The Relationship Between Internal Strength And Willpower

Internal strength and willpower have a very interesting relationship. One way of thinking of internal strength is as innate strength. When you use your innate strength to do something, it feels easy. It is when a task is beyond the realm of your innate strength that it feels hard. Think of how easy it is … Continue reading The Relationship Between Internal Strength And Willpower

Stillness Is Death

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

Structure, Balance, Flow

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

Mirror Neurons

There is a certain subset of our motor neurons, called mirror neurons, that activates in response to the movements of others as if we were making identical movements. When you see another person, these neurons create an internal representation of that person's posture, movements, sensations, and even their emotional state. Normally these signals from our … Continue reading Mirror Neurons

Douglas On Tai Chi Movements

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to T'ai Chi & QiGong, by Bill Douglas: If done correctly, slowly, and gently, Tai Chi enables you to become aware of any poor physical habits long before physical damage is done. In fact, you often don't become aware of problems in high-impact sports until the doctor is telling … Continue reading Douglas On Tai Chi Movements

Breath Hitches (And Other Superstitions)

An odd thing about humans is that we tend to hold our breath in moments whenever we are attached to a particular outcome. Just after we've rolled the ball down the lane, hoping for a strike. Just after we've asked an important question, hoping for the answer we want. When we're watching our child try … Continue reading Breath Hitches (And Other Superstitions)

Feeling Energy In The Body

Tai chi is a form of qigong, which means "energy work".  There are multiple types of energy that move through the body, and some are more subtle than others.  This need not be an esoteric practice, however, as there is no real distinction between the definition of the "energy" felt in tai chi and the … Continue reading Feeling Energy In The Body