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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 you not to play that sport ever again.

One amazing aspect of Tai Chi is that it replicates ALL the movements we go through in our daily lives.

When your “Snake Creeps Down,” you are loading the dishes in the dish washer (Thanks Liz Keith in Arizona for this clever image). When you “Push” or “Punch” you are shoveling snow, or pushing the lawn mower. When you “Pull Back” you are raking leaves, and on and on.

As you learn to move effortlessly from the Dan Tien in Tai Chi and Qigong movements, you move differently in all your daily activities, and you get more done, with less strain, and more power.

http://www.worldtaichiday.org/LessonTaiChiB.html#anchorVertical Axis

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Flow, Health

 

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Why Meditation Should Engage The Body As Well As The Mind

Because the body and the mind are not only connected, they are different facets of the same thing.  Every aspect of one is reflected in the other.

In tai chi, we say that everything physical has psychological analogues, and everything psychological has physical analogs.  What shows up in your practice shows up in your life, and vice versa.

If the body becomes rigid during meditation, so will the mind.  A flexible body corresponds to a flexible mind.

From another perspective, physical movement propels circulation, of both blood and lymph as well as chi.

Finally, all meditation centers on breathing.  If the body is fluid, the breath moves throughout it.  Restricting the body in any way automatically restricts breathing.

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Meditation, Qigong

 

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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 our experience, mind is the cognitive aspect, and breath is the link between the two.  This corresponds to the fact that breathing is controlled by both the somatic and autonomic nervous system, making it at once both voluntary and automatic.  In a sense, the breathing impulse exists in two worlds at once, spanning the gap between mind and body, or conscious and subconscious.

Body regulation consists of relaxing and aligning.  As you practice, continually scan your body for excess tension and misalignment, relaxing the muscles, expanding the joints, and aligning the bones with gravity.

Breath regulation consists of breathing in a natural way.  As you practice, continually return to consciousness of your breathing, while allowing the breath to flow smoothly, continuously, fully, and evenly.

Mind regulation consists of present moment awareness and sensory activation.  As you practice, continually return your awareness to the present moment and fill it with the physical sensations within your body and the sensory inputs from your surroundings.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Qigong, Tai Chi

 

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