In Western medicine, the body's natural state is death and decay. Health is like a stick balanced precariously on its end, an unstable equilibrium the maintenance of which requires constantly inputting energy and impeding the natural progression of entropy. The role of a healer is to "prop up" the body's state of health to prevent … Continue reading The Marble And The Stick
To find your proper posture, visualize that you are wearing a heavy, lead-filled backpack, with the straps resting squarely on the bony parts of your shoulders. What's more, imagine that you will have to wear that backpack all day long, and stand so that you can bear the weight indefinitely. This will make you sensitive … Continue reading How To Achieve Tai Chi Posture In An Instant
For most of us, our body is in a constant state of tug-of-war with itself, as muscles use tension to counterbalance other muscles that are carrying excessive tension to begin with. This state of affairs is analogous to driving a car with the emergency break on. It limits our range of expression, creates wear and … Continue reading Unconscious Muscle Tension
When is the body ever completely still? Only in death is there no movement. If you are living, you are breathing. If you are breathing, you are moving. The movements of tai chi ride upon the breath wave like flotsam following an ocean current. The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone. The thigh … Continue reading Stillness Is Death
While practicing, you are relaxed, aligned, your movements are smooth, deliberate. In other words, you are actively maintaining your tai chi composure. The question is, when do you stop? Do you turn your tai chi on when you practice the form, and turn it off when you stop? Do you turn it off when class … Continue reading When Do You Turn Your Tai Chi Off?
Yoga and tai chi have several elements in common, but they also provide distinct benefits. This is how they are alike and different: Alike Both are mind-body arts that work by regulating and integrating body, breath, and mind, and are suitable for people of all ages and physical conditions. Practice is meditative, and benefits include … Continue reading How Yoga and Tai Chi Complement Each Other
There's an old joke where the patient says, "Doctor, it hurts when I do this...". Tai chi gives the same response as the doctor, who says "Well, don't do that." Tai chi engages the body's natural healing mechanisms, which depend on both sensitivity and activity. If a movement makes you feel light-headed, aggravates an injury, … Continue reading Healing With Tai Chi
Tai chi teaches us to move with structure, balance and flow. Structure is alignment of the joints that takes forces into the bones, giving muscles mechanical advantage. Balance is alignment with gravity that provides central equilibrium, keeping the body planted and upright. Flow is complimentary muscular activation, allowing us to move without stress by literally … Continue reading Structure, Balance, Flow
Doing tai chi is often confused with doing forms. Forms are a means to an end. The end is to move with chi. Can forms help you to move with chi? Perhaps. Are forms required to move with chi? Certainly not. When doing forms and when not doing forms the question tai chi asks is … Continue reading Moving With Chi
Tai chi trains and refines natural movement, which on the surface may seem like a paradox. Why would natural movement need to be trained? In actuality, natural movement gets covered up by unnatural habits, which have to be untrained in order to allow natural movement to emerge and flourish. Kids already know how to move naturally, … Continue reading Tai Chi For Kids?