Archive for Qi

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises

For many years, experts have stressed the importance of warm up exercises before engaging in a workout routine. When it comes to warm up Tai Chi exercises, the art of Tai Chi in itself acts as a warm up. The movements in Tai Chi are slow and co-ordinated, designed to put a minimum amount of stress on your muscles. But despite the fact that Tai Chi acts as it’s own warm up, we still recommend following a regular warm up routine. Here are a few warm ups that you can practice before a Tai Chi session:

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises for energy awareness:

When it comes to warm ups, most people think about stretching and using their muscles. But in Tai Chi, a warm up is about much more than that. It is also about increasing your awareness. Here are some exercises that can help you to do just that:

1) Breathing – This is one of the simplest exercises of them all. Over time, there are factors in our life (stress, poor posture, etc) that cause us to develop poor breathing habits. Breathing exercises can teach you how to breath longer and smoother, releasing stresses and tensions as you do so.

2) Energy Ball – This exercise helps you to develop your awareness of qi. To perform this exercise, rub your hands together as you would on a cold day and be aware of each movement you make. Hold the intention of bringing your qi to your hands. Feel the life force energy in each hand. Once you feel the warmth, pull them apart slowly, keeping your fingers soft and your hands relaxed. When you feel the connection between your hands weaken, bring them slowly back together, being sure that they never actually touch.

3) Stand in Neutral – Standing in neutral position may sound pretty basic, but it is very important in the art of Tai Chi. Standing can help you to become more aware of where tension areas are in your body. When attention is drawn to these areas, it is easier for you to resolve the tension and learn to relax. To learn the proper "neutral" standing position, ask your TCSociety instructor.

Warm Up Tai Chi Exercises for coordination:

In addition to raising energy awareness, many Tai Chi warm ups are designed to promote better body-awareness. Here are a few exercises you can use to practice coordination:

1) Circling your hands – In Tai Chi, all movements are circular. This exercise is a good way to develop a unified body motion because it opens up all parts of the body and allows them to expand smoothly in circular patterns. Once again, for detailed instructions on how to perform this exercise, speak to your TCSociety instructor.

Of course, these are not the only warm up Tai Chi Exercises. Throughout your learnings at the TCSociety, your Tai Chi instructor will teach you various warm up exercises that can prepare you for your lessons and help you develop skills like coordination and focus.

Workshop 3: Qi Kung III

This Sunday we will continue to work on the Qi flow in meridians and analyze the six sounds system. You will learn how to enhance your health with it, also how to apply it in Tai Chi practice.

los angeles qigong workshop

FYI
The Six Healing Sounds or Liu Zi Jue (六字訣) is one of the common forms of Chinese qigong, and involves the coordination of movement and breathing patterns with specific sounds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Zi_Jue

As I always emphasized, you must understand the logic of Tai Chi to make it alive in your mind. Then it will stay with you and last for your lifetime.

Topic: Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

Date: February 5, 2012, Sunday

Time: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Tuition: $70 (or $180 for all three sessions)

Location:
Yahoo Center (2425 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, Ca 90043)/ Entrance of underground parking is on Colorado Ave near Cloverfield)

Click here to see more information.

Best,

TC

Tai Chi does A Life Good

Workshop 2: Qi Kung I – This Sunday 1-29

Qi Gong Workshop Los AngelesIn the second session of our Tai Chi Qi Gong workshop, we will emphasize on the guidance of energy flow throughout our entire body. Through the practice, you will strengthen the flow of energy and eliminate any blockage – resulting in alleviation of pain and stress, better digestion, better sleep, a clearer mind… all around a better life! With this practice, you’ll increase your ability to handle all the challenges that appear in life with grace and centeredness.

Topic: How to make Qi power our movements. Learn to circulate Qi through our body in motion, also practice our coordination.

