Who does tai chi?

What kind of person wants to learn tai chi? A person who: needs/wants more physical activity needs/wants more mental focus is healing from injury wants to do more than an occasional fitness class enjoys interacting with others in an educational setting wants to delve deeper in the study of the subject is looking for a practice that complements other activities is having health issues, such as autoimmune disease. is having balance issues. Read More …

Getting Connected

One of the first techniques to learn in tai chi practice is to “get connected.” Initially, getting connected is manifested by coordinating breath and body; then with continued practice, synchronizing mind, energy, and body in harmonious motion. Then even further, linking intent with feeling, and ultimately, the result of graceful and powerful movement. There is hardly any reason to go forward in your lessons without a proficiency in getting connected. Fortunately, tai Read More …

Mind says go, body says no

The key ingredient of tai chi is movement. You have to move to do it, to get the benefits and the results you’re looking for. Sounds simple, but we’re surprised when we try to move a part of the body and it doesn’t move. Frustration when we can’t get the body to do what we want it to. The mind says go and the body says no. What’s that all about? As Read More …

What the NIH says about tai chi—factsheet excerpt

The National Institutes of Health put out informative fact sheets regularly, and you might like to peruse them for info on a number of health-related subjects. Recently, I read a fact sheet in which the following was stated: “People with fibromyalgia may benefit from practicing tai chi according to a study in 66 people. Study participants who practiced tai chi had a significantly greater decrease in total score on the Fibromyalgia Impact Read More …

The progression of tai chi focus of attention

The progression of tai chi focuses attention deeper with continued practice over time (gongfu) on the inner alignment of the body as represented by this diagram. Beginners focus on the outside movement of extremities, while more-seasoned learners are able to focus more deeply on the core alignment and how to move there. The three dantians: lower (abdomen), middle (solar plexus), and upper (forehead) are key loci for moving from the inside. Beginners Read More …

Turning attention inward—and outward—in tai chi practice

Taiji is a meditative practice. We often think that means turning the attention inward. True. It could be a focus on breathing, or silencing the mind of thoughts. You can do that in taiji, but as a moving meditation you also have a task of focusing on the outside of the self. Or more accurately, focusing the self on what is happening outside; for example, to ground one’s self. This is a Read More …

Tai Chi Breathing

Many people breathe only into the upper chest and not the lower. This is not good practice because it hinders oxygen intake. It doesn’t bring in as much oxygen as your body can take in, nor as much as you need. It’s not the only kind of breathing we have, especially if you’re a beginning tai chi practitioner. Breathe abdominally to ensure the lower lung fills with oxygen. Don’t think you have Read More …