Gut Feeling: United Tai Chi Digest 10/16/2013


  • Just as our instructor Christian has often lauded the lower tan tien importance in internal arts, likewise a Tao Internal Detox video lesson of Mantak Chia’s discusses the “Second brain” and reiterates the gut has a mind of its own.  Just like the mind brain, the lower brain sends and receives impulses, records experiences and responds to emotions.  The lower brain can upset the upper brain and vice versa.  (For NCIS fans, Agent Gibbs’ frequent lower brain insights tell me he is guided by his abdominal tan tien).  The Wellspring by Christopher Dow also comments on this “enteric  nervous system” in your gut and teaches us the intestines release more serotonin than the brain–and even when  isolated from the brain, the bowels continue to perform peristalsis/undulation to move food through.  Others share that the lower tan tien is the most useful place to store energy and that these stores can “help combat stress in all forms — negative emotions, unhealthy food, toxins, thoughts, physical trauma, or people driving slowly in the left lane.” (Sifu Anthony K). And right here in our practice we learn that our physical life gate is housed in the lower tan tien and that is where we must strive to be rooted before we can expand on our emotional and mental life gates. I don’t know about you, but it sounds good to have a ‘second brain’ –but how come it didn’t help me with high school algebra?



  • Wrap-up of the past week’s classes:  Ten breaths, thirteen postures, palm rounding and hiding your deltoid intentions, notes on the Wipe Off.  Ray’s question about the back foot in the apparent closing –seems it’s not really a drag back to center, but rather carrying it aloft back to your supporting weighted leg.  Revisited brush knee, and the Relax/Expand posture after Single Whip. Pull down and shoulder strike.  Shaking our jar of rocks. Relax into a posture rather than muscle yourself into an uncomfortable position. The coil and uncoil of Play the Pan Pan.  Go slowly so that you can read and listen to the ‘words’ of the postures and not skip over things into a misunderstanding.  


  • Student News and Upcoming Events: Thanks students, friends and visitors for stopping by the United Tai Chi booth at WC Growers Market or joining our DVD night this past weekend.  For those of you who have pre-registered, Jose is teaching an Ikebana workshop at Jenkins Arboretum in Devon on Friday October 18 — send me a photo if some UTC students attend, I’ll share it on our FB page. Christian may be adding a 2nd night class at the Lionville Holistic Health Center –one night mainly concentrating on Tai Chi for students so inclined, and one that is a mix of several internal arts’ instruction.  Let us know who is interested in a Tai Chi night and who is interested in adding Ba Gua, Qi Gong, Hsing-I and other forms into the mix.  I’m attending a two night reflexology workshop locally this week.  Best of luck to Liz G from her Tai Chi family regarding her surgery this week. Thanks Dot for the Pinterest follow. Thanks @BeanCurdBoxer for the re-tweet!  I caught a bit of a Fred Astaire film (Royal Wedding) on TCM. The scene in the physical therapy/fitness apparatus room.  I had not seen him in action in awhile –now there is someone who was very in tune with his physicality.


  • Fun Follower News of the Week:  @ErnieBoxall from the UK held a Tai Chi session in July to raise funds for the “Polar Bears and Paddleboards” team’s expedition to take the sport of stand-up paddle boarding to the Arctic glaciers. 


  • Etcetera:  In the Taoist tradition, the human body is a microcosm of the natural world. Our physical anatomy is an inner landscape with its own rivers, forests, mountains and lakes that reflect that reflect the harmony with the outer landscape of the planet Earth.”  (Mantak Chia, Lesser Kan and Li)


  • 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

Private paid lessons available   upon request –check with instructor for scheduling

Monday nights in the fall: 7 week   beginner class ordered through Chester County Night School


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





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

Kathleen Rice     


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