Monthly Archives: March 2014

Rumspringa: United Tai Chi digest 3/18/14

AmishRumspringa

  • In many Amish communities, not unlike that of nearby Lancaster County PA, there is a time of year when teens participate in a period of Rumspringa (or from the German, rumschpringe). A time for them to at least temporarily explore other cultures outside their own –automobiles, movies, nightclubs, etc., before deciding if they would like to remain within the realm of the Amish church afterwards, or venture afield. A sort of ‘suspenders gone wild’ step of un-focusedness it may seem like to us outsiders.  The advent of springtime (landing here in the US on March 20th) likewise evokes that kind of abandon or breakout of cabin fever mode. Spring Break.  We are outside the window letting our mind run amok.  This is where I bring in my ‘living the art’ analogies and talk about the phenomenon of what the Chinese call “Monkey Mind” as we come to know it in internal arts.  Spring is a season when a “young man’s fancy” (or woman’s) turns to love, cars, baseball, lawnmowers, deck parties, St Patrick’s Day pub crawls.  Things like work, or internal connections and mindfulness, have a harder time maintaining some headspace. Jangled or disassociated thoughts, or stress, rise to our upper tan tien. The slow motion practice of Tai Chi and other internal arts “enables you to consciously and deliberately access how your mind, body and energy work. It gives you the needed time to accurately perceive and comprehend the full ramifications of what you are experiencing when you do the tai chi form.  It slows down your neurological speed enabling you to obtain your awareness to notice subtle changes and become conscious of deeper and deeper levels, and helps you become aware of and control your monkey mind.”  [Bruce Frantzis, Tai Chi: Health for Life]  Perhaps this is why our own instructor Christian recently had us do a focusing, calming breath before the opening bow in the Tai Chi Yang 108 long form, to ‘clear out our monkey mind’ and just stay within our breath. Where have your thoughts been traveling this week?

 

  • Shares/Finds: Fascinating young lady Chen style Tai Chi video clickable here  And Bruce Frantzis has a new audio podcast series starting with this link What Is Taoism    Vote for Vaughn Ripley, a tai chi practitioner using internal arts to combat HIV, to be on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine.

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Some shaking and 8-piece brocade qigong warm-ups, one handed Tai Chi part I yang 108, martial application and occipital point considerations of Look/Gaze in the 13 Postures. And then its All About The Kidneys. Bones like water, spray house, working on transitions between Split & Ward-off in the 13 postures (importance of heel of the palm, bubbling well, mind intention, heaven and earth hand, etc.). Ten breaths. Five colored clouds surrounding the mountain (did you ‘see’ your skeleton?). Ward off drills.  Keeping monkey mind at bay. Some hsing-yi principles discussion and practice at the Sunday Dragon Gym session.  Golden Lotus Qigong practice with a small snowy St. Patrick’s Day Monday audience. 

 

  • Student News & Events: Lots of great news to share this week! Join our new Tuesday night 7.30p Tai Chi class at Blue Buddha Studio on Rte 100 near Ludwigs corner.  Master Wei Lun Huang (“Sifu”) will be conducting a local 2-day workshop at Dragon Gym in Exton on May 17 & 18 –for those of you who didn’t make it to his session at Boston Healing Tao recently or to Wakulla Springs last fall. Details here One of our students Jose is conducting a multi-session Ikebana workshop at Neil Hazinski Pottery in Phoenixville, dates and pricing info at phone 610-551-2796.  Welcome new spring session students at Chester County Night School. Locals, I also mentioned last week, student practice sessions drop-in (sans instructor) Mondays at 1.30pm at Lionville Holistic Health Center in Exton. April 26 is the annual celebration of World Tai Chi Day, stay tuned for more related news. In the Twittersphere, thanks @mashiahvaughn for favoriting one of our tweets. Facebook fans (and local students) HAPPY BIRTHDAY soon to John C and Martina S.  WordPress supporters –thank you for bigger jump in readership the past 30 days (Feb18 to March16) than in the previous 30!

 

  • Publishing note: I’ve been asked to move the newsletter frequency to bi-weekly. See you around April 1.

 

  • Weekly Schedule:   NOTE: Any Non-YMCA class offsite = FREE to Military Veterans!

