until past the age of 15. The article doesn’t specify kinds of physical exercise, but most articles Read More …

Easy things you can do to fit tai chi into a busy life

You’re so busy to take in the wonder, not even enough time to take a moment to mourn the loss of the precious time burning away. What do you do? Here are a few ideas. Tip #1—Where you do tai chi. Get away from where you do your business in order to do tai chi without interruptions. Tip #2—When to begin tai chi When you wake, even before you get out of bed, give a thought to tai chi. When you rise, at least, inhale three times deeply, fully and think about one thing, one move, from tai chi that you did the last time you practiced. Tip #3—Be kind to yourself Pay your respects to Read More …

A way to think about flexibility in tai chi?

It’s not what you think. It’s not how far you can extend your elastic, connective tissue or how much you can stretch it and let it go like a rubber band. Although this is one way of looking at flexibility, there is another. And that is the ability to move parts of your body that you don’t normally move, or haven’t moved in a very long time. This is more in line with fluidity. For example, we lose the full range of motion in the joints that they were once capable of. Parts of our bodies, like the ligaments and tendons, lose elasticity from lack of use. Often when we do move past a certain point, Read More …