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Tai Chi Basics
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Using the 3 Dantiens to find Enthusiasm

I recently went through a time at work where I really wasn’t motivated.  Projects I was part of took on a gruelingly slow pace.  Activities I would normally do without any real effort required coffee. And rather than be energized by what I was doing, I was really exhausted by the end of day. At the time I can assure you that I came up with all sorts of excuses as to what the problem was, no of which were me ... Read More
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Our Obsession over How to Find Your Dan Tien

We obsess, as a community, over how to find your dan tien.  Google it, and you will find inconceivably anatomical approaches to describe its location as well as mystical proclamations on par with poets’ descriptions of “love.” On one hand, we are told that our tai chi development cannot progress without a full understanding of the Dan Tien.  On the other hand, we are told that it doesn’t physically exist. What to do?  What to do? I found an elegant answer to this ... Read More
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Qigong Healing – Are cultural beliefs stopping qigong from healing your body?

There is so much debate about the potential for qigong healing the body.  I for one believe that qigong can heal the body and benefit from my practice. However, aside from my personal experience I do not feel that there is a large enough body of evidence to sway non-believers or people who have not had positive results (yet!)   So what to do? What I can do is share how my cultural beliefs (and maybe yours) didn’t let me accept the potential for ... Read More
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Why Learning Qi Gong is Unbelievably Hard

Most pursuits in life have a pretty gentle learning curve in the beginning.  You can take a weekend cooking workshop and come away with enough skills and ideas to enhance how you eat.  You can take an “Intro to Piano” intensive and come out with some semblance of a song and an understanding of how much time you would have to put in to get to where you would want to be. Not so with Learning Qi Gong. A weekend workshop could ... Read More
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Tai Chi Weapons – 6 Reasons to study arcane fighting techniques

When was the last time you resorted to using a 7 foot spear to settle a dispute?  Or, do you think you would feel safer if your double-edge sword skills were up to snuff?  Ridiculous, I know.  Yet we study an art form that continues to teach ye-olde weapons forms.  Why bother? Tai Chi weapons forms teach us skills that cannot easily be accomplished with the open-hand form or any other fitness regime. Here are six reasons why you should study tai ... Read More
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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