Stillness Is Death

When is the body ever completely still? Only in death is there no movement. If you are living, you are breathing. If you are breathing, you are moving. The movements of tai chi ride upon the breath wave like flotsam following an ocean current. The hip bone is connected to the thigh bone. The thigh … Continue reading Stillness Is Death

Tai Chi For Kids?

Tai chi trains and refines natural movement, which on the surface may seem like a paradox. Why would natural movement need to be trained? In actuality, natural movement gets covered up by unnatural habits, which have to be untrained in order to allow natural movement to emerge and flourish. Kids already know how to move naturally, … Continue reading Tai Chi For Kids?

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

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?

Non-Volitional Movement

An experiment: sit or stand erect, and let your arms hang by your sides.  Lift them upwards swiftly, so that they are straight overhead.  Do this a couple of times and notice how your shoulders and trapezius engage with tension to create this motion. Now let your arms hang by your sides, completely relaxed.  Let … Continue reading Non-Volitional Movement

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

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 narrowing your focus down to a point and moving it throughout your body, and by expanding your awareness to … Continue reading Body Regulation

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