When Do You Turn Your Tai Chi Off?

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?

Healing With Tai Chi

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

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

The Three Regulations of Qigong

Tai chi (moving energy) 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 … Continue reading The Three Regulations of Qigong

McKenna on Flow

Excerpted from Spiritually Incorrect Enlightenment, by Jed McKenna: In the movie The Matrix, there's a scene where the adept Morpheus effortlessly glides through throngs of people on a bustling city sidewalk while inept Neo bumbles and collides and apologizes. Flow and non-flow. Having no preferences, having no ego that requires constant monitoring and reinforcing, having … Continue reading McKenna on Flow