Monthly Archives: July 2013

Weigh Station: United Tai Chi 7/31/13 newsletter

"Single Whip" at Grand Canyon

“Single Whip” at Grand Canyon

  • Empty or full?  One of the principles we find in internal arts is the notion of empty versus full. Don’t move a leg that bears weight, infrequent is the moment of 50-50 or double weighted stance, always be ready to change positions on your bubbling well spring when one leg is more grounded than the other, fill up your bucket from your root, empty your chi ball at the push, etcetera.  We can take this principle into other parts of our life and explore it as we are want to do with many a Tai Chi touch point. We may think we are “full” after a 4-course promo special at Red Lobster, or “empty” after watching more than one episode of “Franklin & Bash” on a cable repeat weekend. But most of us would agree those are not the only definitions of empty and full. Then there is the operational definition, where a glass with no beverage, in the literal sense, is empty. Or the spiritual definitions of a life well lived and purposeful , versus idle moments spent chasing less noble pursuits. Have you gone to your pantry one day only to wonder where all your cans, boxes and bags went? The hole you dug for a tree is it now full, or are you waiting for the right weather conditions and soil additives? Ah but empty doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative construct. It is sometimes in the empty spaces where we can find the truth. What part of your week was “full” and where did you experience emptiness?
  •        Shares/Finds: Comedian and actor Eddie Izzard on “How to Chose a Martial Art” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uJqW9O6aW0  A tweet from @bunnybuddhism:  “Sometimes choosing not to hop is more powerful than hopping”.
  •  Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Eight pieces of brocade. Abdominal breathing. Studied the transition from Repulse Monkey to Slant Fly. Thirteen postures. Serve the fruit. Tail bone reminders. Thank you to all of our student leaders/substitute teachers (John C, Sun, Kathleen). Revisiting brush knee and it’s intricacies. Thirteen postures. History lessons. Relax your cheeks and mandible.  Dragon tongue kick. Finding your center—a phrase not just for the physical, but emotional/mental as well. “Weasle in a box”.  Our Boot Road Park class grew this week (join us on Monday nights).  Thanks Ray C for getting my Jack Jones reference last week.
  •  Student News and Upcoming Events:  Welcomed two new students this week. Jaclyn attended an interesting session at the National Qi Gong Association convention in King of Prussia this past weekend.   Lesson from “The Wolverine”, the red haired chick is the feisty fighter. Don’t forget Christian’s Qi Gong workshop this Saturday August 3rd, 8am at Kerr Park ($25 / 90 minutes; or $5 discount if you’re wearing our group T-shirt). And please if you are going, take a few pictures for me to post, as I will be out of town this weekend. And speaking of travel, a big thanks to St. Christopher (or whomever your culture deems a protector of travelers), grace, heart and karma for the safe return of dear friends in the midst of some trying moments.
  •  Weekly Schedule  

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

Spring/Summer Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

  •  Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

 FACEBOOK   http://www.facebook.com/UnitedTaiChi.chesco  

 TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi      PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

         Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen         unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production

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De La Mancha: United Tai Chi 7/24/13 digest

  • A recent reminder of De Cervantes’ Don Quixote mapped my brain path onto it’s musical adaptation, “Man of La Mancha” and it’s defining song “To Dream The Impossible Dream”.  So I sampled several versions of the song, as I had this itch to download it. I ran across several, including renditions by Jack Jones and Andy Williams (too milquetoast—imagine Pat Boone covering “Welcome To The Jungle”); Robert Goulet (serviceable), Brian Stokes Mitchell (with its modest piano accompaniment), and Elvis Presley (too much or too fast musical accompaniment).  I finally settled on Richard Kiley in the original 1965 Broadway cast recording, with his deep bravura delivery, aurally fitting my flavored impression of the show or story. What has this to do with Tai Chi or internal arts, you ask? There is more than one art form, more than one version or school of thought within each of the different disciplines, and even sometimes in the same class/same teacher, each student may hear, see, feel , smell or taste different things.  Regardless of that, as Christian likes to say, if you are on a path from the heart that is what is important. With deference to lyrist Joe Darion, hopefully also on a quest “to reach the unreachable star.” 
  • Shares/Finds: For some gathered notes and research summaries into Tai Chi effects on ADHD http://www.worldtaichiday.org/Medical_Research_On_Tai_Chi_Qigong/add_adhd.html including items from American Psychiatric Association 2010 annual meeting, and research from the University of Miami School of Medicine. 
  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Some neck stretching and wrist work in our warm-ups. Parts I & II of Yang 108. Eight pieces of brocade. Broke down and inspected Parry Re-direct. Dry erase boards and the notion of starting from the beginning again. Word of the day “iteration”.  Standing meditations. Practicing part I very slowly. Relaxing the palms.
  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  Welcome new student Tony. Reminder, there is no nighttime pharmacy class on Thursday July 25.  Blood Drive August 23 YMCA, register http://bit.ly/1aJCcaF     Safe travels to Christian on his journey this week. QI Gong workshop special: $5 off the regular $25 if you wear our United Tai Chi t-shirt to Christian’s August 3rd event in Kerr Park. Welcome back Sun. Kudos to our Facebook supporters–  Judy K and Deborah O for recent positive comments online; Claudia for the ‘share’ of our newsletter URL link; and Rim frequently chiming in.
  • Et cetera:  Movement in Stillness discussion on Claudia’s July 18 blog http://bit.ly/12zaIMY
  •  Regular Weekly Schedule (no night class July 25)

