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

Mind Regulation

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

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

Body Regulation

Body regulation is one of the three regulations of qigong, and typically the first regulation to be engaged when slipping into tai chi composure. To engage body regulation, scan your entire body with your awareness, both by narrowing your focus down to a point and moving it throughout your body, and by expanding your awareness … Continue reading Body Regulation

The 70% Rule

The 70% rule is a principal based in the healing function of qigong.  It says: "For best results, exercise at 70% of your maximum capacity." This applies to duration, intensity, and range of movement.  How long you practice, how intensely you exert, and how far you stretch, should all be at 70% of your maximum … Continue reading The 70% Rule

How Long Should You Practice Tai Chi?

This question has two interpretations.  In a given session, you should practice until your energy is at its peak.  If you are practicing properly, your practice will be energizing, and you will feel your energy and flexibility increasing.  At a certain point this peaks, however, and if you practice beyond this peak, you will start … Continue reading How Long Should You Practice Tai Chi?