Waiting to Exhale: United Tai Chi Digest 10/2/13


  • Breath.  A rose of another name would indeed smell as sweet, as some find it synonymous with it Qi or Spirit.  Latin scholars among you know it as spiritis. Internal arts practitioners are enamored with the importance of breath in all its forms. Breathing patterns (microcosmic, embryonic), types of breathing (normal, abdominal, yin yang, etc.), and health impact of breathing techniques (massages the heart muscle and helps circulate the blood to the organs and extremities) are elements one gets reacquainted with as we travel our Tai Chi path. Yet beginners like me still struggle with the challenge of achieving deep, long or relaxed breath and malign our own shallow inhales. Or, dare we say it, hold our breath. Students blog about its rhythms, cycles, clarity and grounding power (http://www.claudiahasyourback.blogspot.com/2013/09/be-you.html ). Tai Chi master’s write about it:  “When separate breathing techniques cease to be the mind’s focus, then breathing, physical movement, and energy become undifferentiated. They are seamlessly integrated into all aspects of the tai chi form from the very center of your internal being.” (Bruce Frantzis, Tai Chi Health for Life).  Something that was once so intrinsic, natural and involuntary becomes cause for reflection, study and practice in the world of internal arts.  When asked if his injured nose hurt in the 1974 Polanski film China Town, Jack Nicholson’s character J.J. Gittes replied, “Only when I breathe.”  Here’s hoping for a painless journey exploring your breathing practices, and until then, take comfort in the late 2001 country music hit by Chris Cagle about how the story teller is coping after a breakup:  “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out”. 



  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Eight pieces of brocade. More work on Play the pan pan (shoulder and hip changes, timing of the hand and foot movements). A nod to the Chinese element of Metal and lung/respiratory health this time of year.  Ten breaths. The Charleston. The Bourne Legacy.  Another of our “Eight Powers” –this time, “Elbow”.  Broke down Play the Pan Pan into it’s individual calligraphy brush points (see 9/25 newsletter).  Paul took us through some Brush knee footwork drills on Friday. Line drills on pieces of Grasp the Sparrows Tail. Thirteen postures tips. Discussion on the representation of the spine in our palm (life line) foot and ear.   Tuesday: drills on another of our Eight Powers (“Ward Off”). Revisiting ‘scoop the water wipe the brow’ posture. And  the importance of developing your Yin or rooting. 


  •  Student News and Upcoming Events:  Thanks for another peaceful Qi Gong session in the park led by Christian this past weekend, good to see Becky and Fran try it out (joining Chris M, Deborah, Steve, Chris S and myself).  Welcome two new WordPress followers these past couple of weeks.  I ran into Esther recently, she says hello to everyone. She was out with medical issues then travelling this week, but hopes to join us mid-month.  Tai Chi DVD night will be Friday October 11, 8pm at the Lionville Natural Pharmacy Holistic Health Center. Please let me know how many of you will be there and if you can bring a small snack or beverage to share (e.g., tea, water, fruit, nuts, etc.). Christian will have a few videos from some of his past Wakulla Springs sessions to share, all are welcome.  


  • Etcetera:  Good quote from a current Wu Wei blog  http://www.altering-perspectives.com/2013/09/wu-wei.html    “Many of the things you want are, in fact dead weights – prisons you create for yourself. Sometimes the deeper spiritual part of you, the infinite self within, protects you from disaster. You’ll head off, trying to achieve something that the inner spiritual you, the deeper subconscious self, doesn’t actually want. So it will make sure you arrive late, or the person you seek will not be there, or the check bounces, and things generally don’t work…and you have to think, do I really want what I think I want?


  • Weekly Schedule:


Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM


Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

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    


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