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Tag Archives: movement

Unconscious Muscle Tension

For most of us, our body is in a constant state of tug-of-war with itself, as muscles use tension to counterbalance other muscles that are carrying excessive tension to begin with. This state of affairs is analogous to driving a car with the emergency break on. It limits our range of expression, creates wear and tear, drains our energy, and makes living and moving seem more difficult than it needs to. This tension usually exists below the level of conscious awareness, so that we do not even realize that we are carrying it, nor are we in touch with what it feels like to truly relax.

Where does this unconscious tension come from? From every negative emotion you have ever felt and not fully expressed. From every stress-inducing situation that did not come to a complete and speedy resolution. From every impulse you have ever had to control the way you appear to other people.

How can we release it? Through somatic therapy and emotional release modalities: somatic experiencing, yoga, hypnotherapy, biofeedback, acupuncture, massage, breathwork, meditation, qigong.

And, of course, tai chi.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2014 in Stress

 

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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 bone is connected to the shin bone.

The shin bone is connected to the ankle bone.

Thus when one thing moves, so does the next

and the next

and the next.

How could it be but thus?

As long as sequential movement is not arrested

by tension, resistance, and stress

the breath moves the body

and the body, in turn, moves the breath

and the chain is unbroken

so that the crown of the head

and the tips of the toes

are bosom buddies.

What affects the minutest part

affects the whole

and what affects the whole

affects the minutest part.

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Flow, Tai Chi

 

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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, so trying to teach them tai chi has little effect in this regard. People usually don’t seek out things like tai chi and yoga until they realize that they have lost their natural movement and want to get it back.

However, teaching kids how to consciously move naturally can help prevent bad habits from forming, and improve their coordination beyond what it would otherwise be. Furthermore, there are few things more powerful than a practice that is continued for a lifetime, so imparting an appreciation of their natural movement and full range of motion, as well as the discipline required to maintain them, is one of the most valuable gifts that a child can be given.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2013 in Teaching

 

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Acting Sick

How we use our bodies has a lot to do with determining how we feel. Generally, the more sick you act the more sick you will feel.

When you are sick, do you allow your posture to slouch, your feet to shuffle, and your breath to become rapid and shallow? Or do you hold yourself open and aligned and allow your movements to glide, no matter how slowly? This will go a long way towards determining how well you feel and how quickly you recover.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2013 in Health

 

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The Number One Reason (And Way) To Be Fit

…is to feel good moving.

The capacity for movement is freedom to move, and freedom is pleasure.

And not only is freedom pleasurable, so is the exploration itself. Pain does not equal gain. What truly builds us up feels good, and has its own innate draw.

Nor is it necessary to move “correctly” to enjoy the freedom of exploration. Correct movement ultimately comes from listening to and following the body’s innate wisdom and guidance, not from overlaying a template onto it. Many will study for years to learn patterns, only to then struggle for years more to unlearn them. Natural movement comes about naturally, and what is imposed is not natural.

If you pay attention, you will realize that your body wants to move. All you have to do is let it.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2013 in Exercise, Health, Tai Chi Practice

 

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