Heavy Metal: United Tai Chi digest 9/25/13


  • Autumn. Soon a time of crunchy multicolored leaves underfoot.  This past Saturday afternoon ushered in a change of season, a change of temperament.  In the Five Elements of Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with METAL.  It signifies the ascendance of yin and inward movement, introversion. The afternoon of the day, grief, middle age of the human life cycle.  Organs paired with Autumn/Metal are the lungs (regulation of qi and defenders against invasion of illness) and the large intestine (elimination of impurities). And just as in the other elements or seasons, Metal imbalances have emotional impact. A deficiency may manifest as fatigue, inability to complete projects, repeating the same destructive patterns of behavior, perfectionism, fear of being harshly judged. An excess could highlight rigidity, neatness, precision, persistent grief or being overly judgmental of others. Gail Reichstein writes in Wood Becomes Water: Chinese Medicine in Everyday Life, “A balanced metal element allows us to move beyond the situations that disappoint us, cutting through pain and grief to isolate the wisdom each experience holds. We recognize that loss is a part of life and do not cling to what is no longer within our grasp. Healthy metal keeps us present in the moment.”  I can’t decide if I err more on the side of metal in excess or deficiency, as I can see evidences of both. Perhaps someone from the outside looking in could spot it better than myself (ah, but please don’t judge me harshly).  What is it that you still cling to or haven’t moved beyond? Or, perhaps, you are present in the moment with a healthy metal balance.  In a feng shui sense, bright copper kettles can balance you (but alas, no mention of raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens).  Add some root vegetables and some Qi Gong and Bob’s your uncle.


  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Took an in-depth look at the combination posture Grasp the Sparrows Tail (ward off, neutralize, press, wipe off, push).  John C, I’m not sure if he said “a fish distance” or not, but it gave me a chuckle.  Fran our long time yoga practitioner reminded us of the breaths per minute cycle. The yin versus yang components of several postures. Looked at the earth hand palm transitions in Brush Knee. Thirteen postures. Started some drills on the Eight Powers.  Looked at weight shifts and hip positions in Split/Ward-off and also the Parry Re-direct. Eight pieces of brocade.  Repeat drills on individual postures (my right thigh just developed an allergy to cranes). And speaking of upper respiratory health, blessings to all of our snifflers and coughers this week.


  • Shares/Finds:  From to book Iron and Silk (Mark Saltzman); this kind of reminds us of learning Tai Chi, no?  “In Chinese calligraphy, a single dot requires as many as five distinct motions of the wrist and shoulder to be formed properly, and that same dot will be formed differently depending on which of the several tens of established styles you are studying. Once you are able to brush the dots, lines, hooks and circles, you must learn how to put them together into aesthetically balanced characters. After that, you learn to write the separate characters as if an invisible, unbroken line existed between them, to give them continuity and life.”   


  • Student News and Upcoming Events:  Join us for another Qi Gong workshop at Kerr Park in Downingtown, Saturday September 28, 2pm, $25 (bring a mat and a water bottle). DVD night coming soon.   Welcome new student Mary, welcome back Jaclyn, safe travels Cosmo, and we’ll be keeping Ron & Joy’s family in our good intentions this week.  Nice start to the fall session with Chester County Night School this week. Some years back, Saturday Night Live  had a sketch called “Deep Thoughts, With Jack Handy”.  Well I want to thank those of you who have responded with your own ‘deep thoughts’ in response to last week’s newsletter on spirituality in internal arts. It is tremendously gratifying, both as a Tai Chi student and a writer, to get that kind of feedback and to see a seed that you planted germinate into a larger dialogue (thanks Deborah, Claudia and Christian).  Welcome new WordPress follower lukescott313 – you may want to visit his site at  http://derekcheyyim.wordpress.com    one of the videos on there is a lovely Tai Chi 24 form. 


  • Weekly Schedule:


Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

M / W / F

7:30 AM


Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues/ Thr

4:45 PM


Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

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


7:00 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 Rice  unitedtaichi@gmail.com    


One thought on “Heavy Metal: United Tai Chi digest 9/25/13

  1. Pingback: Goal Tending: United Tai Chi digest 9/30/14 | United Tai Chi

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