How Yoga and Tai Chi Complement Each Other

Yoga and tai chi have several elements in common, but they also provide distinct benefits. This is how they are alike and different: Alike Both are mind-body arts that work by regulating and integrating body, breath, and mind, and are suitable for people of all ages and physical conditions. Practice is meditative, and benefits include … Continue reading How Yoga and Tai Chi Complement Each Other

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Practicing Tai Chi When You’re Sick

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

Benefits Of Push Hands

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

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

Monkey Sensei

True story.  One day I was in a park doing tai chi with a friend and a fellow approached.  After watching for a while he said, in a British accent, "Hello Mr. Guru".  I said hi back, and asked him his name.  He said "Philip Michael.  You don't need to tell me your name, though, … Continue reading Monkey Sensei

Preserve Or Adapt?

Which is the mark of a good teacher? To teach exactly the way he was taught? Or to adapt his teaching to this day, to this student or group of students before him? Which is the mark of perfection? Stasis, or evolution?

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

Dychtwald on Personal Limits

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

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