Monthly Archives: August 2013

Continuing Education: United Tai Chi 8/23/13 Newsletter

  • Back to school.  This week you may have noticed the buses on your morning travel route, or kids waiting on the sidewalk set to begin another academic year, as many schools in this local area had opening day on Monday.  As practitioners of internal arts know, learning doesn’t stop once the cap and gown are gone. The curious are always on a quest. I talked about collaboration last week on one of our social media feeds, and an unexpected part of my journey with Tai Chi has been a room full of teachers in one way or another, inside and outside the classroom. What is it that ball players say –the bench is deep.  We all have something to teach, to share; and something to learn.  Education comes in many forms, and though some of us may have different triggers that facilitate our learning, or different speeds of ascension, eventually we all end up at the same point in the circle. The same path from the heart. Don’t hang up your backpacks and your slide rule just yet, the ride’s not over.

 

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Five colored clouds surrounding the mountain. Folding. Coiling. Standing ten. Navel –umbilical cord and fountain of youth; coil your fist up through your navel for ‘serve the fruit’ exercise.  Opening bow practice and filling up our bucket from our root, diagnosing internal maladies in the spaces where our shoulders pop up.  Reviewing the tan tiens of our arms in the Pull Down/Ward Off transition in 13 postures.  Finding your center. Thumb and spine connections. Transitions between Press, Elbow and Shoulder in 13 postures. Travelling an internal path from bone to ligament, muscle, skin and back again. Growing like a tree Qi Gong. Detailed breakdowns of opening bow, scoop the water, and ward off left. Hand and foot connections in the Slant Fly posture. 

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  We’re holding another Qi Gong workshop on Saturday August 31  at 2pm in Kerr Park,  $25, or a $5 discount if you are wearing our United Tai Chi shirt. Bring a water bottle and a mat. RSVP on our Facebook page or to unitedtaichi@gmail.com  Welcome back Martina.  Thanks @Silverwolfma in the UK for re-tweeting my 8/21 newsletter link to your bevy of followers.  Safe journeys to travelers Jane, Jaclyn and Christine H.  Rather large attendance at Tuesday’s class, sorry I missed it but glad to see everyone at the desk.  Reminder there is no class on Monday September 2 (holiday hours at YMCA).  If you missed out on our spring/summer T-shirts, fret not as fall ones are in the offing.  Dot thanks for the supermarket chat.  Mario good luck in Miami. Pat, the Red Cross thanks you. A huge welcome and thank you to our international readers who have found at least one or more of our newsletters on WordPress (Canada, Italy, Mexico, Australia and the UK)!   G’Day, Buenos dias and Buon giorno. And no, spell-check, I am not trying to type Bon Jovi (though perhaps Richie Sambora could use some Qi Gong right about now).   Sorry Canadians, I am not sure how you greet each other at the local Tim Hortons. 

 

  • Etcetera:  With football season approaching, those of you who read my reviews and/or discussion in June about Mark Saltveit’s book The Tao of Chip Kelly, you can follow his Twitter feed @taoish, and tell him Kathleen from United Tai Chi sent you; I know he’d appreciate it.  

 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

See or share this newsletter from our WordPress URL  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

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

Kathleen Rice      unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

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Take Notice: United Tai Chi 8/21/13 newsletter

  • Gratitude. One of the things Tai Chi has helped me with, cliché or no, is to ‘slow down and smell the roses’. Metaphorically at least, as I am anosmatic. There were things I used to take for granted, things I didn’t used to see, hear or feel.  An unlocking of doors. I didn’t used to pray as much. Or notice the sight and feel of freshly cut grass. Or realize that my feet had so much receptivity and power. To listen or read a fellow student’s testimony without judgment.  The value of an invitation. This weekend I heard an instructor caution a student not to cheat at a posture –this could have meant not to discount the energy or expressiveness of an opening. I’d also like it to mean not to short-shrift the gratitude one finds in internal arts and the universality of grace.  What are you grateful for this week and how has Tai Chi helped you appreciate your world?

 

  •  Shares/Finds:  A book I’m reading this week is “How to Survive The Unthinkable” by Tim Larkin, which discusses differences between antisocial aggression and asocial violence.  It warns against our tendency to want to play by the common social rules, when asocial or violent predators do not operate in the same confines.  The book encourages you to not “fall into the pool and sink” since most are “so afraid of experiencing violence that they have no response at all when they do encounter it”.  Intuition, learning to read signals, avoidance, and being prepared are topics discussed.  Let me know if anyone is interested in discussing some more notes from this current book, including how meditators tend to be more attuned to details and “connected to their senses rather than being on autopilot (a predators dream).”

