Dychtwald on Joints

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: The ankles and knees are joints (the ankle is a ball-and-socket, the knee is a hinge), and all joints are psychosomatic crossroads. As crossroads, they have to mediate between the forces, physical as well as psychological, that flow through them. I believe that it is the quality of our … Continue reading Dychtwald on Joints

Dychtwald on Grounding

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: This powerful image, and the feelings that I experienced when I was able to capture its meaning, are the closest I can come to presenting my own conception of "grounding." This word has become quite popular lately and has taken on a variety of meanings. For me it simply … Continue reading Dychtwald on Grounding

Dychtwald on the Legs in Tai Chi

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: My most wonderful discovery through Tai Chi was that I had legs, and that they not only connected to my pelvis but also continued straight down to the earth. This might sound silly, but in fact I was hardly aware of my legs and how to use them appropriately … Continue reading Dychtwald on the Legs in Tai Chi

Dychtwald on Tai Chi

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: I have found that Tai Chi is a lot like yoga in that it is a bodymind process that involves a great deal of practice and self-discipline to master: the Tai Chi student may spend years practicing several simple movements before he reaches a state of awareness of the … Continue reading Dychtwald on Tai Chi

The Three Regulations of Qigong

Tai chi is a form of qigong (energy work).  The practice of qigong, including tai chi, involves the engagement of three ongoing regulations, which are the elements of what I refer to as tai chi composure. The Three Regulations are body regulation, breath regulation, and mind regulation.  Body is the physical aspect of our experience, … Continue reading The Three Regulations of Qigong

What Is Composure in Tai Chi?

"Composure" is a term that I find useful to describe the state of being while practicing tai chi.  The specific movements made matter very little, what is important is to maintain composure while doing them. The elements of composure are many and subtle, but the main indicators are posture, breathing, relaxation, and focus. Posture: Are … Continue reading What Is Composure in Tai Chi?

The Emotional Component of Tai Chi

Tai chi both affects and is affected by our emotional state.  Emotions engage the whole body, including the neurological, muscular, and endocrine system, and tai chi does as well. Any form of meditation can calm and regulate the nervous system, but emotions exist in all the tissues of the body.  They are stored long-term as … Continue reading The Emotional Component of Tai Chi

Slow Down, Live Longer

In beasts from large to small, there is an inverse mathematical relationship between base metabolic rate and life span.  A fast heart equals a short life, a slow heart equals a long life.  In fact, the total number of heartbeats in a lifetime is roughly constant between species. This is likely part of the mechanism … Continue reading Slow Down, Live Longer

The Art of Surrender

Opposition precedes defeat.  Surrender precedes victory. In tai chi, the ability to sustain your integrity while surrendering is the ultimate source of strength.  How far you can yield is how far you can exert.  How much you can receive is how much you can issue.  The degree to which you are inflexible is the degree … Continue reading The Art of Surrender