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Tuesday Night

Blue Buddha Studio

1247 Pottstown Pike    Glenmoore PA

Price point = ___? TBD

Tuesday

7:15 pm

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Started on 3/17 http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

  

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

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

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

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

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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Daylight Savings: United Tai Chi digest 3/12/14

DST

  • Finished your dinner and the sun still hasn’t gone down yet?  Has it made you start thinking about your gardens, outdoor fitness activities, yard implements and a general improvement in mood? In our “Winter Solstice” blog from mid-December we talked about Seasonal Affective Disorder and the wellness impact of fewer daylight hours in the winter. It is no secret that to have sunlight shining in our eyeballs and warming our bones acts as a natural mood lifter in the earth-bound world, and we find that sensation mimicked in some of our internal arts practices. Regardless of its perceived impact on energy usage, economics, agrarian society, sporting activities and crime, the adoption of DST (daylight savings time) sets up a moderate personal physical change. Like a bell that rings just before spring comes, perhaps eliciting a Pavlovian type response to seek out the brightness.  One of the postures in the Golden Lotus Qi Gong healing modality set is in fact “Golden Light Shines in the Eyes”.  Master Wei Lun Huang relays the importance of the imagination here– looking to the horizon seeing the sun come up and drawing that sunlight from your fingertips up from the horizon and pouring  that light directly into your eyes.  Then the eyes look deep into your brain and your spine, one vertebrae at a time, as the ‘sun’ makes a 360 degree journey over your body from the front of the feet to the top of your head and down the back of your spine. This aims to introduce warm energy throughout the entire body. We all could do with some extra light in our life by this time of year. What will you do with your extra evening hour of daylight this week?

 

  • Shares/Finds: A Twitter connection, @openblackbelt, wanted to share this found list of 14 Martial Arts Movies everyone should see.  Also any local area yoga fans, on Saturday May 10 is the Philadelphia area yoga festival Namas Day. Details at  http://namasdayphilly.com/.

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Eight powers and five directions, 7 lords ‘a leaping, floating the boat and Push Hands philosophy, and using the palm/tailbone of the Earth hand to drive not only Brush Knee but many other postures. More practice on using weight shifts and hip positions as foot re-directional, 13 Postures, neutralize and staying in your harmonies.  Spiraling, the 70% rule, questions about Scoop the Water, listening to your body, dandelion roots, and Parry Re-direct. A practice in slowing down the postures while still maintaining movement. And how the kidney positions impact your elbows and arms in any Wipe Off or Push posture.

 

  • Student News & Events: Don’t forget our new Thursday morning class 7.30am in West Chester at Eat Drink Om Yoga Café.  New session of Christian’s Chester County Night School tai chi class on Monday nights starts on 3/17. New item: student practice sessions drop-in (sans instructor) Mondays at 1.30pm at Lionville Holistic Health Center in Exton. Those planning ahead any summer weekend jaunts, the National Qi Gong Association is having their annual conference in King of Prussia PA on July 25-27, details here http://nqa.org/2013/11/2014-nqa-conference/   Blood Drive, Lionville YMCA on March 28, appointments at http://www.redcrossblood.org and use our sponsor code lionville. April 26 is the annual celebration of World Tai Chi Day, stay tuned for more news on this.  My singles group is having a St Patrick’s Day lunch at the Downingtown branch of Molly Maguires on Saturday 3/15 at 1pm if any of you locals want to stop by that afternoon and share a bite.  In WordPress news, someone in Slovenia checked us out a few days ago, and a gravatar named Don Charisma is a new subscriber (hopefully my charisma is readily apparent so I don’t have to remember to don it from time to time).  Facebook Fans of the Day: Antly R in Michigan, Lionville Holistic Health, and the Universal Tai Ahom Association. 

 

  • Weekly Schedule:   NOTE: Any Non-YMCA class offsite = FREE to Military Veterans!

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

3/17   starts

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Next new session on 3/17 http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

 

