Monthly Archives: May 2014

Force Majeure: United Tai Chi digest 5/27/14

Force

  • The great philosophers Kenny Loggins and Steve Perry once said, “Don’t fight it, it’ll do your heart so good.” In tai chi we learn not to meet force with force. And in my recent readings the concept of control, will, or force has popped up again. Were you like me this holiday weekend, missing someone you were trying to be with, when they had other plans?  Jan Kauskas relays some messages for all of us in Laoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle, including this great line, “The more you try to control life, the more you imprison yourself. You will experience greater and greater tension and so less and less joy, happiness and love. Once you understand the only way to control the universe is to realize you can’t, there is a wonderful freedom. It takes away the pressure that goes with trying to force things to your will”. Internal arts like tai chi are about redirecting energy, getting downwind of a direct hit, an attack, a circumstance that we shouldn’t try to barrel through with aggression, anger, whining, trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. Relaxing into an uncomfortable spot instead of muscling into it. Patience, looseness, letting go of the need for control are an ongoing process of growth.  Thank you guys for keeping me honest and afloat, even in the dark spaces. And PS, if you watched that YouTube video for Loggins/Perry I linked to at the top of this essay, hopefully you are feeling a lot happier.

 

 

  • Shares/Finds: Peter Morgan’s article as a guest writer for Yang-Shen.com, regarding yin and yang in the work/life balance.  Link to where I reviewedLaoshi: Tai Chi, Teachers and Pursuit of Principle” for SlantedFlying. And a short Bruce Frantzis video on relaxing the muscles of the face.
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  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Recent warm ups include Ten Breaths, Serve the Fruit and Thirteen Postures. A few split-class sessions with Part I Yang 108 learners and Part II reviewers.  Some beginner sword form demo at Blue Buddha. Worked on some standing meditations/holding postures. Tuesday first afternoon class since moving to Lionville Y and welcomed 2 new students. Great discussion on the hard (martial) arts and internal arts –and how practitioners of either one, end up over time at the same place inside. ‘Building a bridge’ with your limbs analogy for our Elbow, Press, Shoulder posture transitions in The 13 Postures form. Nice tree qigong set outdoors at Blue Buddha on Saturday.  NEW CLASS ALERT: Through Chester County Night School the next tai chi multi-session class is at Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester; both Monday & Wednesday nights 7.30p, June 16-30, cost $52. Purchase  through Chester County Night School

 

  • Student News & Events: Thanks very much to Sifu Huang, the Dragon Gym, the Samuelsons, the Tolberts, Master Armstrong and several United Tai Chi students and other local practitioners who participated in the 2-day tai chi workshop on May 17-18. Some pictures are on our FB page. Heard from Steve G via text earlier from his Bikram Yoga studies out west this month, he misses practicing with us and shared this reminder As soon as you meet that point of resistance you have the opportunity to grow, breathe into it & let go.” Thanks Lionville Holistic Health Center for ‘sharing’ one of our FB posts.  Thanks Esther for your commentary on our Mothers Day video on Facebook. Birthday shout-outs to students Steve G and Christine H. Thanks Carl for volunteering to hit some tennis balls with me last week (any other locals interested, message me).  Thank you Michael DeMarco from Via Media Publishing for contacting me about my book review on SlantedFlying.com.  Social Media Roundup: a huge thanks to “Best Tai Chi Videos” FB site for ‘sharing’ our Practice cartoon that we found on Pinterest/Tumblr with all their followers.  That led to a huge influx of new Facebook fans for us the week of May 19, welcome and thanks for your interest.   In the twittersphere, welcome new followers @tamaraliving, @TempioTaiChi, @SamoanRockyJoe, @Ras_Corby_VEMMA and @bcaccavale.  Welcome a reader in Ireland to our last WordPress digest read. 

 

  • Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

  • Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA,  pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed , through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

Tuesday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

Membership

 

$15 drop-in

4.45 pm

 

7.15 pm

Wednesday

  1. Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

 

  1. Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA, pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed, through Chester County Night School.  Starts June 16

Membership

 

$52 whole session

7.30 am

 

7.30 pm

Thursday

  1. Lionville YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA  

 

  1. Lionville Holistic Health Center Natural Pharmacy, 309 Gordon Drive in Exton PA

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

4.45 pm

 

7.00 pm

Friday

  1. Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

 

  1. Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

 

See instructor

7.30 am

 

See instructor

Saturday

  1. Outdoors at Everhart Park. West Chester

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

__?

 

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

9:00 AM

 

12:00 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 

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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Art of the Brand: United Tai Chi digest 5/13/14

