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?
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
The general rule for tai chi practice is to work at 70% of your maximum capacity. This applies to intensity, exertion, duration, and range of motion. If you exhaust yourself your coordination will suffer, and you will also tax your body's compensatory mechanisms, which is counterproductive from the perspective of tai chi. The 70% rule … Continue reading Practicing Tai Chi When You’re Sick
Form calls for two legs, function requires four. Push hands in tai chi is both a training ground and an experimental lab for the experiential development of the principles. This is a short list of some of the benefits that come from regular practice. Adaptive Balance Balance is one type of skill when you are … Continue reading Benefits Of Push Hands
...is to feel good moving. The capacity for movement is freedom to move, and freedom is pleasure. And not only is freedom pleasurable, so is the exploration itself. Pain does not equal gain. What truly builds us up feels good, and has its own innate draw. Nor is it necessary to move "correctly" to enjoy … Continue reading The Number One Reason (And Way) To Be Fit
Given a choice between sex with a mediocre partner and push hands with a great partner... I'd choose push hands.
An experiment: sit or stand erect, and let your arms hang by your sides. Lift them upwards swiftly, so that they are straight overhead. Do this a couple of times and notice how your shoulders and trapezius engage with tension to create this motion. Now let your arms hang by your sides, completely relaxed. Let … Continue reading Non-Volitional Movement
Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: To state the extremes: If I never explore my limits, my bodymind will gradually tighten and become unconscious. If I regularly explore my limits in a caring and adventuresome fashion, I will expand and grow in a vital fashion. But if I try to push myself past where I … Continue reading Dychtwald on Personal Limits
Mind regulation suffuses and sustains body regulation and breath regulation. It is the practice of pure awareness. To engage mind regulation, continually return to present moment awareness, and focus on body sensations. Observe thoughts, but do not follow them. Drop your locus of control into your center, and reside in the detached awareness of the … Continue reading Mind Regulation
Breath regulation is the link between body regulation and mind regulation. The breath originates in the dan tien, the center of the body. While engaging body regulation by relaxing and aligning, engage breath regulation by allowing the breath to expand and contract naturally from this point, in particular the belly, inhaling and exhaling spontaneously and … Continue reading Breath Regulation