Archive for Breathing

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.

Santa Monica Qi Kung Workshops In March

Tai Chi - Qi Gong - Santa Monica

This post is just a reminder that TC Hou will be repeating his notable, three part Qi Gong Workshop series on the last three Saturdays of March. If you missed this workshop series before, now is your chance to deepen your understanding of the internal power of Tai Chi.

This series is also great as a refresher course. It is a LOT of knowledge to internalize in a short period, so repetition can’t hurt 🙂

The schedule will be as follows:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Workshop 1: Tai Chi Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

In this workshop you will study Qi channels (meridians) in the human body and learn to nourish them with the correct breathing patterns. This practice can be applied to Tai Chi Chuan, Qi Gong or any daily activity. TC will be demonstrating this within the application of his custom San-Shou routine.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Workshop 2: Qi Kung I

You will learn how to make Qi power your movements. You will also be learning how to circulate Qi through our body in when in motion. Additionally we will be exploring the connection of this to our coordination. Application and practice will be further facilitated by continuing through TC’s San-Shou routine.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Workshop 3: Qi Kung II

Workshop 3 will be a continuation of the principals in Workshop 2. This will also finish up the San-Shou routine. By the end you will have been through both the defense and offense of a complete San Shou routine!


The workshop will be on three consecutive Saturdays from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in the afternoon.


They will take place in Santa Monica at the Yahoo! Center located at 2425 Colorado Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404.

Please read more about Qi Kung Workshops In Santa Monica and Los Angeles by clicking here.


You can also call Julia Lee at (202) 270-1350 for more information on class times and fees.

We hope to see you there!

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

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.

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)

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.



Tai Chi does A Life Good

LA Tai Chi Workshop Reminder: Breathing and Qi Flow in Meridians

In Tai Chi Chuan, self defense is the application, Chi Kung is the internal power house for all stances. They must be together to make your practice efficient. Your ability will be greatly improved if you can control your Chi flow.

breathing and Qi flow in meridiansIn these workshops you will learn the concept of Chi and understand its flow in our body. Furthermore, you will learn ways to build up your Chi, and ways to circulate it inside, and how to direct it for applications.

There are three workshops in three Sundays. You may take all three to achieve better results or you may just choose the one interested you. 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: January 22, 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 for more details.



Tai Chi does A Life Good

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:

Reverse breathing / Daoist breathing

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

-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.


I have also found this:

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