Branding

  • Perhaps you had little idea how closely some marketing principles paralleled some philosophies of internal arts.  Recently I attended a local chapter meeting seminar for a qualitative market research group, entitled “Bigger, Better Branding Boot Camp”, led by ‘brand engineer’ Janet Rouss of http://www.getrealbranding.com And I was again struck by that ‘living the art’ notion, since much of what Ms. Rouss expressed related to the elements seen in Chinese medicine and martial arts. Though not quite mirroring Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth, Water 100%, nonetheless arching towards cohesion. She outlined your personal or company brand value proposition by what it offers on five levels.  (1) Earth/Physical –the grounding, rooting, functionality, actual products or services. (2) Air/Mental –the benefits and outcomes, goals achieved, time or money saved for your client. (3) Water/Emotional –how do people feel when they work with you, are they moved from the negative or pain to the positive or pleasure. (4) Etheric/Tribal –how are your energies drawing like-minded groups and related demographics to you; status or recognition among your sought after audience. (5) Fire/spiritual –the soul of your business, why it is you do what you do, purpose, meaning, affinities and altruism.  Not only was I stirred by the five elements, but it also brought to mind the three tan tiens of physical, emotional and mental. Jim Stengel’s book “Grow: How Ideals Power and Profit the World’s Greatest Companies” not surprisingly concludes from years of studying thousands of businesses that brands which best cater to fundamental human needs and emotions have lasted to become the most successful. Fundamentals that can be thought of as that which roots us to the Earth, to our loved ones, to our community, and to our own internal path. And where else do we see that, folks?  On a side note, to Master John Armstrong and other proponents of speed (to catch a falling baby?), sorry but I am just not there yet. Refer to my November 20 Speed digest. Don’t leave your babies on a high counter unattended.

 

 

  • Shares/Finds: Those of you that think your kicks are all that and a bag of chips, check out this powerfully graceful Chloe Bruce video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByqG9T04qxA
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  • Pricing notes and class length reminders:  Any classes not held at the YMCA, the one hour classes are $15 each (drop in rate) and the 90 minute classes are $25 each (drop in rate).

 

  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Reminders about safety, not muscling in to a bad position, and knee strength with more White Crane practice at Blue Buddha. Breath follows intention –intention of the posture, intention of the moment or the interaction, yin or yang energy intention, emptying or filling. Discussed yin energy again on Tuesday relating to emptying, and to your root. More Ward Off drills and Play the Pan Pan practice (watch those left shoulders). “We try to reach for the stars, but if we bounce off the moon that’s OK”. Getting our whole body inside (coil) the left hand dive before White Crane. Continued to work on Part III of Yang 108 in the Thursday night class. The philosophy of the ‘single strand of silk’ in our tai chi principles.  Shared some more “living the art” stories about other places in life where we find the phrase …”when you’re ready to receive it”.  Incidentally I wanted to share, a computer school VP asked me last week if the Javascript class was ‘more of a mountain than I wanted to climb’ –yes, too big a Tiger Over The Mountain I dare say.

 

  • Student News & Events: Congratulations to Deb and Phil G on their new swords, we had a great trip in to Philadelphia’s Chinatown section recently along with Claudia and Clemens. Stop by the Shanghai Bazaar there and ask for Feijong Song if you are visiting there (photos here on our FB page). Welcome back Ellen and Lena, though just when we seem to have gotten a few back, bye to Chris M for a couple of months. New classes and/or class packages hoping to offer soon – sword forms like Spiraling Dragon Rod, qigong package, and mixed United Tai Chi package –stay tuned for more updates. Hope to see some of you this weekend at Dragon Gym in Exton for Master Huang’s workshop. With the YMCA departure from the Eagleview site on the 15th, our Tues/Thur afternoon classes move to the Lionville site starting May 17. Deb and Claudia, thank you for commentary on our “Elevator Speech” blog last month. Social media round up:  In the Twittersphere, I liked this post by @PeterFieldHypno and the moment in there about sometimes a boy just needs glasses at the back of the room rather than presume psychological problems adjusting to a new school.  Welcome new Facebook fans NickNack, Carlos, Marylou and Robin. Thanks to our followers for over 100 views of my small Mothers Day video on our Facebook page as well.  In WordPress news, we are at over 2700 views—our anniversary for starting to publish there is in about 7 weeks and we hope to be at 3,000 by then.

 

  • Weekly Schedule: Honoring our War Veterans/VFW –any non-YMCA class FREE

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Membership

 

7.30 am

Tuesday

  1. Eagleview YMCA, 699 Rice Blvd, Exton PA (moving to Lionville after May 17).

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio,  1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

Membership

 

$15 drop-in

4.45 pm

 

7.15 pm

Wednesday

  1. Lionville Community YMCA, 100 Devon Drive, Exton PA

Membership

7.30 am

Thursday

  1. Eagleview YMCA, 699 Rice Blvd, Exton PA (moving to Lionville after May 17)

 

  1. Lionville Holistic Health Center Natural Pharmacy, 309 Gordon Drive in Exton PA

Membership

 

$25 drop-in

(90 mins)

4.45 pm

 

7.00 pm

Friday

  1. Student practice session/no instructor:  Lionville YMCA

 

  1. Daytime private lesson available pending schedule, by request

Membership

 

See instructor

7.30 am

 

See instructor

Saturday

  1. Outdoors at Everhart Park. West Chester

 

  1. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

__?

 

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

9:00 AM

 

12:00 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 

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