Odd and Even. Yin and Yang. Substantial and Insubstantial.

There is polarity to everything. We are built with a left side and a right side, and body movement reflects this polarity. Anything we can do with one side, we can do with the other.

We frequently talk about which leg is substantial. Ask yourself, which arm is substantial?

Are the arm and leg on the same side both substantial, or are opposing body portions connected? How does this affect your movement? Each question brings another facet to the endless possibilities of polarity.

Tai Chi Practice Each Day May Keep Shingles At Bay

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle by Alicia Chang, a recent study showed “…people who performed the slow, graceful movements of tai chi had a better immune response against the virus that causes shingles than those who attended health classes to learn good diet habits and stress management. Both groups were vaccinated with a chickenpox vaccine. After six months, the tai chi group had nearly twice the level of immunity as the education group, and tai chi combined with the vaccine showed a 40% increase in immunity over the vaccine alone.”

“An estimated one million Americans fifty and older – who have had chickenpox – are aflicted yearly with the painful, itchy rash. The chickenpox virus can remain dormant in the body and resurface as shingles years later.”

“Increasingly popular in the West, tai chi is already known as a good low-impact exercise. Now research suggests it offers benefits beyond improving fitness and balance.”

A Beginning Guide to Sensing the Flow of Chi

  • Hold head level, chin slightly in. Relax shoulders (shrug upward, then drop).
  • Lift tongue to touch roof of mouth just behind upper front teeth.
  • Relax arms and hands – lightly shaking hands.
  • Relax waist, hip, legs, sinking energy to feel grounded – lower body heavy.
  • Focus senses toward back of head (think “listening behind”).
  • Raise arms a little, keeping them about shoulder width apart.
  • Breathe deeply from the dan tian (about 1 1/2 inches below navel)
  • As you inhale, separate and tighten fingers.
  • As you exhale, relax and let fingers drop.

Continue this for several minutes. Close your eyes…

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A Few Life Lessons Learned From Tai Chi

A number of years ago there was a redundant little phrase going around related to anything beneficial that said, “It’ll do you good …and help you, too …besides all the benefits you get from it!” For me, Tai Chi falls into that category.

Many times since beginning the study of Tai Chi,…

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