My Kung Fu Is Better Than Yours

...is a sentiment that is very much alive in real life, not just in old B movies. An old joke goes, "How many tai chi players does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one, but it takes 99 others to stand around and lament, 'That's not how we do it.'" Maybe it's … Continue reading My Kung Fu Is Better Than Yours

Dychtwald on Retraining Habits

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: I have discovered in my own bodymind that many of my habits and preferences are not necessarily due to any major commitment or physical deficiency but rather to a lack of involvement in new and stimulating activities. The forces of laziness and the easy way out all too often … Continue reading Dychtwald on Retraining Habits

Dychtwald on Posture

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: There is a simple experiment that you can try by which you can see at once what kind of feet you have. First, find a friend to help you with this experiment. Stand up and assume a position that feels natural and comfortable. Then, have your friend gently place … Continue reading Dychtwald on Posture

Dychtwald on Tension in the Legs

Excerpted from Bodymind, by Ken Dychtwald: While very few people ever actually injure their knees, all of us frequently hold tension and stress in our legs that to some degree impairs our movements and limits our bodymind awareness. For example, stand up and experience your legs. Imagine that you are in an extremely desirable situation … Continue reading Dychtwald on Tension in the Legs

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?