Date: January 29, 2012, Sunday

Time: 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Tuition: $70 (or $180 for all three essions)

Location: Yahoo Center (2425 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, Ca 90043)/ Entrance of underground parking is on

Colorado Ave near Cloverfield)

Best,

TC

Tai Chi does A Life Good

*** FYI Tai Chi / Chi Kung?

Qigong practice reduces stress, improves your total well-being, and simply feels wonderful. People who practice this form of Qigong have reported healings from:

Pain: neck, shoulder, knee, lower back,
postoperative pains, arthritis, joint pain
Migraine headaches, sinus conditions
Spinal problems
Weight problems
Stress, anxiety, and depression
Circulation problems
Digestive ailments
Allergies
Panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, addictions, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders
Fatigue, lack of energy
…and countless other ailments!!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qigong

Qigong, chi kung, or chi gung (气功 or 氣功) (pronounced “chee-gung”) is a practice of aligning breath, movement, and awareness for exercise, healing, and meditation.[1] With roots in Chinese medicine, martial arts, and philosophy, qigong is traditionally viewed as a practice to balance qi (chi) or what has been translated as “intrinsic life energy.”[2] Typically a qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing, coordinated with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, and a calm mindful state.[3] Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide, and is considered by some to be exercise, and by others to be a type of alternative medicine or meditative practice.[4] From a philosophical perspective qigong is believed to help develop human potential, allow access to higher realms of awareness, and awaken one’s “true nature.”[5]


T’ai chi ch’uan vs qigong

Main article: T’ai chi ch’uan

T’ai chi ch’uan (tàijíquán, 太极拳), or simply tai chi, is often translated as “supreme boxing” or “supreme balancing”, and is a popular system of internal (Nèijiā 內家) martial arts focused on spiritual, mental, and qi-related aspects of practice and characterized by complex stylized movements.[16][27] The Chinese character 极 , jí or chi, means “final” or “extreme”, in contrast with 氣, qì or chi, which means “life energy”. While some scholars and practitioners consider tai chi to be a type of qigong,[28] the two are more commonly distinguished as separate but closely related practices, with qigong playing an important role in training for tai chi, and with many tai chi movements performed as part of qigong practice.

Cold Weather Breathing

Recently, temperatures have dropped as the cold weather season has arrived in the northern hemisphere. There are many ways to stay warm this winter. When the mind is determined to deal with the weather change- the body will cooperate. Breathing will follow to achieve this goal. The breathing pattern is just one of many tools, but a good tool to start with. Below is a brief write up about how to stay warm with simple breathing and you can look at a piece of animation to get the idea. The text below the following URL is a descriptor of what is happening in the animation:

The animation is located here:
http://vimeo.com/17226046

Reverse breathing / Daoist breathing

INHALE:
-abdominal/core engaged, and pulled “inward”
-back is relaxed, and expanded “out”
-perineum is gently raised (pulled up)

EXHALE:
-abs/core are “expanded” (like traditional belly breathing)
-back is relaxed / deflated
-perineum is gently lowered (pushed out)

So on the inhale, the air is compressing towards the center-line, while the back expands and fills with air. On the exhale, the base of the torso (near the navel/dan tien and below) expands like a bellows. Mentally, inhale should ‘contract’ and exhale should ‘expand.’ On the exhale, when you are expanding the base of the trunk: that is when you are sending blood-flow/chi throughout the body. Send this energy to the extremities and the surface of the skin. This creates a sort of ‘force field’ against outside influences- including cold. This is a similar breathing technique that T.C. teaches in various classes and workshops.

In general keep the inhale/exhale durations the same. When you are cold, make the exhales longer to warm up faster. Conversely, in the summer (and times of warmth), if you need to cool down more, inhale longer, and make the exhales shorter. So, roughly, in this respect: inhale = cooling, exhale = warming. Use the mind to compress (cool) the inhales, and expand (warm) the exhales. I have found success if I start ‘warming’ earlier than I need it (i.e. start the concentrated breathing BEFORE I go out into the cold.) All breathing should be slow, calm, and accurate.

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I have also found this:
http://perfectbreathing.com/stay-warm-winter-qi-gongs-tumo

While it is a different technique than what I have presented above. It is included here as more evidence that [warmth-through-breath] is a finite possibility. As stated, there are many tools, and many possibilities…

~

None of this is meant to serve as any sort of medical advice. I am simply presenting concepts. Winter is only three weeks away, so start practicing. The key is exploration. Experiment! Find what works for you.

Have an enjoyable winter and holiday season!

Brian Weaver