Match Point: United Tai Chi digest 6/24/14

tennisball

  • Crosstraining. We talked about this in January in another newsletter. Christian mentioned again recently how some of our tai chi principles have helped golfers with their swing. And that Laoshi book I often quote also repeats “Tai Chi helps with everything else you do.”  Last month I dipped a toe (and arm) back in some tennis practice, which I had been away from for many years. As a current internal tai chi student, I am finding moments in my tennis practice that align with, or benefit from tai chi.  Certainly there is the shoulder, rotator cuff, armpit opening in the circle of an overhead serve. The coil and uncoil of returning to your ready position after a hit only to prep for another shot. And our old friend the ‘bubbling well point’ of our foot, where we are poised always, to maintain a fluid continuous motion. The hip control of the torso turn.  The kidney story as the elbows exchange places. And who would deny tennis’s resemblance to push hands–sometimes referred to as ‘a conversation’. Tennis is not played alone, and doesn’t have quite the same mental feel of a more solo sport such as long distance running. Just as in push hands, you need to be able to intuit where your partner/opponent will be, even before they are there. Reading habits, diagnosing blockages or weak spots, patterns of motion.  On Bill Douglas’s site, worldtaichiday.org, there is also commentary about benefit to the knees –“Tennis players will also often discover less pressure in the knees after practicing Tai Chi. Consciously moving from the dan tien can bring less pressure to bear on the knees when coming to an abrupt halt because when the head or upper body leads the movement, the knees must work harder to stop your momentum.” There is a lovely tai chi tennis video here on vimeo you may want to take a look at and discuss. This is a great time of year to get outdoors with both your tai chi, and other of your favorite cross training activities.

 

  • Shares/Finds: This Huffington Post article by Karl Romain that Chris S shared about 3 ways tai chi trains your brain. And this reminder on a summary of Five Principles of Tai Chi.  Number five is the one that our instructor Christian calls Madge/Palmolive hands.   
  •  
  • Wrap-up of recent classes: Forgetting yourself and your ego continues to be a main goal to strive for internal arts. Reminder of the yin and yang parts of each posture, elbow and kidney connections, sloshing your water all the way to the fingertips. And be cognizant that there is a little dot of yin in the yang swoosh and a little dot of yang in the yin! Bagua animal qigong. Breathing into your sore or tense spots and tricking your brain, relaxing your body. Welcome 2 new students to the afternoon class. Reminders about quality of practice versus quantity (‘we ordered the macaroni and cheese –there was a lot of it, but it wasn’t very good’).  Defining the edges or boundaries of the self. Left pull down/dragon tongue kick/parry re-direct practice. Weekend Blue Buddha or Dragon Gym classes included Hsing-I five elements, staff stance drills and the Little Dipper form. 

 

  • Student News & Events: Welcome back Marcia Z from some time away; and is Ray C back yet soon? Welcome back Steve from his Bikram Yoga studies in California. Thanks Deborah for sharing your story of utilizing tai chi principles while teaching your grandson to climb trees –reminding him to “stay close to his center for strength while climbing, and to grab the branch closest to the center of the tree trunk where it is the most stable, less likely to break or bend.”Hey we talked about Yin and Yang last blog and darned if I didn’t see another sign –the recent film 22 Jump Street had a small scene paying tribute to this integral martial arts principle too. And a pre-emptive thanks in advance for the birthday wishes this week for those of you reading this far, kudos.  Social Media Roundup: In the Twittersphere, welcome new followers @MastrYourHealth, and @RadDad64.  Reached/exceeded 3,000 total views on our WordPress page on June 10, thanks very much for your international support and readership! In this pre-football training season, don’t forget to follow @taoish (Mark Saltveit), one of the reasons I started putting our newsletter online last summer, and author of and Eagle’s fan reading list item, “The Tao of Chip Kelly”.  Welcome Leila W to our Pinterest followers. And hey, thank you Brazilians for your recent engagement or visits to our Facebook page –good luck in Group A (World Cup 2014).  This weekend our “most engaged insights” city was Rio de Janeiro.

 

  • Weekly Schedule:

 

DAY

LOCATION

PRICE

TIME

Monday

  • Fugett Middle School, 500 Ellis Lane in West Chester PA,  pre-pay multi-session class Mon/Wed , through Chester County Night School.   [ENDS June 30]

$52 whole session

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

 

Membership

 

7.30 am

 

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. Blue Buddha Studio, 1247 Pottstown Pike, Glenmoore PA

$25 drop-in

(90 min)

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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