Skip to Content

Tai Chi Basics
blog post

Tai Chi Breathing: 9 Guidelines to get the most out of your practice

If you are overwhelmed with the intricacies of tai chi then this topic is going to be refreshing for you.  For the ultra-beginners, tai chi breathing is one area that you don’t need to focus too much on.  Your job is to learn the movements of the form.  Breathing will improve just from learning the form and practicing. Once you complete the form and have been practicing for a while, questions always arise as to how you should breathe, when you ... Read More
blog post

The Benefits of Correcting Posture

Experience the benefits of correcting posture!   Why do we spend so much time correcting posture and why is the western world waking up to posture’s importance? Take any tai chi class, the good, the bad, or the ugly, and your first and continual introduction to the art has a huge focus on posture. The quintessential tai chi images, regardless of style, show beautifully erect and elongated postures. While posture alignment in tai chi has always been a foundational focus, the reasons behind ... Read More
blog post

The Anatomy of Extreme Happiness

Extreme happiness seems to creep up on us.  On our best days we recognize that we are experiencing something truly rare but typically it rolls by us we acknowledge it only as a memory. Watch this next video for two reasons:  1) You want to laugh yourself silly.  2) You want to see what extreme happiness looks like when it is caught on camera and learn how to experience it more frequently. Extreme Happiness Video Background: My Norwegian is rusty (aka – non-existent) ... Read More
blog post

Eliciting the Relaxation Response with Tai Chi

While the name Herbert Benson might not ring a bell, his research is essential reading for anyone looking to understand eastern practices through the lens of western medicine.  His book, The Relaxation Response is a scientific validation of age-old wisdom.  It is a scientific study of how meditative practices can encourage the body to release chemicals and brain signals that cause the musculature and organs to slow down and increase blood flow to the brain. The Relaxation Response In his book he ... Read More
blog post

Connecting Mindfulness and Tai Chi

  It is extremely difficult to bridge the gap between actually doing the tai chi form and improving your meditative-mindful state.  On one hand, doing the form feels good and we definitely feel better afterwards.  But how do we answer the questions from students, classmates, and ourselves such as:   What should I be thinking about when I do the form? Does your mind race? Are you concentrating on something? I will admit to you dear reader that I have historically been at a loss for ... Read More
blog post

Using Tai Chi to Prevent Illness

  Here is the issue: I practice tai chi. Tai chi has purported health benefits. Am I healthy?   Am I healthier than average because I practice tai chi?   If not, can I change this? Last summer I was on a vacation with my family out of the country and caught the flu from a 6-year-old boy staying in the same place we were.  Vomiting, diarrhea, knocked out for 48 hours. Plus add on two days of a slow climb back to the land ... Read More
blog post

How to Judge People’s Energy Level

  Tai chi steady improves the attention and awareness that we bring to different aspects of our life.  This same awareness can act as an early warning system for disease and illness if you are attuned to the signs.  In this essay I will share insights gathered at a seminar with Master Chen Bin.  It led me to conduct a 6-month experiment on my health.  I will share those results in next month's post. Three ways to evaluate the health of another ... Read More
blog post

The Best Way to Learn Qi Gong without a Teacher

You thought it was difficult to find a good tai chi teacher?  Try finding a good qi gong teacher.  Qi gong is an energy art that can dramatically improve health, concentration and well-being.  It can be undertaken by people of any age and with any physical limitation.  Learning qi gong on your own is possible and valuable because the benefits are huge. Here is where the hard part comes in.  Great progress usually demands 1) a great teacher and 2) an explanation ... Read More
blog post

The importance of the number 9 in Tai Chi

This essay is a compilation of notes taken in an interview with Chen Youze, 20th generation Grand Master in Chen Tai Chi.  Chen Youze is a consummate teacher.  As his student, you are simultaneously blown away by the level of development that he has achieved in his lifetime and warmed by the fact that he has the ability to convey his knowledge and enable you to progress.  He is typically very direct but on this unique occasion he spoke along ... Read More
blog post

Reverse Breathing

Surprising to most of us, we don’t have just one breath.  There are several types of breathing that our body employs and it changes throughout the year, throughout our lives, and depending on our emotional state.  Reverse breathing is a natural body process that we can consciously manipulate to improve health.  Let's discuss the importance of reverse breathing to the internal arts, dispel some negative ideas, and offer some simple instructions to improve our practice. What is reverse breathing? Reverse breathing is the ... Read More