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

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

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

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

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

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

Kathleen Rice    unitedtaichi@gmail.com    

Redirect: United Tai Chi digest 3/5/14

Redirect changeAhead

  • The past several days have been a great exercise for me in ‘living the art’, finding ways that tai chi principles can appear or impact other experiences, daily activities or observations. This is about the receiving of a (real or perceived) attack, digesting or understanding that information, and redirecting the energy or finding ways to dissipate it before formatting a response.  A journey of X’s and O’s, or a round of Push Hands.  I was away this weekend at a qi gong workshop in the Boston area, and over the course of the before-during-and- after, I had both some bumps along the road and ways to redirect, dissipate, reformat, or delay.  Herein, the push, attack, or ‘incoming missile’ as our local teacher likes to say… (1) In matters of the heart, a man I care very deeply about and spent a lot of time with has only just recently expressed a need for a step back –adamant about not getting too serious, too fast with one person; and also relayed some other roadblocks.  The dreamer in me who sticks to love like a tree frog was crushed.  (2) In matters of work or professionalism, uncertainty, masquerading at alternating times as disappointment or lopsided opportunity –to either fail or succeed. Amidst upcoming changes at Employer X, a request for a letter of intent and feelers for adaptability. Partnered with what may have seemed at first like a lateral opportunity in a related capacity further away.  (3) In matters of the actual journey and its logistics, part A of the trip took much longer than anticipated and involved being a bit lost and traffic snarls. Part B return side saw seat partner issues, (very fidgety and vocal young girl, versus frequent self-thigh-rubbing adult male) and airport shuttle pickup 180 degree decisions.  And now for the redirect…(1) Heart.  Since were both away for the weekend we got off the texting merry-go-round and I took a qi gong 10 Steps breath and some Phoenix bagua torso spiraling to format some thought out, reasoned and touching replies. This week the door of communication is still open, vibrant and negotiable and I’m still in the game. (2) Work. I took a long time forming and crafting my intention, not writing anything up until after my trip, and allowing Rhino and Lion bagua animals to help me with diagnosing sore spots and finding my playfulness, my center point, rootedness and determination. While also having a good interview discussion in a head space where I felt good about my skills. (3) Travel.  The long journey up or the detours nonetheless was shared by my car pool friendly life raft mates in the sea of romantic despair, like the 10 breaths opening bow aligning the spine.  A straight spine, relaxed tailbone and concave chest are your wingmen. As for the return trip, the fidgety young girl said she liked my hair, so of course I melted a bit, and the thigh-rubber I put out of my head by secretly doing Bear bagua animal posture internally. And the shuttle driver who suddenly changed his mind from a 60 minute wait to a 15 minute wait after I just got a first bite of an attempted lunch, well I just had to swallow my reaction like Rooster, settle my bones to water and turn around.  Of course, these past few days and all these push vs. redirects helps me in my thought process to decide what things and people I want to stick it out and fight for.  But slowly. Slow fighting, Kind of like Tai Chi. 

 

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes:  Growing like a tree qigong, revisiting the ’13 Posture’ sections of “Look”, “Gaze” and Center”, more discourse on the ocean waves metaphor of receding/growing/crashing. A bit of Golden Lotus qigong postures, linking/transitioning, driving with the heel or ‘tailbone’ of the palm, and the uncoil & sink of Play the Pan Pan. And winter weather has impacted our class schedule once again this week.

 

  • Student News & Events: Welcome back Esther, Marcia, Audrey & John F. Thank you to old friends and new at the Master Wei Lun Huang workshop at Boston Healing Tao this past weekend, and a huge thanks to Steve G for the driving (and Steve and Phil for sharing their car space with someone who definitely needed a healing weekend).  Marie at BHT shot some photos from the workshop that you can view here http://on.fb.me/1pZXpmL  Christian did have some enthusiastic attendees at the Eat Drink Ohm Yoga Café class in West Chester last week. Also don’t forget the YMCA blood drive coming up on 3/28, the Chester County Night School tai chi class spring session 3/17 start, and World Tai Chi & Qigong Day on April 26 (stay tuned for more updates TBD). To any military veterans, any of Christian’s non-YMCA classes are free of charge. Among Twitter friends, Light House Tai Chi in the UK is having a tai chi sword course next weekend to sold-out interest. In WordPress news, someone in New Zealand has found and read our blog this week, and a new subscriber is GiftFromTheHeart. Our FB engagement rate is up over 400% for the week ending March 2. Facebook Fans of the Day: Amber a local in Chester County PA, and also Deb S in Ontario. Welcome!

 

  • Etcetera:  Aha, see, not all anger is unhealthy nor should be squelched.  Balanced anger, or what the Chinese medical theory calls righteous anger, is not only healthy, but essential to life. This is the energy that fuels action, the energy that enables people to right wrongs, to seek justice, and to actively build a better society.” [Sifu Anthony K of FLowingZen.com]

 

  • Weekly Schedule:   NOTE: Any Non-YMCA class offsite = FREE to Military Veterans!

 

MORNINGS

Lionville YMCA  … 100 Devon Drive  Exton PA

Mon, Weds, Fri

7:30 AM

AFTERNOONS

Eagleview YMCA …699 Rice Blvd  Exton PA

Tues, Thurs

4:45 PM

Thursday Night

Lionville Natural Pharmacy    309 Gordon Dr Exton

 90 min., small class attention, Tai Chi &   mixed

 *$25 drop in   rate

Thursday

 

7:00 PM

Monday night

3/17   starts

 

Chester County Night School, Tai Chi class

820 Frank Rd in West Chester

Pre-pay, multi-week   . Next new session on 3/17 http://www.chestercountynightschool.org

Monday

 

7.30 PM

Thursday   morning

Tai Chi classes at Eat Drink OM Yoga Café

124 E. Gay St in West Chester

 $15 drop in rate each class

Thursdays

 

7:30 AM

 

 

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

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

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

WORDPRESSS weekly newsletter blog  http://www.unitedtaichi.wordpress.com

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

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

Kathleen Rice      unitedtaichi@gmail.com