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

Spring/Summer Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

  •  Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

 FACEBOOK   https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Tai-Chi/392555767502788  

 TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi      PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

          align=”center”> Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen      unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production

Mapquest: United Tai Chi 7/17/13 newsletter

  • ImageMaps. I’ve been working on a mapping project the top of this week for another one of the job hats I wear. Where do you dwell, what is your location, in what township or neighborhood is your domicile, where do you ‘hang your hat’ so to speak. We also find maps in acupuncture meridians and Chinese medicine. In feng shui. The five elements. The eight trigrams. Breathing orbits. Chi energy flow.  Maps abound in internal arts and related disciplines. Here is hoping that the internal map that you are following leads you to a healthy place –but just remember, there is no shame in stopping to ask for directions along the way.
  • Shares/Finds:  A great find on Pinterest that I shared on FB–“30 benefits of Qi Gonghttp://on.fb.me/13ShfY1     Also the National Qi Gong Association is having their annual conference in King of Prussia from July 26-28, more info here http://nqa.org/2013/01/the-2013-nqa-conference/
  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths and revisiting our hip folding and fingertip connections. Thirteen postures and breaking down the transitions from Split to Pull Down to Ward Off.  Golden Lotus Qi Gong. Continued further drill work on postures and transitions in the middle of Part I Yang 108. Student demonstrations. Body bites and uprooting the opponent. Different speeds practice for Part I.  Repulse monkey and it’s “cousin” brush knee. Eyeball workouts for your ‘eyecepts’.  Listening to what your bones are telling you. Balance tips. More work on Dragon Tongue Kick. Don’t forget the previous posture sets up the next move.
  • Student News and Upcoming Events: The photo here is one shot from Ray’s vacation (view from the train, Barcelona to Madrid).  Christian’s Qi Gong healing workshop is on Saturday August 3rd, 8am in Kerr Park Downingtown: $25 for around  90-minutes-to-2-hours (please bring a mat or blanket for some ground work).  RSVP on our Facebook page or to unitedtaichi@gmail.com.   Christian will be sharing  some Tai Chi and Qi Gong with Hopi Indians out west on his summer travels. Linda shared with us her “rooting” story while practicing Tai Chi on the beach during a recent trip.  Boot Road Park folks, class is still on the 22nd weather permitting (fun awesome substitute, not like those hard-noses you had back in school).  Wayward travelers back to class this week –Janet and Annette.  Welcome to our new Facebook and Pinterest followers this week. One of our connections is Will Brown who teaches in Ontario at The Tai Chi Players –where I sometimes find interesting Pinterest or Twitter items. 
  • Et cetera:  Anyone needing a virtual massage, check out Claudia’s July 11 blog http://bit.ly/12qse9H Also, Bill Douglas’s video promoting his Tai Chi health and recovery benefits for medical conditions at Turning Point Center for Hope and Healing at the University of Kansas has got me itching to shoot another short cell-phone video Testimonial of one of our own students again (like Ray C did this spring) –let me know if one of you wants to try it, thanks. 
  • Weekly Schedule

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

Spring/Summer Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

 Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

 FACEBOOK   https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Tai-Chi/392555767502788  

 TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi      PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

    

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen       unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production

Cinematique: United Tai Chi 7/10/13 digest

Notes from today's class

Notes from today’s class

  • The cinema has a long standing love of movement –from dancing, to fighting, running to skating, climbing to horseback riding, baseball to cycling. From the early physical comedy stylings of Buster Keaton to “West Side Story” to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, to the parcour-ific James Bond in “Quantum of Solace” — the camera caresses, indulges and enlivens motion.   And martial arts films are no exception. Unless you were in China for opening weekend July 5 of Keanu Reeve’s directorial debut “Man of Tai Chi” co-starring Tiger Hu Chen and Karen Mok, American audiences have yet to receive a release date, but there is a trailer available (see URL link below). Again this leans more toward the martial aspect than the peaceful-in-the-park connotation. The film buff in me would still put together a meet up group for United Tai Chi when it is distributed stateside.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2016940/?ref_=sr_1
  • Shares/Finds:  (notes courtesy of worldtaichiday.org)  The recidivism rate in US prisons is at least 60%, costing billions. A California Tai Chi teacher Judith Treathway invited WTCD founder Bill Douglas to Folsom to show that recidivism was dramatically lower for those inmates who were part of a Tai Chi and Qi Gong program.  Also an inmate at the Texas Penitentiary Allred Unit, Willie Milton, is conducting a program sharing the Tai Chi Long Form and Sitting Qi Gong Meditation. Milton is reaching out to prison systems around the US to share the success of the program.
  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Eight pieces of brocade. Thirteen postures. Part II of Yang 108, “Be like a slack jawed baby drooling saliva” (relax the throat and mandible). Watch out for frost warnings. Spent some time on Dragon Tongue Kick. Keep your spine healthy and elongated with Tai Chi (are you still as tall as your driver’s license says?).Drills on individual postures. Sweeping the lotus leaves. Blow up toys. Scandinavian hot springs.
  • Student News and Upcoming Events: A powerful reminder of the fragility of life and to treasure what you have –we love you Doris and happy belated birthday. Welcome a new students Judy and Kay.  Red Cross Blood Drive now taking appointment registrations for August 23 at Lionville Community YMCA — http://bit.ly/1aJCcaF  (save a life, and get a coupon for free Dunkin’s iced coffee & donut).  Christian’s weekend Qi Gong workshop has a tentative date of Saturday August 3rd, more news TBD.  A small but enthusiastic Tai Chi class at Boot Road Park this week–any newbies welcome, see schedule below.  If you didn’t get a starter packet yet let us know. I think there are a few T-shirts still available if you have not yet availed yourself, $15 (see Christian).  I seem to be without any travel E-photos from our students’ summer trips yet, slackers. I will record “Holiday Road” from National Lampoon’s Vacation and ear-worm it to you in your sleep.
  • Weekly Schedule

