Five (maybe six) questions people (might) ask before deciding to learn tai chi

You have to learn tai chi to see its effects. It doesn’t seem easy to do, but it’s simpler than many people think. People make a choice to learn when they start tai chi. They understand it takes effort and commitment. They can see that much about it. I identified five (maybe six) basic questions you can ask if you’re thinking about doing tai chi. As a teacher, my answer is yes Read More …

Play the pipa and the real thing

Students new to taijiquan often ask what is a pipa when they learn the “play the pipa” posture in the Wu style tai chi form. I found this video on of Wu Man playing the instrument, the four-string lute, with Haruka Fujii playing Japanese symbols. View and then see for yourself what a pipa is. Also check out the Silkroad Project, Yo Yo Ma’s current project.

You don’t have to learn it all at once

I think many would-be tai chi practitioners quit or don’t even get started when they see how much there is to learning it. It certainly takes some effort to learn, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I learned about the concept of “tiny steps” from the Institute of Wellness Education, where I’ve begun working on earning a wellness coach certificate. I think tiny steps applies to anyone considering learning some tai Read More …

A note on solo tai chi practice and learning

Solo practice calls for proficiency before moving on to other things, then getting familiar with them. Otherwise, you’ll have only second hand knowledge. To be wordy about it: knowing what you know and knowing you know it. This is clarity. This progression is not usually the way we are taught in tai chi. Instead, we are exposed to new practices before we really grasp the deeper applications of things we’ve already learned. Read More …

Tai Chi Resembles Drugs, Aerobics in Blood Pressure Lowering

This article is fromĀ  Medscape Medical News. “‘The traditional Chinese discipline offers possibilities for older people who can’t or don’t want to exercise strenuously, said Linda Pescatello, PhD, from the University of Connecticut in Storrs.’”    

You don’t have to be a tai chi expert to feel it

You don’t need to be expert at tai chi to reach a state in which you feel the effects. You’re cultivating movement awareness both externally and internally. External is awareness of the movement of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, skin (or fascia). Internal is awareness of Qi and Shen. Awareness of Zhong Ding and Dantian in movement is where to begin.

Tai Chi Tip: Shoulder Rests on Dantian

If shoulder sits on dantian or hips, it’s good. If you can’t get this then coordinating shoulder with hip movement works and serves as a starting point to get shoulder on hip or dantian more fully, or whole body which includes mind, energy, and physical. This in itself is a stepping stone towards grasping “gravity” or “weighted in gravity.”

Tai Chi Beginner’s Advice

Don’t do moves that seem too hard. Take a break. I do sets that progress from simple to more complex in order to accommodate as many of us as possible, depending on skill and experience. I’m also doing my own practice and try to lead by example. You too should work up a set for yourself and go a little further than you did before. Go beyond just comfortable. Challenge your limit, Read More …