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths, breathing orbits, 13 postures, studying the bottom of the foot tan tiens as they relate to their corresponding partners in other parts of the body. Yin energy raising your left arm for Play the Pan Pan.  A strong foundation or root yields strong branches. A great session of the Qi Gong practice “Growing Like a Tree” on Thursday –quiet, slow, long, internal and utilizing the notion of the pelvic curve or full body hugging the tree.  Another visit to our old friend Brush Knee, and relaxing the heaven hand (snake eyes).  Eight powers and five directions. Balance tip—do morning neck stretches to readjust the inner-ear bones.  Curving your pelvis. Parts I and II of Yang 108. And finally, Tuesday afternoon some more detail work on our Pull Downs (near Shoulder Strike, and Dragon Tongue Kick), and spinal alignment on the Apparent Closing (uprooting the opponent).

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  We will hold another outdoor Qi Gong workshop on Saturday afternoon, August 31 (specific start time TBD soon).  And the DVD night to come together and watch some Tai Chi videos from Wakulla sessions and YMCA classes will happen in late September. Thank you to Master John Armstrong for the sword class I tried this weekend.  On the horizon: short-video testimonials from one or more students.  Jaclyn will be travelling to China soon. Red Cross blood drive this Friday August 23 at the Lionville YMCA 8.30a to 6.30p (walk-ins welcome). Thanks Deb for your outreach.  Thanks Marilyn for sharing your Tai Chi walk connection to a nature documentary.  If you missed the link to Christian’s Chester County Night School tai chi course this fall, here it is again https://www.chestercountynightschool.org/CourseStatus.awp?&Course=13FFH710&DirectFrom=Schedule&Origin=Courses+Taught+by+Christian+Samuelson    

 

  • Etcetera:  Apparently “Shark Week” on Discovery network recently posted its best ratings ever. Note to self, change title of next week’s newsletter to “Shark Week”.  Also since I just saw the Steve Jobs biopic this weekend, I am of a mind to quote Bean Curd Boxer (Paul Reed), blogging after the death of Jobs, “his refusal to be bound by the dictates of history, by the opinions of experts or the advice of marketers enabled him to pursue his vision for a more meaningful and productive digital evolution. When the complex is made simple, evolutions are born”…and in linking this to the internal arts, “Nothing stays still, everything changes. Empowering others is a good thing. Belittling and undermining is not. The old will always have to make room for the new as that is the way. Let us welcome the new interpreters.” 

 

  • 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    

Now Hear This: United Tai Chi 8/14/13 digest

  • Listen.  In Tai Chi and other internal arts we are encouraged to listen to what our bodies (our bones) are telling us. In our every day lives there are several degrees or pathways of listening. Are we active listening? Youth in classrooms can fake listening by their external posture, all the while being somewhere else inside their head.  We chide our spouse or our children for not listening even though physiologically sound is entering their ear canal. We can train ourselves after some time in a new environment to un-listen to the background white noise around us.  Hearing and listening can be viewed as two different concepts –hearing a more passive, unintentional, physiological experience; while listening is a more active and intentional process. Meditation helps us listen to our own thoughts and emotions. Likewise the stillness in movement principle of Tai Chi opens up our heart pathways to listen to not only our bodies, but our mind.  Dan Kleiman of Qi Gong Radio talks about learning to listen and cultivating our listening, for example in the two-person practice of Push Hands. I linked to that podcast once earlier this year, in case you missed it… http://dankleiman.com/?powerpress_pinw=4172-podcast
  •  Shares/Finds: Boston Healing Tao is hosting a weekend retreat and associate instructor training September 6-8 at Angels Rest in western Massachusetts (microcosmic orbit meditation, inner smile meditation, 6 healing sounds qi gong, and associate instructor training). Click here for info and registration https://www.wepay.com/events/september-2013-retreat-at-angels-rest
  •  Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Growing like a tree. Rooting. Using the concept of the circular path (tai chi principle) to find your next move when you get lost in the postures. Neck stretches. The various places where we find the Wipe Off posture. Slow motion part I of Yang 108. Standing meditations. Word of the day: “undulating”.   Where your mind intention is, blood goes. Knees – ‘relax’ versus ‘bend’. It is easier for your tailbone to relax when your knees are neither locked straight nor consciously bent. Wrist exercises. Connection between the kwah, hip and elbow during the Neutralize posture. Foot width transformations with age. Folding. Absorb/redirect. Scarecrows. Circles. Using the ying (underside) of your left arm in the Play the Pan Pan posture. Part I of Yang 108 done facing the back way (shaking it up).
  •  Student News and Upcoming Events:  Film fest Tai Chi DVD night in the works to come together as a group and watch some footage from Wakulla sessions and YMCA classes –stay tuned for updates.  Welcome Rick and thanks for trying out the night class at the pharmacy. Welcome new student Jay and welcome back Janet from traveling.  Thanks Deb for the picture of your grandson showing his “innate” internal arts connection.  Liz, thanks for “syzygy”.  Check out Lionville Holistic Health fall calendar of events http://www.lionvillehealth.com/schedule-of-events . Christian will be teaching a Tai Chi course for Chester County Night School this fall on Monday nights, click here for details https://www.chestercountynightschool.org/CourseStatus.awp?&Course=13FFH710&DirectFrom=Schedule&Origin=Courses+Taught+by+Christian+Samuelson     
  •  Etcetera: Thanks @Taoareyou for this Keith Richards quote – “Everybody has a different way of telling a story, and a different story to tell.” 
  •  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