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

Spring/Summer Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

 FACEBOOK   https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Tai-Chi/392555767502788

 TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi      PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

   

Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen     unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production

Evolutionary: United Tai Chi 7/3/13 digest

  • We have just passed the half way marker of 2013 and I want to give a nod to change and trying new things. Growth and evolution are not foreign concepts to Tai Chi and the internal arts. Stagnation is a safety net that I used to think was safe to cling to. Not everything this year has been all sunshine and roses for me, but I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to discover and nurture new pathways or revisit old ones I thought I had long since lost. New skills, new friends, a new church, a re-awakened or renewed in the joy of writing, a brief moment on the stage, new teachers (in the school of life), and continuing to try new things in internal arts.  You’d think a bloody revolution for a change-resister like me.  Small increments. Movement in stillness. Thank you all for your feedback and support.

 

  • Shares/FindsJohn C sent me this beautiful Yang 24 style video link; someday my “Snake Creeps Down” will be…yeah not even close to that.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hou57TxCvCo&feature=em-share_video_user   If you want to see some written notes  about Qi Gong to share with people who’d be interested in Christian’s workshop, try Lee Holden’s blog  http://www.modernqigong.com/blog/  And from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and researcher William Tsang, published by the Elsevier Group: a study  “concluded that the hand-eye coordination in finger-pointing, which usually declines with age normally, was defied in older participants who practiced tai chi, showing that their accuracy was similar to that of the young control group participants” (worldtaichiday.org newsletter). 

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Stretches and body openings. Breath orbit. Revisiting the three arm tan tiens in the transition from Split to Ward off. Yang 108 vocal notes for the lower half of the body.  Intention, not tension.  Alignments. The world in your tail bone. And apparently all our chi energy made the lights flicker on Thursday.  Part II of Yang 108 and looking at the transitions in Cover Cover and Box The Ears.  

 

  • Book of the week:  “Secrets of the Pelvis for Martial Arts: A Practical Guideby Michael Buhr

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events: Thanks very much to those of you who attended my birthday dinner last week, I had a fun time and it was much appreciated to spend an evening with supportive friends. Finally got our newsletter last week into an online URL with my first crude attempt at a layout in a WordPress blog. Let’s hear it for Irene’s femur improvement from doing Tai Chi. Linda is out camping for the holiday week, I think Ray is still abroad, and Esther is off to the mountains.  Christian’s Qi Gong workshop event is coming soon, stay tuned for final date & time this month.  Christian will also be teaching at Chester County Night School this fall.  Welcome new student Ellen. Sorry John C didn’t get enough votes to “Kiss a Pig” at the YMCA fundraiser. @LighthouseTaiChi in the UK mentioned us in their “follow Friday” twitter a few days ago. And thank you to our Facebook supporters for one milestone growth marker for me as a first time page administrator. And Thank you to Mark Saltveit (“The Tao of Chip Kelly”) who enjoyed my Amazon review of his book and also shared last week’s newsletter with his sister, a Tai Chi instructor.

 

  • Etcetera: Be sure and thank a veteran or a current service member this “Independence” holiday week. Also no class on Thursday July 4.

 

  • Usual Weekly Schedule/sans holiday

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

EVENING

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr

  [90 minute, small class attention, *separate fees   apply]

Thursday

7:00 PM

New for spring: Evening

Beginners  at Boot Road Park (weather permitting)

110 W. Boot Rd       $10 drop in rate.

Monday

6:00 PM

 

  • Follow these links to our social media presence on the web:

 FACEBOOK   https://www.facebook.com/pages/United-Tai-Chi/392555767502788

 TWITTER       http://www.twitter.com/unitedtaichi      PINTEREST   http://www.pinterest.com/unitedtaichi

     Have a great week, and may all your armpits have tuna sandwiches.

Kathleen        unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

(P³)   a PLUM POINT PUBLICITY production