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Tai Chi Basics
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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
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Science Relating Tai Chi and Happiness:  Movement

            This is the second article in a two part series on happiness.  Check out Science Behind Why Tai Chi Increases Happiness:  Facial Expression for the first installment. Newcomers to martial arts ride the initial wave of excitement when they begin studying and attend class judiciously.  However, that initial excitement always wears off and we need facts to create the buy-in to keep practicing until results are felt. Secondly, beginner students follow an instructor’s commands on blind faith entrusting the instructor to lead them ... Read More
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The Science Behind One Way that Tai Chi Increases Happiness:  Facial Expression

              My aim in writing these articles is to increase the number of people who benefit from the internal arts and to deepen the rewards experienced by those who have already begun. In this essay I will: Provide research related to your facial composition  and how tai chi increases happiness Show how one additional focus during and outside of practice will enrich your life The Inner Smile – A part of History Dating back hundreds of years we have been instructed on the on the ... Read More
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The benefits of the tai chi long form over the short form

                  Most tai chi styles offer at least 2 forms:  long and short.  Some styles like Yang have categorized them into a multitude of sizes 18 - 24 - 48 - 83 - Tall - Grande - Venti... Let’s talk about the values of the different sizes of the forms.  In this article I am going to commend you for learning a short version of the form but also supply some physiological research as to why eventually pursuing the long form is ... Read More
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There has never been a better time to learn tai chi

Prominent scientist and lecturer Alan Leshner stated that “we have probably learned more about the brain in the past twenty years than in all of recorded history.”  I find this to an apt metaphor for tai chi too. More has been learned about tai chi (by Westerners) in the last 20 years than in the previous 2000 years combined. We are on the crest of an informational wave that is not only increasing the numbers of people who want to  learn tai chi ... Read More
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Can you learn tai chi from a book or video?

Let me start by saying that this is one of the most charged topics within the tai chi community.  Practitioners endlessly debate the benefits of teachers, styles and methods.     You have groups that are incensed by the mere idea of learning tai chi from a book.  On the other hand you have people who credit pursuing forms or information that they found in a book or video as their initial catalyst for progress. Let’s unravel each argument.  Hopefully by the end you ... Read More
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The Benefits of Brainwave Entrainment

              We introduced brain entrainment in the first of these two articles : Quickly Reap the Rewards of Meditation: Introducing Brainwave Entrainment What is brain entrainment? Brain entrainment uses an external stimulus such as sound or light to cause brainwave frequencies to correspond with an intended brain-state for the purpose of inducing sleep or a deep meditative state. It is based on research showing that the human brain has a tendency to move towards a dominant frequency. The argument for brain entrainment The benefits of meditation ... Read More
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Meditation: Quickly Reap the Rewards using Brainwave Entrainment

              When people ask me why I do qi gong, tai chi or meditate, I always start by explaining the benefits you receive after practicing for awhile.  People are genuinely interested in beginning but there is often a hesitation because of the commitment of time and learning that is needed before you really start to reap the rewards. I always wish that I could jump the skeptic ahead so that they could immediately feel the difference that internal work causes: better health, ... Read More
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Tai Chi Clothing

Do I need special clothing? One huge monetary benefit and reason for the proliferation of tai chi is that you don’t necessarily need facilities or materials in order to train.  That being said, once you have been practicing for a while, certain purchases make a lot of sense. Uncomfortable pants limit stance work and typical athletic shoes can impinge on the ankles and stick to the floor when pivoting (more on tai chi shoes here).  When you join a class or eventually ... Read More
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Tai Chi Shoes

              Choosing the best footwear for tai chi is actually very important because the wrong shoes can lead to injury. Why can’t I wear my athletic shoes for tai chi? Wearing athletic shoes is okay to begin with but understand that the soles of these shoes have been designed not to slide.  Your foot is rotating frequently throughout taichi which can put strain on the knee if there is any drag.  When you step in tai chi, eventually you don’t have weight on ... Read More