On The Waterfront: United Tai Chi 8/7/13 Newsletter

Wolfeboro / Lake Winnipesaukee NH

Wolfeboro / Lake Winnipesaukee NH

  • Water. One of the five elements in Chinese medicine. A majority content of the human body. A goal to strive for in Tai Chi is the sensation that our bones become water. Water is a force that is both creative and destructive. Water is also reflective.  A Qi Gong viewpoint of water calls it an essence or vitality “that distinguishes life from non-life, and in many ways consistent with the Western understanding of a soul –the material aspect of divinity”.  (Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine For Everyday Life by Gail Reichstein). I had the opportunity to be out on the water this past weekend, a chance to experience both its flexible yielding nature and its reflective properties. A chance to be in the elements with the wind and the trees. To perhaps inhibit its soulfulness. But going home is only one piece of a journey, one curve on a circular path that also must include the rest of the spaces we encounter outside the water. The spaces we all find joy to navigate.

 

  • Shares/Finds: Those of you who ever had designs on a Tai Chi flash mob, here is a sample of one in Europe this spring. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eaY8VkRAqWI  Tai Chi and Short Weapons seminar in New York City this weekend (August 10-11) at Addis Kung Fu with Sifu Dennis Dereje (who has studied with Master Wei Lun Huang). See http://addiskungfuacademy.com for info.  Women’s Health Magazine, September 2013 issue has an article “The Most Important 5 Seconds of a Your Life”, about self defense. In one of the sidebar call out boxes, it indicates that “people who meditate every day tend to be more attuned to details in the moment. They practice noticing their thoughts and emotions which can make them less likely to freeze up in scary situations, because they’re in touch with their instinctual emotions and not ruled by them”.  The complete article by Tim Larkin, is excerpted from his forthcoming book Survive The Unthinkable: A Total Guide To Women’s Self Protection.

 

  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths. Slowly finding your center.  Self adjustments. Tai chi flash cards.  Five colored clouds. Folding. Listening to your bone marrow. Forgetting yourself. The ‘rock back’ mechanics of brush knee. Thirteen postures. Director’s cut extended version of Dragon Tongue Kick/Parry Redirect.

 

  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  From what I hear the Qi Gong workshop this past Saturday went very well, thank you to everyone who attended and shared your enthusiasm –I heard nice things from Deborah and Rick via Email and Facebook (where you can view the photos).  Stay tuned for a repeat soon. Those away traveling recently include Jane and Martina. I got my fill of shellfish at a weekend pilgrimage to my homeland in the lakes region of NH –from lobster rolls, to chowder, to scallops, to clam rolls…sorry no crab as a professional courtesy. Thanks to @EmpoweringQi for favoriting one of our Twitter posts. Thanks Ray for the Linkedin endorsement.  Life saving Red Cross blood drive at Lionville YMCA (8/23), register here http://bit.ly/1aJCcaF    

 

  • Etcetera: From  How To Be A Successful Tai Chi Teacher  (Bill Douglas) …”When you feel what you are saying, it changes the resonance of your voice and the vibration of the room. Sharing an experience with your students rather than talking at them is a shift in approach.”  I’m sure all of us would agree we are fortunate to have such a teaching experience at United Tai Chi.

 

  • 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